How Does Fatherhood Affect Men?


New research suggests that a man’s brain cortex shifts in “size and shape” when he becomes a father. The cortex is responsible for high-level functioning such as reasoning and emotions.


Researchers believe that the result of these changes is stronger empathy. Professor Darby Saxbe of the University of Southern California, who studies brain plasticity, stated that becoming a father “requires new skills like being able to empathize with a non-verbal infant.” 


Fathers share a connection with their children beyond just contributing DNA.


The myths denying the father-child connection have lost credibility as scientific research continually emerges. For instance, we now know that fathers bond physically and emotionally with their children in a way that complements a mother’s bond. Skin-to-skin contact with fathers is a common practice in hospital delivery rooms.


While theories of attachment did not become prevalent until the mid-70s, recent discoveries have suggested that dedicated fathers, like dedicated mothers, undergo dramatic hormonal and neurological shifts upon the arrival of their child. Some experts now think that those shifts, and the father-child bond that creates them, begin even before birth.


Although fatherhood can cause strain in terms of finances, employment, and quality of sleep and housing, becoming a father increases mental and emotional health. Fatherhood is also associated with feelings of self-assurance.


Research indicates that fatherhood increases the responsibility of new fathers to find stable, secure employment. Fatherhood within marriage is also associated with a strengthening of family ties, increased participation in civic organizations and more involvement in organized religion. Fathers who were involved in parenting children were found to be healthier than other men and had better longevity.


Fatherhood matters.


Does your center offer a fatherhood program, mentoring program or Life Skills Class? Information is power and the resources offered through these programs can help give fathers the support needed to reach their full potential!


Log into your VirTru Training platform to learn how your center can implement a Life Skills Class or Mentoring Program for both men and women in your community today!