A study by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research has revealed that the presence of the father during boys' teenage years can help in more ways than one, especially in reducing risky and deviant behavior. The presence or absence of a dad did not make a big difference to girls
"The sense of security generated by the presence of a male role model has protective effects for a child, regardless of the degree of interaction between the child and father," said Melbourne Institute director Deborah Cobb-Clark.†
"Fathers provide children with male role models and can influence children's preferences, values and attitudes, while giving them a sense of security and boosting their self-esteem.
They also increase the degree of adult supervision at home, which may lead to a direct reduction of delinquent behavior."