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Boomerang Fathers Reduce Depression In Teenage Girls: Study

Aug 03, 2016 10:23 PM EDT
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Boomerang fathering is revealed to have positive effects on adolescents, specifically girls.

University of Houston assistant professor and lead author Daphne Hernandez and New York University postdoctoral research associate Emily Pressler conducted a study that aimed to determine the impact of boomerang fathers to their children, Science Daily has learned.

The trial utilized data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and took a sample of 3,366 women and 3,731 adolescents born between the years 1978 and 1992. The researchers eyed children in all dynamics transition from birth to 18 years of age and measured the level of depression in early adulthood.

Research data found that about one-third of the adolescents in the study were left by their biological father and from that portion, 15 percent had their fathers back.

In line with the study's objective, it was found that adolescent girls exposed to boomerang fathers had less depressive symptoms when they were 18, as compared to those who had unstable and non-boomerang fathers.

Data also revealed that there was no significant difference between the depressive symptoms of girls who lived with their biological father from birth to 18 years old and those who had boomerang fathers. It was further revealed that having a boomerng father had no depressive effect in adolescent boys.

Boomerang fathering was coined by Iowa State University human development and family studies assistant professor Cassandra Dorius and her colleagues, as per Iowa States News. They devised the term after they saw the pattern during their study of family transitions. According to Dorius, the idea of relationship churning is a cycle of breaking up and getting back together, which is common among young adults.

As per Hernandez, familiarity of a biological father who goes into and out of the house might deter nonbiological partners from entering their children's lives, which prevents the stress hormone from being triggered. She added that while the dynamics between the biological parents might be complex, the boomerang father's commitment to his child was responsible for the bond formed between them.

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