Over the past several decades, fathers have nearly tripled the time they spend with their children. Involved fatherhood is associated with better outcomes on nearly every measure of child wellbeing. Healthy father involvement can also serve as a protective factor to strengthen families at risk for child maltreatment. Most children are not at risk for maltreatment by their parents, and child abuse prevention programs have evolved from focusing solely on reducing risk factors to also building protective factors in families. Some programs target fathers specifically, and aim to promote positive parenting skills, appropriate discipline, effective communication, emotional support, and stress management in fathers to build protective factors and strengthen families. This policy brief highlights the link between involved fatherhood and protective factors in families. (Author abstract)
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