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Strong Father-Child Bond Yields Substantial Health Benefits, Research Suggests

BOSTON (CBS) -- Much is written about the importance of the mother-child bond, but we're learning more and more about the benefits of a strong father-child bond.

Charles Daniels of Dorchester was initially nervous about becoming a dad because he really didn't have one.

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Charles Daniels and his son Clayton. (WBZ-TV)

"Man, he was the best thing that happened to me," Daniels said of his one-year-old son Clayton.

"I never knew who my father was. I knew his name and I knew how he looked. But in terms of actually getting to know someone. The things they like, their nicknames, the food they enjoy, what they like to do for fun," Daniels said.

The bond between father and child is an important one. Cambridge pediatrician Dr. Michael Yogman has been studying the health effects of fatherhood for years and recently published a report in the journal Pediatrics.

"The benefits for the child are improved academic success, language development, social competence and a diminshment of adverse outcomes -- Less substance abuse, less delinquency, less truancy," Yogman said.

And dads certainly benefit as well.

"Fathers that are involved with their children, we can give you specific examples, experience the joy of play that they may not have experienced since the early years, if at all," he said.

Daniels, who is a social worker, started a non-profit called Fathers' Uplift to help those who may have lost contact with their children due to homelessness, incarceration, unemployment or substance abuse, reconnect with their kids.

"The goal is to provide fathers with the support they need, and the resources and the tools they need to stay engaged in their kids lives," Daniels said.

As for his own son, Daniels is giving him the gift of fatherhood.

"I didn't want to deprive my son of that. I wanted him to have the same things I wasn't able to have," he said.

Fathers' Uplift, Inc. has helped more than 100 local fathers make meaningful contact with their children.

If you'd like to find out more, you can call 617-987-5994 or visit their offices at 100A Warren Street in Roxbury, MA (Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM).

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