Why paternal involvement in childcare is good for family relationships
Why involving dads is good for relationships
Degree of recognition
Are relationships less likely to break down if fathers do more childcare? The answer is yes. Fathers who spend time caring for their babies – on their own – during the first year of parenthood are more likely to be in stable relationships. This was the main finding from our research, which uses the Millennium Cohort Study to examine over 13,000 households in the UK.
Previous studies show that many factors can lead to a relationship breaking down – such as feeling depressed, having a baby or struggling with money. We wanted to explore whether a father’s (lack of) involvement in childcare and domestic work had any effect. Our results show that it does: parental relationships are less likely to break down up to seven years post-birth if the father looks after the baby on his own at least a few times a week during the first year of parenthood. This is the case even when we take account of other factors which may influence relationship breakdown such as household income, attitudes towards divorce and whether or not either parent is in employment