Summary of findings: Based on the experiences of 30,000 children, the research found that ‘a child’s performance at secondary school, self-esteem and well being as an adult is linked especially to the father’s input’ and ‘children are 40% more likely to suffer mental health problems when separated from their fathers’.  On average, ‘children are less likely to fail at school or suffer depression the more they see their separated father.

Report by Professor Judy Dunn and Professor Lord Richard Layard on behalf of the Children’s Society [2010]

Judy Dunn is professor of developmental psychology at King’s College London, and was chair of The Good Childhood Inquiry. Richard Layard is director of the Well-being Programme in the LSE Centre for Economic Performance.

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