Synopses & Reviews
Biller, well known for his extensive research into the impacts of involved fathering or the absence thereof, provides a comprehensive, straightforward analysis of just how important paternal involvement really is. He describes the great advantages accruing to a child when the father, as well as the mother, actively participates in the parenting process. Fathers who sustain high interest and a true presence in a child's nurturing significantly influence body image, self-esteem, moral standards, intellectual achievement, and social competency. The benefits, Biller shows, extend beyond the father-child relationship and include heightened spousal satisfaction and a sense of overall family well-being. The reciprocal influences of father, mother, and child development, are considered within a lifespan biopsychosocial perspective.
This is an important and compelling treatment of a topic of immense concern not only to individual families but to society as a whole. Biller, by relating specific issues to fathers' roles and influences, offers the first integrated analysis of just how important a father's caring presence and active involvement is to his child's--and spouse's--psychosocial well-being. This balanced study of paternal factors addresses not only such issues as nurturance, discipline, and the cultivation of self-esteem, intelligence, and creativity but also family problems so evident in current society. There is a thorough analysis concerning complex connections among gender roles, parenting, and personality development. The work is highly substantive, realistic, and encouraging in its potential for guidance and offers insightful, useful conclusions on paternal behavior and influences.
[This] is a much needed addition to the growing literature on the important contributions men make to children. . . . Using the most recent research, case studies, and personal reflections, Biller makes a compelling argument against rigid gender roles that keep mothers overburdened and encourage father neglect. This book will make an excellent central or supplementary text in psychology and sociology courses on individual and family development. It is a book that will be kept for reference long after the course is over.Jane R. Dickie Professor of Child Psychology Director of Women's Studies Hope College
Henry Biller has written a masterful book on fathers that provides the most thorough coverage I have ever seen. He blends clinical insights with research knowledge to reach a level of understanding about fathers never before achieved. I highly recommend this book.John W. Santrock Professor, School of Human Development University of Texas at Dallas
A unique combination of research findings concerning paternal involvement in childrearing and advice for parents emerging from these data. . . . It is rare to find a university researcher who can skillfully apply his own results, as well as those of colleagues, to real problems confronting family members.Norma Radin Professor Emeritus University of Michigan School of Social Work
"The book would be a vaulable sourcebook for professionals who could refer to it for studies relating to most questions about fathering....Actually, the book is a comprehensive parenting guide for both mothers and fathers." Family Relations
Biller gives compelling evidence that fathers--so relatively under-researched--are very important to sound child development. He focuses on the positive results of active paternal involvement that affect an overall family environment, which is distributively nurturing and satisfying. The presence of a caring father encourages a child's body image, self-esteem, moral standards, and other important qualities. The child-father relationship is demonstrated to impact later life adjustment. Biller establishes, too, that variations in paternal involvement influence not only children but general family well-being including spousal relationships. This is a needed and timely work essential to understanding fathers' roles and potential in family life.
About the Author
HENRY B. BILLER is Professor of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island, where he has taught since 1970.
Table of Contents
The Two-Parent Advantage
Father, Mother, and Infant
Partners in Parenting
Gender, Individuality, and Identity
Nurturance, Discipline, and Morality
Intelligence and Creativity
Family, School, and Education
Assertiveness and Independence
Body Image, Athletics, and Fitness
Intimacy, Sexuality, and Social Adjustment
Child and Family Problems
Family, Community, and Society
Suggestions for Further Reading