Dads who bond with kids help keep marriage strong - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Dads who bond with kids help keep marriage strong

Updated: June 13, 2013 03:02 PM EDT
© Comstock / Thinkstock © Comstock / Thinkstock
  • HealthMore>>

  • A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- For dads aiming at marital bliss, a new study suggests just two factors are especially important: being engaged with the kids, for sure -- but also doing a fair share of the household chores.

In other words, just taking the children outside for a game of catch won't cut it.

"In our study, the wives thought father involvement with the kids and participation in household work are all inter-related and worked together to improve marital quality," said Adam Galovan, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Missouri, in Columbia. "They think being a good father involves more than just doing things involved in the care of children."

Galovan found that wives feel more cared for when husbands are involved with their children, yet helping out with the day-to-day responsibilities of running the household also matters.

But Galovan was surprised to find that how husbands and wives specifically divide the work doesn't seem to matter much. Husbands and wives are happier when they share parenting and household responsibilities, but the chores don't have to be divided equally, according to the study. What matters is that both parents are actively participating in both chores and child-rearing.

Doing household chores and being engaged with the children seem to be important ways for husbands to connect with their wives, and that connection is related to better relationships, Galovan explained.

The research was recently published in the Journal of Family Issues.

For the study, the researchers tapped data from a 2005 study that pulled marriage licenses of couples married for less than one year from the Utah Department of Health. Researchers looked at every third or fourth marriage license over a six-month period.

From that data, Galovan surveyed 160 couples between 21 and 55 years old who were in a first marriage. The majority of participants -- 73 percent -- were between 25 and 30 years old. Almost 97 percent were white. Of participants, 98 percent of the husbands and 16 percent of the wives reported they were employed full time, while 24 percent worked part time. The average couple had been married for about five years, and the average income of the participants was between $50,000 and $60,000 a year.

Couples indicated which spouse was generally responsible for completing 20 common household tasks -- or if both or neither of them were responsible. Fathers rated their involvement in their children's lives and mothers noted how involved they felt their husbands were with the kids. Both spouses rated how happy they were with how they divided household tasks and with their marriage.

Men and women differed in how they reported marital quality. For wives, the father-child relationship and father involvement was most important, followed by satisfaction with how the household work was accomplished.

For husbands, satisfaction with the division of family work came first, followed by their wife's feelings about the father-child relationship, and then the degree of involvement the dad had with his children.

For her part, Laurie Gerber, president of Handel Group Life Coaching in New York City, said the study rings true. Women really appreciate getting hands-on help at home, but men don't realize this intuitively because they see things very differently, she said. "If a man wants to get into his wife's good graces he should do a chore," she said. "If a woman wants to get into a man's good graces, she should jump him."

A study published earlier this year in American Sociological Review showed that married men who spend more time doing traditional household tasks reported having less frequent sex than do husbands who stick to more traditional masculine jobs, such as gardening or home repair. While women like getting help, doing too many of the chores may inadvertently turn the husband into more of a helpmate than a lover, the research found.

Rather than basing the choice of chores on traditional roles, Gerber recommends that tasks be divided based on both who cares most about getting the particular job done and who is best at it. "My husband doesn't care if my kids have matching outfits on and I don't care about getting the oil changed," she said. Couples need to sit down and discuss who will be primarily responsible for what. "That stops fights and clears so much air."

For Gerber, it's critical to try not to be influenced by how you were raised, what your culture says you should do or what the gender stereotyping says, but rather, by what you think is right. "Marriage is all about being there for the other person and you work as a team to get the job of the family done," she said.

More information

Learn more about parenting from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.