New Discoveries, Concepts and Questions in the Search to Understand Fathers' Influence on Child Development



Just 20 years ago scholars called the sphere of fatherhood research “understudied.” Today the view is quite different. Fatherhood studies have multiplied in universities across the world, and new discoveries have revealed opportunities for more research directions. New concepts and methodology have given us the opportunity to understand fatherhood at its many levels and analyze its multi-dimensional influence on child development. A better understanding of this influence has in turn inspired changes in the spheres of law, social work, and medicine. This article reviews the development of fatherhood research at the turn of the 21st century and in the past 20 years. It highlights key recent discoveries and changes in the study of fathers' influence on child development, and offers perspectives for further research in this important sphere.

General Information

Keywords: fatherhood, parent-child relationships, child development

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology and Age-Related Psychology

Article type: review article


For citation: Hoffman B.A. New Discoveries, Concepts and Questions in the Search to Understand Fathers' Influence on Child Development [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2022. Vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 17–25. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2022110102. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Lundahl B.W., Tollefson D., Risser H., Lovejoy M.C. A Meta-Analysis of Father Involvement in Parent Training. Research on Social Work Practice, 2008. Vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 97—106. DOI:10.1177/1049731507309828

  2. Anderson S., Qiu W., Wheeler S.J. The quality of father—child rough-and-tumble play and toddlers' aggressive behavior in China. Infant Mental Health Journal, 2017. Vol. 38, no. 6, pp. 726—742. DOI:10.1002/imhj.21675

  3. Leech K.A., Salo V.C., Rowe M.L., Cabrera N.J. Father input and child vocabulary development: the importance of Wh questions and clarification requests. Seminars in speech and language, 2013.Vol.34, no. 4,pp. 249—259. DOI:10.1055/s-0033-1353445

  4. Rolle L., Gullotta G., Trombetta T., Curti L., Gerino E., Brustia P., Caldarera A.M. Father Involvement and Cognitive Development in Early and Middle Childhood: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in psychology, 2019. Vol. 10, article ID 2405, 18 p. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02405

  5. Fatherhood Institute research summary: Fathers' impact on their children's learning and achievement [Elektronnyi resurs]. Fatherhood Institute, 2013. URL: (Accessed 24.03.2022).

  6. Rowe M.L., Leech K.A., Cabrera N. Going Beyond Input Quantity: Wh-Questions Matter for Toddlers' Language and Cognitive Development. Cognitive science, 2017. Vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 162—179. DOI:10.1111/cogs.12349

  7. Lukas T., Deichmann F., Supper B., Ahnert L. How fathers' attachment security and education contribute to early child language skills above and beyond mothers: parent-child conversation under scrutiny. Attachment & human development, 2020. Vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 71—84. DOI:10.1080/14616734.2019.1589063

  8. Jeynes W. A Meta-Analysis: The Roles of Fathers in Parenting: Are They Unique? Marriage & Family Review, 2016. Vol. 52, no. 7, pp. 665—688. DOI:10.1080/01494929.2016.1157121

  9. Jeynes W.H. A Meta-Analysis: The Relationship Between Father Involvement and Student Academic Achievement. Urban Education, 2015. Vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 387—423, DOI:10.1177/0042085914525789

  10. Lamb M. The History of Research on Father Involvement. Marriage and Family Review, 2000. Vol. 29, no. 2—3, pp. 23—42. DOI:10.1300/J002v29n02_03

  11. Mary McCarthy: Quotes [Elektronnyi resurs]. Britannica, 2022. URL: (Accessed 24.03.2022).

  12. Meyer D., Cancian M., Cook S. The Growth in Shared Custody in the United States: Patterns and Implications: The Growth in Shared Custody in the United States. Family Court Review, 2017. Vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 500—512. DOI:10.1111/ fcre.12300

  13. Nielsen L. Joint Versus Sole Physical Custody: Children's Outcomes Independent of Parent—Child Relationships, Income, and Conflict in 60 Studies. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 2018. Vol. 59, no. 4, pp. 247—281. DOI:10.1080/10 502556.2018.1454204

  14. Nierengarten M.B. Fathers' influence on development and well-being of children [Elektronnyi resurs]. Contemporary Pediatrics Journal, 2019. Vol 36, no. 6, pp. 16—20. URL: (Accessed 24.03.2022).

  15. Paquette D. Theorizing the Father-Child Relationship: Mechanisms and Developmental Outcomes. Human Development, 2004. Vol. 47, pp. 193—219. DOI:10.1159/000078723

  16. Parental leave: Where are the fathers? [Elektronnyi resurs]. Paris: OECD, 2016. 2 p. URL: (Accessed 24.03.2022).

  17. Pleck J.H. Paternal involvement: Revised conceptualization and theoretical linkages with child outcomes. In Lamb M.E. (ed.), The role of the father in child development. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2010, pp. 58—93.

  18. Panter-Brick C., Burgess A., Eggerman M., McAllister F., Pruett K., Leckman J.F. Practitioner review: Engaging fathers--recommendations for a game change in parenting interventions based on a systematic review of the global evidence. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 2014. Vol. 55, no. 11, pp. 1187—1212. DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12280

  19. Raising Kids and Running a Household: How Working Parents Share the Load [Elektronnyi resurs]. Pew Research Center, 2015. URL: (Accessed 24.03.2022).

  20. Robinson E.L., StGeorge J., Freeman E.E. A Systematic Review of Father-Child Play Interactions and the Impacts on Child Development. Children, 2021. Vol. 8, no. 5, Article ID 389, 19 p. DOI:10.3390/children8050389

  21. Rohner R.P., Veneziano R.A. The Importance of Father Love: History and Contemporary Evidence. Review of General Psychology, 2001. Vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 382—405. DOI:10.1037/1089-2680.5.4.382

  22. Schoppe-Sullivan S.J., Fagan J. The evolution of fathering research in the 21st century: Persistent challenges, new directions. Journal of Marriage and Family, 2020. Vol. 82, no. 1, pp. 175—197. DOI:10.1111/jomf.12645

  23. Lamb M. (ed.) The Role of the Father in Child Development, 4th Edition. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2004. 552 p.

  24. Wang W. The U.S. Divorce Rate Has Hit a 50-Year Low [Elektronnyi resurs]. Institute for Family Studies, 2020. URL: (Accessed 24.03.2022).

  25. Yigit Gen^ten V., Genc E. Paternity leave: A systematic review of studies in education and psychology from 1990— 2019. International Journal of Social Sciences and Education Research, 2020. Vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 531—542. DOI:10.24289/ ijsser.815369

  26. Yoko I., Satomi I.T. A Cross-Cultural Study of American, Chinese, Japanese and Swedish Early Childhood In-service and Pre-Service Teachers' Perspectives of Fathering. Research in Comparative and International Education, 2013. Vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 87—101. DOI:10.2304/rcie.2013.8.1.87

Information About the Authors

Brooke A. Hoffman, post graduate student, chair of developmental psychology named after L.F. Obukhova, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 1002
Previous month: 36
Current month: 19


Total: 316
Previous month: 6
Current month: 9