How Fatherhood Affects Men


The media and society constantly discuss what it is like to be a mother and how motherhood affects women, often eclipsing the experience of men and their children. However, having a child changes you, regardless of your gender. An addition of responsibility, love, and care comes from nurturing another human being. Outside of the dark circles under the eyes and a need to check on the little one, men go through as many changes as women. Studies show that men experience excitement, confidence, stability, and depression when becoming fathers.

Fatherhood and Emotions

It is inevitable for fathers to experience a change in emotions when they have a newborn. With the euphoria and wonder of creating a human comes the stark reality of responsibility. That is why men feel a natural sense of love and protection for their new child. However, they also endure depression and worry.

Studies show that new fathers from lower income families are more likely to suffer from depression than other demographics. Researchers found depression afflicted men in the following:

  • 13.3% of married fathers suffer depression
  • 14.7% of co-habiting fathers suffer depression
  • 18% of single fathers suffered depression

Researchers noted that in many cases, engagement and activities with the children helped reduce the negative emotions in gathers. They also found that a father’s self-esteem was positively impacted by spending time with the children.

New fathers are also more likely to be more empathetic towards others. With a child to take care of, they are more willing to think through others’ emotions and circumstances. Along with increased sensitivity, studies show that fathers are less likely to develop mental orders. Statistics show that parents suffer mental disorders 29.7% of the time in contrast to the 34.2% that non-parents experience. Thus, it is easy to see how emotions play a significant role in fatherhood.

Fatherhood and Finances

One of the most frequent events that occurs when a man becomes a father is that he accepts responsibility. Fatherhood leads men to seek stable, secure jobs so that they can provide for their child and family. In most cases, studies found that men stressed more about their financial situation than they may have in the past. They showed more of a willingness to curb spending and save for the future. Fathers are more inclined to spend money on practical items, rather than splurging.

Fatherhood and Health

There are physical changes that occur in men when they have a child, studies find. According to researchers, one third of testosterone levels drop in men during the first few weeks after the birth of their child. This can be associated with them displaying less aggressive tendencies to accommodate caring for a newborn.

Most men also experience an increase in hormones such as estrogen, prolactin, oxytocin, and glucocorticoids. Scientists believe that physical contact with their infant can affect a father’s endocrine system. Hormones such as oxytocin also referred as the “cuddle hormone,” cause men to bond easier with their child.

These hormonal changes also heighten father’s sensitivity to their child’s needs and their cries. A group study showed that 90% of fathers could detect their baby’s cry from other children’s. This illustrates the close connection that forms between father and child.

Fatherhood and Social Behavior

Men with children are more likely to engage in civil causes and religious institutions. Whether it is getting involved in charities, paying attention to political discourse, or going to a religious gathering, fathers are more inclined to participate in social awareness. Fatherhood also forms stronger ties with family and tradition.

At Family Law Advocacy Group, we understand how special fatherhood is. We believe the close connection between men and their children should be protected. If you are going through a divorce, our Rancho Cucamonga family law attorney are here to help! We will review your situation and come up with a plan that prioritizes your needs. Call today for a free consultation!

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