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Study: Depression in daughters more likely if fathers absent

Studies have shown that a severed or otherwise damaged father-daughter relationship can lead to depression and low self-esteem in daughters. This may not necessarily be true in every case; each family and child custody case is different. But many Texas fathers know that their lives revolve around their daughters, and that a father's being there and establishing a bond with his daughter is one of the most important aspects of her well-being.

Ideally, both parents establish rules for parenting time after a divorce, and both parents will work together to love and support their child. But sometimes parental conflict gets in the way of a child's best interests, and mothers and fathers alike need to be aware of the negative impact an absent father can have on a daughter.

Let's consider some studies on father-daughter relationships. One study on children born in the 1990s showed that the possibility of falling into depression was greater among girls whose fathers weren't around in their early lives -- up to age five -- than among girls who didn't or rarely saw their fathers between ages five and 10.

In fact, adolescent girls appeared to be more susceptible to depression than adolescent boys whose fathers weren't around during those two age spans.

Another researcher found that not enough fathers -- between 10 and 15 percent -- have access to or engage in shared parenting, and this of course can damage a father-daughter relationship.

We've written before about how resilient children can be after a divorce, and how they bounce back more quickly than many people would expect. That all depends, though, on a loving, cooperative parenting plan.

Source: Huffington Post, "The Father-Daughter Bond: A Dress Rehearsal for Life," Terry Gaspard, May 23, 2013

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