Connecting Fathers: Fathers' Impact on Adult Children's Social Networks

Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2023 Jan;96(1):19-32. doi: 10.1177/00914150221106645. Epub 2022 Jun 13.


We examine the relationship between having an emotionally close and active father in an adult child's social network compared to having a father who is not close, or a father who was not named. We hypothesize that fathers provide both essential and important contributions to their children's psychosocial development, and those contributions continue into active adulthood. Using the 2015 UC Berkeley Social Networks Study (UCNets), we find that adult children who name an emotionally close father in their network tend to have more males as social ties, but not more female ties. We conclude that fathers continue to play an important and active role in their children's lives long after childhood.

Keywords: ADAR; adult children; attachment; family; fathers; life course; social network; social support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Children*
  • Fathers* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parenting
  • Social Networking