Author info: Correspondence should be sent to: Scot Allgood, Ph.D., Department
of Family, Consumer, and Human Development, Utah State University 2905 Old
Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, email: email@example.com.
North American Journal of Psychology, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 1, 95-110.
The Role of Father Involvement in the Perceived
Psychological Well-Being of Young Adult
Daughters: A Retrospective Study
Scot M. Allgood, Troy E. Beckert,
Utah State University
Scholars propose a typology for adolescent daughters’ well-being in
father/daughter relationships that includes engagement, accessibility, and
responsibility. The purpose of this study was to examine these three areas
within a context of daughters’ self-esteem, life satisfaction, and
psychological distress. A sample of 99 single females between 18-21
years of age who had lived with their fathers during their adolescence
was asked to reflect on the relationship with their fathers. Results
indicated that there were statistically significant relationships between
engagement and accessibility with the daughters’ self-esteem and life
satisfaction. Implications of these results were also discussed.
As fathering research has progressed, it has become apparent that the
associations with desirable child outcomes found in most research is
actually with positive forms of paternal involvement, not simply
involvement per se (Cabrera, Tamis-LeMonda, Bradley, Hofferth, &
Lamb, 2000; Flouri & Buchanan, 2003; Holmes & Huston, 2010; Pleck,
1997). In addition, while most fathering research has historically been
taken from the perspective of fathers and mothers, researchers now
recognize the potential importance of examining father involvement from
the perspective of children themselves (Beckert, Strom, & Strom, 2006;
Finley & Schwartz, 2004).
In an effort to expand the conceptual understanding of father
involvement and further refine the quantitative measurements of father
involvement, Lamb, Pleck, Charnov, and Levine (1985) proposed a
three-part typology of father involvement that included engagement,
accessibility, and responsibility. Engagement includes a father’s direct
interaction with his child. Accessibility refers to a father’s physical or
psychological availability to his child. Responsibility involves providing
for the care of the child, as distinct from the performance of care. Each of
these types of involvement directly relate to a child’s well-being.
96 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
Engagement Sometimes referred to as interaction, Lamb et al. (1985)
originally defined engagement as “a father’s direct contact with his child,
through caretaking and shared activities” (p. 884). Overall, positive
paternal engagement, regardless of the way in which it has been
measured, has been found to be significantly related to a cluster of
adolescent outcomes, including alcohol use and abuse (Goncy & van
Dulmen, 2010) and self-control, self-esteem, life skills, and social
competence (Maine, 2004).
Accessibility Accessibility refers to a father’s potential availability
for interaction, by virtue of being both physically and psychologically
present and accessible to the child with or without direct interaction
(Cabrera et al., 2000; Lamb et al., 1985; McBride, 1990; Pleck, 1997).
Examples of accessibility may include such things as cooking in the
kitchen while the child lingers nearby, being physically absent but easily
accessible by phone or other electronic devices, or watching television
together, but not directly interacting (Lamb, 2000). Averaging across
several studies, Pleck found that fathers’ proportional accessibility is
about two-thirds of mothers’, which is about 50% higher than the
corresponding averages in the 1970s and 1980s. Researchers that have
used the accessibility construct to measure involvement report that
fathers spend more time being accessible to their children than they do
engaging or being responsible (McBride & Mills, 1993; Pleck, 1997).
Responsibility Responsibility is the hardest type of involvement to
operationally define, but may be the most important type of involvement
as it reflects the extent to which a father takes ultimate responsibility for
the care and welfare of his child (Cabrera et al., 2000; Lamb, 2000). It
also involves implementing strategies to meet certain needs, such as,
selecting a pediatrician and making appointments, selecting child care-
settings or arranging for babysitters, and making arrangements for care
and nurturance for a child when they are sick (Cabrera et al., 2000;
Lamb, 2000; Lamb et al., 1985; McBride, 1990).
On average, fathers’ share of responsibility is substantially lower
than mothers’ share (Pleck & Masciadrelli, 2004). In addition,
researchers have yet to identify any child-care task for which fathers
typically have primary responsibility (Pleck & Masciadrelli, 2004).
Bradford, Hawkins, Palkovitz, Christiansen, and Day (2002) reported
that in order to gain a more complete understanding of father
involvement, future studies need to include children’s reports. Gaining
the perspective of the child is likely to yield important and somewhat
different information that more fully captures the concept of father
involvement (Beckert et al., 2006).
In 2004, Finley and Schwartz created two measures of fathering that
employ a child-centered approach emphasizing children’s
Allgood, Beckert, & Peterson FATHER INVOLVEMENT 97
phenomenological retrospective perceptions of father involvement.
According to these scholars, what is important to the children in the long
run and what most heavily affects children’s current and future behavior
is the long term parent ‘residue’ within the children that is encapsulated
within the children’s retrospective perceptions of their parents (p. 145).
Thus, if a young adult daughter perceived that her father was highly
involved in her life, then that father’s impact on his daughter is a
consequence of her perception of high involvement– independent of the
accuracy of that perception (Finley & Schwartz, 2004).
Fathers and the Psychological Well-being of Daughters While the
vast majority of the psychological literature focuses on parent-child
relationships early in children’s development (Bowlby, 1985), relatively
little theoretical and empirical work has focused on the nature, activities,
and impact of parent-child relationships in adolescence and early
adulthood (Videon, 2005). One possible reason for this neglect may be
that adolescence is typically viewed as a time when children distance
themselves from their parents, and peers take on increasing importance
(Videon, 2005). As a result, much of the literature examining adolescent
development typically gives enhanced emphasis to the influence of peers
(Harris, Furstenberg, & Marmer 1998).
Although peers and dating relationships become increasingly
influential throughout the teenage years, researchers assert that parent-
child relations remain fundamentally important to adolescents’ well-
being (Van Wel, Linssen, & Abma, 2000). In fact, the influence of
parents on adolescents often bears more weight than that of peers in most
areas of psychological well-being (Blum & Rinehart, 2000; Dornbusch,
Erickson, Laird, & Wong, 2001; Kumpfer & Alvarado, 2003). In
addition, the influence of parent-child relationships in adolescence is not
transitory; the affective quality of parent-child relationships in the
teenage years has been shown to influence the long-term trajectory of
offspring well-being into adulthood (Amato & Gilbreth, 1999; Roberts &
Bengtson, 1993; Van Wel, et al., 2000).
Van Wel and colleagues (2000) reported that the closeness between
fathers and their children relates positively to the psychological well-
being of children, both immediately and over time. Further, their results
indicate that this connection does not become weaker as the
adolescents/emerging adults grow older.
Fathers and Daughters Often the literature on parent-adolescent
relationships downplays the importance of fathers on daughter
development, especially when compared to mother-daughter
relationships (Nielsen, 2001; Pleck & Hofferth, 2008). As Secunda
(1992) observed, fathers can have a profound impact on daughters’
development, yet, of all the family ties, the father-daughter relationship is
98 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
the least understood and least studied. Several others (Daniels, 1998;
Lamb, 2004; Phares, 1999) have noted similar observations.
Perhaps another contributing factor to the neglect of the father-
daughter relationship is the long-standing notion that fathers play a more
important role in the development of sons than daughters (Morgan,
Wilcoxon, & Satcher, 2003). Although developmental research has
shown that fathers are typically less involved with their daughters than
with their sons, the quality of parenting that children of both genders
receive from their fathers can have long term psychological implications
(Palkovitz, 2002; Van Wel et al., 2000; Wenk, Hardesty, Morgan, &
Self-esteem Commonly reported within the limited father-daughter
research is the positive influence a father can have on the self-esteem of
his daughter (Baruch & Barnett, 1975; Carlson, 2006; Liu, 2008).
Baruch and Barnett (1975) found that females who are better able to
identify with and relate to their fathers had higher levels of self-esteem,
independence, and success. Additionally, greater father participation in
child rearing was associated with less stereotypical views of gender roles.
This is especially significant in that Lamb (1981) stated that negative,
and overly rigid, views of femininity (e.g., dependent, primary caregiver)
hamper a daughter’s positive notions of femininity (e.g., warmth,
expressiveness, and empathy) which greatly facilitates the development
of her self-concept.
This idea is further supported by Wenk et al. (1994), who found that
feeling close to father had a significantly positive effect on both the self-
esteem and life satisfaction of daughters. Likewise, Roberts and
Bengtson (1993) suggested that greater father-daughter affection early in
a daughter’s adult life may contribute to later well-being by bolstering
Life satisfaction Ryff (1989) indicated that measures of life
satisfaction, as opposed to previous measures of happiness, are most
appropriate when examining the construct of psychological well-being.
Her argument is based on the supposition that life satisfaction measures
enduring characteristics of psychological well-being rather than short-
term well-being. Current research examining the life satisfaction of
offspring shows parent-child interactions to be the strongest predictors of
life satisfaction in adolescent offspring (Leung & Leung, 1992). Using
different methodology, Amato (1994) found that a daughter’s closeness
and support from her father was significantly associated with her life
Psychological Distress In an examination of adult daughter-parent
relationships and the corresponding associations with daughters’
subjective well-being and psychological distress, Barnett, Kibria, Baruch,
Allgood, Beckert, & Peterson FATHER INVOLVEMENT 99
and Pleck (1991) defined and measured psychological distress in terms of
anxious and depressive symptomatology. Based on their review of the
literature, they hypothesized that daughter-father role quality relates
inversely to psychological distress, with high role quality related to low
levels of anxiety and depression, and low role quality related to high
levels of anxiety and depression.
The literature highlights three constructs that relate to daughters’
well-being, which includes father involvement, as indicated by the
amount or quantity of time that fathers are involved in various domains
of their daughter’s lives, nurturant fathering, or the affective quality of
fathering, and psychological well-being, defined in terms of self-esteem,
life satisfaction, and psychological distress. By examining these
constructs, as a means of understanding how fathers influence their
daughters’ development during the transition from adolescence to
adulthood, we suggest the following hypotheses that guided the current
There will be a positive relationship between self-esteem and
retrospective perceptions of father involvement and nurturant fathering
There will be a positive relationship between life satisfaction and
retrospective perceptions of father involvement and nurturant fathering
There will be a negative relationship between psychological distress
and retrospective perceptions of father involvement and nurturant
fathering during adolescence.
The use of retrospective reports, provided by emerging adult
daughters, to assess perceived levels of father involvement and nurturant
fathering, is based on previous research which has demonstrated that
individuals’ perceptions are uniquely associated with the experiences that
individuals report (Harter, Whitesell, & Kowalski, 1992; Khaleque &
Rohner, 2002; Rohner, 1986; Rohner & Veneziano, 2001). In other
words, a father’s impact on his daughter is more accurately reflected in
the daughter’s perception of his involvement, rather than the nature of his
actual involvement (Finley & Schwartz, 2004).
Female participants in this study were recruited from university
general education classes at a public university in the western United
States. Female college students were chosen for three reasons. First,
females are of primary interest because as Secunda (1992) observed, of
all the family ties, the father-daughter relationship is the least understood
100 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
and least studied. Second, Arnett (2000) stated that emerging adulthood
might be an appropriate time to gather retrospective reports of parenting
because emerging adults often reflect back and look forward as they
prepare to face the challenges of adulthood. Thus, an inclusion criterion
for age was 18-21 years, which scholars defined as the unattached young
adult stage of life (Carter & McGoldrick, 2005; Fulmer, 2005). Third,
students who enroll in general education classes tend to be in their first or
second year of college and are typically younger than students who are
taking classes for a declared major. The response rate for this study was
100%. All participants were single females between the ages of 18 and
21 years of age, with a mean age of 19.73 (SD= .87). The mean years of
education completed for participants was 14.15 (SD=1.07). Almost all of
the participants were Caucasian (97%).
According to the data provided by the emerging adult daughters in
our sample, the mean age for participants’ fathers was 50.9 (SD= 5.63),
and the mean years of education completed was 16.4 (SD= 2.48) years.
Like daughters, the large majority of fathers were reported to be
The Father Involvement Scale (FIS) is a 20-item measure designed to
assess adolescent and adult children’s retrospective perceptions of their
fathers’ involvement (see Finley & Schwartz, 2004). Each question was
asked in two forms, the first focusing on how involved their fathers were,
as perceived in retrospect, and the second on how involved the daughters
wished their fathers had been. Questions referring to both perceived and
desired involvement were answered using a 5-point Likert scale. Total
scores for reported and desired involvement were created by summing
the respective domain ratings with possible scores ranging from 20 to
Internal consistency tests for all three subscale scores (expressive
involvement, instrumental involvement, and mentoring/advising
involvement) and total reported FIS score revealed high Cronbach’s
alpha coefficients ranging from .90-.97 (Finley & Schwartz, 2004).
The Nurturant Fathering Scale (Finley, 1998; Williams & Finley,
1997) is a 9-item measure designed to assess the affective quality of
fathering. Each question was rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale that
participants use to characterize their relationship with their father or
father figure. Total scores were created by adding all 9 items, with
possible scores ranging from 9 to 45. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for
scores on the Nurturant Fathering Scale and the subscales have been
performed in a number of studies with a range of .88-.95 (Finley, 1998;
Finley & Schwartz, 2004; Williams & Finley, 1997).
Allgood, Beckert, & Peterson FATHER INVOLVEMENT 101
The Outcome Questionnaire 10.2 (OQ-10.2) (Lambert, Finch,
Okiishi, Bulingame, McKelvey, & Reisinger, 1998) is a 10-item, Likert-
type scale that has a primary function of tracking patient progress during
treatment for psychological disorders (Lambert et al., 1998). The OQ –
10.2 has two identifiable subscales: 5 items for wellness (degree to which
people are satisfied with their quality of life) and 5 items for distress
(symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress-related disorders). The 10
items that make up the OQ – 10.2 were statistically selected from the 45
items that make up the OQ – 45.2.
The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE) is a 10-item, four-point
Likert-type, unidimensional measure of global self-esteem (see
Rosenberg, 1965). The RSE generally has high reliability of scores
within college student populations with a test-retest correlation of .85
over a 2 week period (Robinson & Shaver, 1973), and Cronbach’s alpha
coefficients for scores of various samples that are consistent and
generally quite favorable.
Researchers invited all unmarried female students in multiple general
education classes between the ages of 18 and 21 who had an identified
father figure in their life during their adolescent years, to participate in
the study. Interested students completed the 10 minute questionnaire
during class time.
Using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, the reliability of all measures
was tested for the present sample. The Nurturant Fathering Scale (NFS)
(.92), Father Involvement Scale (FIS; .94) and each of the subscales
(Expressive Involvement = .89, Instrumental Involvement = .86, and
Mentoring/Advising Involvement = .85) all had high coefficients.
Coefficients for the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (.87), OQ 10.2 life-
satisfaction (.85) and OQ 10.2 psychological distress (.79) were also
appropriate (Henson, 2001).
Consistent with Finley and Schwartz (2004), correlations among the
Nurturant Fathering Scale (NFS) and the Father Involvement Scale (FIS)
measures were large (Cohen, Cohen, West, & Aiken, 2003), with
correlation coefficients in this study ranging from .68 to .84, accounting
for 46% to 71% of the shared variance between scales. Also consistent
with the findings of Finley and Schwartz (2004), correlations among the
FIS subscales (expressive involvement, instrumental, involvement, and
mentoring/advising involvement) were large, with correlation
coefficients ranging from .75 to .93, and 56% to 86% of the variance
shared between subscales (see Table 1).
102 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
TABLE 1 Correlations Among the Nurturant Fathering Scale and
Father Involvement for female respondents (n = 99).
Subscale 1 2 3 4 5
1. Total Father Invol. - .93*** .93*** .92*** .82***
2. Expressive Invol. - .75*** .80*** .84***
3. Instrumental Invol. - .83*** .68***
4. Mentoring/Advising Invol. - .73***
5. Nurturant Fathering Scale -
Note. Invol. = Involvement; ***p<.001
Using a one-tailed Pearson’s r, bivariate correlations were conducted
to determine the positive relationship of reported father involvement and
nurturant fathering to the reported self-esteem of emerging adult
daughters. Correlations were computed separately for self-esteem and the
following independent variables: total father involvement, expressive
involvement, instrumental involvement, mentoring/advising involve-
ment, and nurturant fathering (see Table 2).
TABLE 2 Correlations Among Fathering Scales and Psychological
1. Total Father Invol. .37*** .35*** -.21
2. Expressive Invol. .39*** .43*** -.20
3. Instrumental Invol. .30** .24* -.18
4. Mentoring/Advising Invol. .33** .25* -.20
5. Nurturant Fathering Scale .39*** .55*** -.18
Note: Invol. = Involvement; Female Students (n = 99); *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001
For total levels of involvement, a correlation coefficient was obtained
for total father involvement scale scores and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem
Scale (RSE) total scale scores. As predicted, a significantly positive
relationship was found between self-esteem and overall perceived levels
of father involvement that accounted for 14% of the variance.
For Expressive Involvement, a subscale of the FIS, a correlation
coefficient was obtained for subscale items (a) caregiving, (b)
companionship, (c) sharing activities, (d) emotional development, (e)
spiritual development, (f) physical development, (g) social development,
and (h) leisure and RSE (self-esteem) total scale scores. As predicted, a
significantly positive relationship between perceived levels of expressive
involvement and the self-esteem of emerging adult daughters was also
found, accounting for 15% of the total variance.
Instrumental Involvement, also a subscale of the FIS, which includes
subscale items (a) discipline, (b) providing income, (c) protecting, (d)
Allgood, Beckert, & Peterson FATHER INVOLVEMENT 103
school or homework, (e) developing responsibility, (f) developing
independence, (g) moral development, and (h) career development was
correlated with RSE total scores. Although the association between self-
esteem and instrumental involvement seems to be weaker than its
relationship with total involvement and expressive involvement, results
suggest there is a relationship between a father’s level of instrumental
involvement and the self-esteem of that daughter, as perceived by his
daughter. As hypothesized, this relationship was in a positive direction,
and accounted for 9% of the total variance.
Mentoring/Advising Involvement, the final subscale of the FIS,
which includes the subscale items (a) mentoring, (b) giving advice, (c)
intellectual development, and (d) developing competence was also
correlated with self-esteem total scores. Again, as predicted, a positive
association between variables accounted for 11% of the total variance.
Lastly, perceived levels of nurturant fathering, measured by the NFS,
were correlated with self-esteem total scores. As expected, results
suggested that there is a positive relationship between daughters’
perceived levels of nurturant fathering and current levels of self-esteem,
which accounted for 15% of total variance.
To more fully capture the relationship between perceptions of
fathering and daughter well-being, the second hypothesis predicted a
positive relationship between life satisfaction and retrospective
perceptions of father involvement and nurturant fathering. A second set
of correlation coefficients was obtained using life satisfaction and the
same fathering scales and subscales used in the previous hypothesis.
Overall, there was a positive relationship between perceived levels of
father involvement, nurturant fathering, and the life satisfaction of
emerging adult daughters that accounted for variance ranging from 6% to
The third component of psychological well-being addressed in this
study was psychological distress. A negative relationship between
psychological distress and retrospective perceptions of father
involvement and nurturant fathering was hypothesized. A third set of
correlation coefficients showed a weak negative relationship between
perceptions of father involvement, nurturant fathering, and the
psychological distress of emerging adult daughters. However, contrary to
what was expected none of the correlation coefficients were statistically
The present study took a unique approach toward addressing father
influence on daughters’ psychosocial development by assessing the
perspective of the daughter; whereas most studies on parent-child
104 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
relationships assess relationship variables from the perspective of the
parent (Shek, 1993). This study also provides support for the use of
retrospective reports of father involvement and nurturant fathering,
adding a distinctive focus of retrospective perceptions during
adolescence specifically. Several studies have successfully used this
phenomenological approach to study a variety of constructs (Harter et al.,
1992; Khaleque & Rhoner, 2002; Rohner, 1986; Rohner & Veneziano,
2001); however, very few have used this approach when examining
perceptions of father involvement. In fact, to date, other than the work of
Finley and Schwartz (see Finley & Schwartz, 2004; Schwartz & Finley,
2006), no other published research has considered father involvement
and nurturant fathering from this perspective.
Overall, results supported the prediction that retrospective
perceptions of father involvement and nurturant fathering have a
moderately strong positive relationship with the self-esteem of emerging
adult daughters. These findings indicate that when emerging adult
daughters’ retrospective perceptions of overall father involvement and
nurturant fathering during adolescence are higher, the current self-esteem
of daughters is also higher. More specifically, these findings suggests
that perceptions of nurturant fathering, and expressive types of father
involvement, including such things as companionship, father-daughter
activities, and emotional involvement are important to the self-esteem of
emerging adult daughters. These results show general consistency with
previously cited literature (Carlson, 2006; Liu, 2008; Roberts &
Bengtson, 1993; Shek, 1993; Wenk et al., 1994).
When a life satisfaction measure was correlated with total FIS scores,
a moderately positive relationship was found. The interesting aspect of
this finding comes, however, when considering the amount of variation
among correlation coefficients for FIS subscales and life satisfaction
measures. For the Instrumental and Mentoring/Advising Involvement,
weak, positive relationships were found. However, for the Expressive
Involvement, a moderate to strong positive relationship was found.
These findings suggest that when considering the life satisfaction of
emerging adult daughters, perceptions of expressive fathering behaviors
may be of great importance. Findings of the present study also revealed
that perceptions of nurturant fathering were strongly related to the life
satisfaction of emerging adult daughters. This suggests that the
perception of having close, loving, and nurturant relationships with
fathers during adolescence strongly relates to the life satisfaction of
Allgood, Beckert, & Peterson FATHER INVOLVEMENT 105
emerging adult daughters. Again, these finding are generally consistent
with the larger body of fathering literature (Amato, 1994; Shek, 1993;
Wenk et al., 1994).
When psychological distress measures were correlated with total FIS
scores and FIS subscale scores, weak, non-significant, negative
relationship were found. The relationship between psychological distress
and NFS scores was also non-significant.
In general, the results for this particular hypothesis did not reflect the
overall trend in the larger body of fathering literature. Several researchers
suggest that father involvement is significantly and inversely related to
the psychological distress of child, adolescent, emerging adult, and adult
daughters (Amato, 1994; Barnett et al., 1991; Harris, Furstenberg, &
Marmer, 1998; Liu, 2008; Shek, 1993; Van Wel et al., 2000; Videon,
2005). Inconsistencies between the present study and prior studies may,
however, be related to the present study’s methodology. While all the
reviewed studies measured current father-daughter relationship variables
and current levels of psychological distress, the present study measured
retrospective perceptions of fathering variables to current levels of
Lamb’s Model of Father Involvement
Research specific to Lamb’s (1986) three-part model of father
involvement has shown all three aspects of involvement, namely
engagement, accessibility, and responsibility, to be related to a wide
array of positive developmental outcomes in children and adolescents
(Lamb, 1987; Radin, 1994). The measures used in the present study
captured several aspects of each of these dimensions of fathering and
were able to demonstrate that the quantity of father involvement, in all of
Lamb’s fathering dimensions, during adolescence, relates significantly
with current levels of functioning in emerging adult daughters. However,
the overall findings of this study provide some evidence that what might
be most important, in any dimension of involvement, is the quality of the
relationship and the degree to which it conveys a feeling of support, love,
and nurturance to daughters.
Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research
Because reports of father involvement and nurturant fathering were
only collected from daughters, the data solely represent correlations
between daughters’ perceptions of fathering and their own psychological
well-being. Based on the work of Finley and Schwartz (2004) and
Carlson (2006), the present study was conducted under the assumption
106 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
that regardless of a father’s actual behavior, it is the perception his
daughter has of his behavior that affects her development most. In order
to determine the validity of the study’s assumptions, it is important for
future studies to include multigenerational reports.
This was an exploratory study with correlational rather than causal
implications. Therefore, we caution against attributing cause and effect
and generalizing to any group outside the participating females in this
study. More importantly, because almost all of the participants in this
study were Caucasian, it is unwise to assume the results generalize to
other ethnic groups. Future studies could focus on replicating these
results on diverse ethnic populations. Another limitation of this study
related to the lack of demographic information collected from the
participants. Beyond reporting to live with the father during adolescence,
no information was provided about the type of home environment,
including the number of intact, divorced, sole custody, or stepfamily
participants. Further research should include an examination of these
limitations. Finally, retrospective views of relationships provide a good
first step into an understanding of the nature of the relationship between
fathers and daughters. A logical next step would include a developmental
perspective of the dynamic nature of the relationship by longitudinally
following the dyads across the daughters’ adolescent years into emerging
In conclusion, the findings of the present study provide correlational
support for Secunda’s (1992) observation that fathers can have a
significant influence on the development of their daughters. Results also
suggest that there is a significant positive relationship between
retrospective perceptions of both father involvement and nurturant
fathering during adolescence, and the self-esteem and life satisfaction for
these emerging adult daughters. More specifically, these findings suggest
further that retrospective perceptions of nurturant fathering and
expressive types of father involvement during adolescence might have
the strongest relationships with self-esteem and life satisfaction of
daughters in their young adult years.
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