Do Fathers Matter?: What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We've Overlooked

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Macmillan, Jun 3, 2014 - Family & Relationships - 288 pages
10 Reviews

For too long, we’ve thought of fathers as little more than sources of authority and economic stability in the lives of their children. Yet cutting-edge studies drawing unexpected links between fathers and children are forcing us to reconsider our assumptions and ask new questions: What changes occur in men when they are “expecting”? Do fathers affect their children’s language development? What are the risks and rewards of being an older-than-average father at the time the child is born? What happens to a father’s hormone levels at every stage of his child’s development, and can a child influence the father’s health? Just how much do fathers matter?

In Do Fathers Matter? the award-winning journalist and father of five Paul Raeburn overturns the many myths and stereotypes of fatherhood as he examines the latest scientific findings on the parent we’ve often overlooked. Drawing on research from neuroscientists, animal behaviorists, geneticists, and developmental psychologists, among others, Raeburn takes us through the various stages of fatherhood, revealing the profound physiological connections between children and fathers, from conception through adolescence and into adulthood—and the importance of the relationship between mothers and fathers. In the process, he challenges the legacy of Freud and mainstream views of parental attachment, and also explains how we can become better parents ourselves.

Ultimately, Raeburn shows how the role of the father is distinctly different from that of the mother, and that embracing fathers’ significance in the lives of young people is something we can all benefit from. An engrossing, eye-opening, and deeply personal book that makes a case for a new perspective on the importance of fathers in our lives no matter what our family structure, Do Fathers Matter? will change the way we view fatherhood today.


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Review: Do Fathers Matter?: What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We've Overlooked

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

Paul Raeburn gathers the small amount of current research we have on fathers and their contributions to the health and well-being of their children. Spoiler alert--of course fathers matter! But ... Read full review

Review: Do Fathers Matter?: What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We've Overlooked

User Review  - Derek - Goodreads

Interesting science here. I recommend for new fathers and anyone considering becoming a father. Mothers too. It will make you appreciate the father figures in your children's lives. Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Paul Raeburn is the chief media critic for the Knight Science Journalism Tracker site at MIT. His most recent book is Acquainted with the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children. He writes the About Fathers blog for Psychology Today and is a regular guest on NPR. Raeburn was formerly the science editor at BusinessWeek and the Associated Press. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Discover, and Scientific American, among other publications. A past president of the National Association of Science Writers, he lives in New York City with his wife and children.

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