Fatherhood reduces a man's bad habits

A man's bad habits often reduce once he becomes a father for the first time. This is according to a new study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, which suggested becoming a parent encourages males to drink, smoke and engage in criminal activity significantly less.

According to the investigation, it was demonstrated that guys who are well into their 20s and early 30s when they enter fatherhood showed greater decreases in alcohol use and crime than those who became a dad while still a teenager or in their early 20s.

David Kerr, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Oregon State University said: "This research suggests that fatherhood can be a transformative experience, even for men engaging in high-risk behaviour."

Mr Kerr added this could therefore present a window of opportunity to improve intervention, as dads appear more willing to make behavioural changes and to listen to a more positive message.

Professor Lorraine Sherr, Chartered Psychologist, who is a Professor in Clinical Health Psychology at the Royal Free and University College Medical School, commented: "This study essentially shows the impact of parenthood on behavioural change and enhanced responsibility. These findings are not surprising and are mirrored in many behavioural changes, role changes and emotional changes already documented in women.

"The gathering literature on fathers and fatherhood shows both the psychological effects of parenthood on males and also the importance of psychologists studying fathers and fatherhood to provide a robust holistic view of parenthood, life changes and behavioural transformation processes.

"This study adds to the growing literature on fathers who show parenting skills, productive relationships with children, effect child outcomes, experience role change and also suffer from paternal depression after childbirth."

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