Biological Father Vs. Stepfather: Children Of Single Moms Grow Up More Well-Adjusted When Birth Dad Is Present, Study Says

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 30, 04:00 am

Children of single moms grow up well-adjusted if their biological dad is present in their lives. According to a new study, a stepfather cannot replace or replicate a biological father's impact on the child's development.

Experts from the London School of Economics (LSE) conducted the study among 7-year-old kids. They analyzed data based on a Millennium Cohort Study done in 2000 to 2002 among 19,000 children.

They learned that even as the biological father leaves the home and a stepfather assumes his role, a child won't progress physically, emotionally or academically better. Their findings were published in the European Journal of Population.

The researchers noted the ideal scenario would be for the children to have their biological dad remain in the family. The kids in the study whose birth dads were present scored better in tests and exhibited less anxieties. Kids whose moms remained single, on the other hand, also showed better results than kids with stepdads.

"[Our research] shows the important positive influence a biological father can have on his child's life if he joins and stays with the family unit," LSE's Dr. Berkay Ӧzcan said, as per the press release. "The arrival of a stepfather - in this particular context - does not have a similar impact."

The findings also highlighted how children of single moms do better despite society's perception and misconceptions of a one-parent household. "Perhaps unsurprisingly, those children who experience more stability at home - including if a mother remains on her own - benefit cognitively and socially and emotionally," Ӧzcan added.

Ӧzcan also said their study doesn't promote an unconventional living arrangement. They hope, however, it will help modern families find a better agreement as far as the kids are concerned.

What are your thoughts on the findings? Do you agree that stepfathers do not have impact on the kids? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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