The (Neglected) role of the father in Children's mental health

Eleonora Papaleontiou - Louca*, Omar Al Omari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although the bulk of the literature on child development, historically, has focused on the significant role of the mother, less attention has been given to that of the father. Therefore, more attention has been given to fathers’ roles in the last 20–30 years. Aim: The aim of the current review was to explore the role of the father on a child's development. Methods: An extensive literature search using 'Psycharticles', ‘PsychInfo’, and ‘Google Scholar’ databases using terms like 'father's role', 'child/children's', 'child development', and 'mental health' was conducted to achieve the objective of the study. Results: Fathers were found to play a significant role in nurturing their children. Fathers are considered to be important for the development of the child's autonomy, the shaping of gender identity, and the development of the moral system of the child. Usually, he is the one who establishes the feeling of security in the child's mind. He is considered to be the protector and defender of the family Freud's position is that the father is the symbol of security, power, and authority for the child. Conclusion: Although the original aim of the research was to draw a line between parents' roles in the family and shed light on the father's role, the findings suggest that the fundamental concept in nurturing children depends on the complementary roles of parents as children need their parents equally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100782
JournalNew Ideas in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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