Psychology - Life with (or Without) Father

Topics: Mother, Human behavior, Antisocial personality disorder Pages: 5 (1507 words) Published: September 10, 2005
What was the purpose of this study? This study had three purposes. The first purpose of this study was to better understand the effects of fathers' antisocial behaviors have on their children while differentiating between those fathers who have very antisocial behavior with those that have very little. The second purpose was the find out if the effects of a father's being in his child's life was the same in every family. The third purpose in this study was to find out whether the children of antisocial fathers were going to develop behavioral problems from both genetic and environmental risks.

What hypothesis or hypotheses did the authors test in this study? The author's felt the father's antisocial behavior would affect the results in whether the father was present or not. For example, if a father is only a little antisocial and he spends very little time living with his children his children could have a lot of behavior problems.

However, if the father is very antisocial and he lives with his children his children can also develop a lot of behavior problems. Even though logically it seems that having a father living with the child would be beneficial for the child if the child observes that his father has antisocial behaviors it can create unwanted problems. Those conducting this

study hypothesized that the most extreme cases of behavior problems would be found could they pass on traits that would cause antisocial behaviors genetically but the constant observing of their father's misbehaving could create environmental factors as well.

What was the prior research that motivated these hypotheses? Briefly describe the studies that have been done in the past that cause the authors to propose these hypotheses. There has been research done that children who have been raised with both parents living with them behave better than those children who live with only one parent.

A theory stemming from evolutionary psychology indicated that men's promiscuous sexual behavior lessoned their drive to stick with their family and hence the reason why there are a lot more single mothers than fathers. This caused some lawmakers and researchers to realize that perhaps the absence of a father in his child's life could create problems with the child both academically and behaviorally. There are several reasons why a father's absence can be detrimental to the child such as the stress it may cause the mother to have to care for the children alone and the children's feelings of abandonment.

In a study done called Fragile Families Study came up with the findings that unwed fathers were more likely to use illegal drugs, to partake in domestic abuse and experience depression. It is these activities, that the father may partake in, that is considered as antisocial. The Environmental Risk Longitudinal Study provided information that enabled questions to be answered in this current study by the variety of antisocial behaviors and the usage of monozygotic and dizygotic twins.

Who were the participants in the study? The participants in this study were two birth cohorts (1994 &1995) of same-sex twins and their parents from Wales and England. 56% were monozygotic and 44% were dizygotic twin pairs. The participants were members of the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study to study how genetic and environmental factor's can shape a child's development and specifically how a father's role in his child's life, (whether living with or away from the child and whether he is very antisocial or just a little) can affect the child's own behavior and conduct. Out of 15,906 pairs of twins born, 71% joined the study. The children were all around the age of five as data was collected within 120 days of the twin's fifth birthday. Several of the 1,210 families that were used in this study had to be excluded out of the findings due to them moving or them not being able to speak English.

What did the...
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