Children who spend more time with their fathers have a higher IQ, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the University of Newcastle examined data relating to 11,000 British people who had all been born in 1958. The involvement of their fathers was assessed through interviews with the subjects’ mothers. The latter were asked how much time the fathers had spent interacting with the children – for example, reading to them, going on outings and spending ‘quality time’ with their offspring.
Children who enjoyed extensive time with their fathers not only had higher IQs but were also more socially mobile, the researchers concluded, when compared to children who received only limited attention from their fathers. The differences could still be detected when children were in their 40s.
Lead researcher Dr Daniel Nettle said:
“What was surprising about this research was the real sizeable difference in the progress of children who benefited from paternal interest and how thirty years later, people whose dads were involved are more upwardly mobile. The data suggest that having a second adult involved during childhood produces benefits in terms of skills and abilities that endure throughout adult life.”
The study was published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.
Photo by absolut xman via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence