The Power of Dad

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Two studies in Developmental Psychology were recently highlighted by the American Psychological Association.

In the first, Melanie Mallers led a study of 912 men and women and discovered that men who reported a good relationship with their fathers were less affected by stressful events later in life. The reason? Rough-and-tumble play replicates real-life challenges and provides inoculation against stress in the future.

Another APA study probed the relationship between achievements of grown children and parental mental health. Having more than one successful child improved parental mental health. However, having just one successful child did not have this same effect, and having even one problem child lowered self-report indications of mental health.

These studies came from Division 20, Adult Development and Aging. This group of psychologists has a special interest in development during adult years. There are over fifty specialized groups like this in the APA, focusing on areas such as teaching, clinical psychology, psychoanalysis, and neuropsychology. Members of the association typically join one or more divisions in their areas of specialty or interest.

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