Biller, well known for his extensive research into the impacts of involved fathering or the absence thereof, provides a comprehensive, straightforward analysis of just how important paternal involvement really is. He describes the great advantages accruing to a child when the father, as well as the mother, actively participates in the parenting process. Fathers who sustain high interest and a true presence in a child's nurturing significantly influence body image, self-esteem, moral standards, intellectual achievement, and social competency. The benefits, Biller shows, extend beyond the father-child relationship and include heightened spousal satisfaction and a sense of overall family well-being. The reciprocal influences of father, mother, and child development, are considered within a lifespan biopsychosocial perspective. This is an important and compelling treatment of a topic of immense concern not only to individual families but to society as a whole. Biller, by relating specific issues to fathers' roles and influences, offers the first integrated analysis of just how important a father's caring presence and active involvement is to his child's--and spouse's--psychosocial well-being. This balanced study of paternal factors addresses not only such issues as nurturance, discipline, and the cultivation of self-esteem, intelligence, and creativity but also family problems so evident in current society. There is a thorough analysis concerning complex connections among gender roles, parenting, and personality development. The work is highly substantive, realistic, and encouraging in its potential for guidance and offers insightful, useful conclusions on paternal behavior and influences. (Author abstract)
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