Knowledge and Resource Hub
06 November 2018

A matter of time: Father involvement and child cognitive outcomes

This research used data from The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to examine the relationship between father-child time and children's cognitive development and whether paternal education moderates these associations. The total amount of father–child time was associated with, at best, small improvements in children's cognitive functioning. In contrast, the amount of father–child time spent in educational activities was associated with moderate to large improvement in children's cognitive functioning. These associations were similar for highly and less‐highly educated fathers. Therefore policies and practices which enable fathers' involvement in their children's upbringing should bring moderate to high gains to their children's cognitive functioning; particularly if paternal involvement is directed at educational activities.