RSS Feeds

Many men even do diapers, government's fathering survey shows, deflating the detached dad myth

Friday - 12/20/2013, 3:00am  ET

CHICAGO (AP) -- A government survey suggests the notion of the detached dad is increasingly outdated in the U.S.

Of the fathers surveyed, most who live with their children say they're heavily-involved, hands-on parents. Among those with children younger than 5, 90 percent say they bathe their children, change diapers, help them use the toilet or get dressed at least several times weekly. About 2 out of 3 say they read to their kids at least several times a week.

Among dads with children 5-18, more than 90 percent eat meals with them at least several times a week and talk with their kids about what's happening during their day. About half the dads take their kids to or from activities several times a week, while 2 out of 3 help with homework.

Researcher Jo Jones of the National Center for Health Statistics says the results are encouraging and important "because others have found the more involved dads are, the better the outcomes for their children."

%@AP Links

APPHOTO NY679: FILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, file photo, Matt Redmond, 3, and his father, Mike, ride a sled down a hill after an overnight snowfall in Baltimore. According to a government survey released on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, the detached dad is mostly a myth. Most American fathers say they are heavily involved in hands-on parenting, the researchers found. The nationally representative survey shows fathers' involvement has increased slightly since the government first asked in 2002, coinciding with research since then that bolsters the benefits of hands-on fathering. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) (21 Jan 2012)

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.