Sunday, January 25, 2009

Marriage Less Important Than Prenatal Bonding

There's a fascinating new study published in the December issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family about the importance for dads to bond with their babies in the prenatal period in order to establish a stable family life and continue being an involved parent.

As reported in a News Bulletin on
In their analysis, Cabrera and her colleague, Jay Fagan at Temple University, found that fathers involved during pregnancy were significantly more likely to remain involved in raising their child at three-years-old.

"The unmarried father is much more likely either to maintain or move into a more committed relationship if he's involved before the birth, and that's the critical difference," Cabrera says.

"As you might expect, research has consistently shown that creating a stable home life predicts whether a father will be an active participant in raising the child, but what we've learned here is that the prenatal months are when that kind of family structure is most likely to coalesce."

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