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How Men and Children Affect Each Other's Development

General Material
Author(s)

Note this caution from the author regarding the implications of the research findings: "As with all research, we must be cautious about overinterpreting the implications of fresh insights about the importance of fathers in the lives of young children. For example, on the basis of some of these data, some would have us rush to force fathers to stay in the lives of their children and supply support, both financial and emotional, regardless of the reasons for the fathers' absence. Yet with so much to learn about male nurture... and few observational, longitudinal studies even underway, it is not at all clear what would be accomplished by external efforts to mandate a father's presence in a family that has been unable to preserve that presence on its own or with supports it has sought voluntarily. Longitudinal studies that take full account of context must be our standard when we are trying to understand complex phenomena, or to use research findings to guide programmatic and policy decisions."