New research from Binghamton University and Southern Illinois University shows that a father is more likely to spend time with a child who resembles him, and that time investment manifests itself in a healthier child.
The analysis was based on data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing (FFCW) study, whish followed 715 infants who live with their mother.
According to the first two waves oif the study, data suggested that children who were healthier at first birthday, spent an average of 2.5 more days a month with their children over the child's first year than babies who didn't look like their fathers.
"We find a child's health indicators improve when the child looks like the father...The main explanation is that frequent father visits allow for greater parental time for care-giving and supervision, and for information gathering about child health and economic needs. It's been said that 'it takes a village' but my coauthor, Marlon Tracey, and I find that having an involved father certainly helps," Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at Binghamton University Solomon Polachek told EurekAlert.
Researchers hope that this new data will encourage fathers who don't live with their children to engage more frequently with them.
The data was included in the paper, "If looks could heal: Child health and paternal investment," which was published in the Journal of Health Economics.