The Effects of Father Influences on Female Psychosocial Development Father/Daughter Relationship Dynamics
African Americans have lower rates of marriage and marital stability than all other ethnic groups in the U.S. Over the last two decades, the increasingly visible conflict between African-American men and women has come to the public’s attention in many forms thus, prompting the Department of Health and Human Services to establish the African-American Healthy Marriage Initiative (AAHMI). This initiative reported crisis level statistics: Statistics on Marriage, Divorce, and Living Arrangements
An increasing number of African-American (A.A.) women report experiencing a relationship crisis, specifically educated women, who often attribute their single status to a significantly small A.A. male dating pool.
When questioned about their primary relationship (father/daughter), many of the participants (90%) in my study of African American daughters age 21-26 expressed fond memories of pretend horseback rides, taking photos, outings, walks to school, watching dad prepare meals, acting silly and receiving compliments. They described their dads as warm, funny, loving and enjoyable to be with. They were simply Daddy’s Little Girl . I like to refer this moment in time the “ Sanctuary Phase ”.
Looking at fathers and daughters through a developmental lens offers a new way to understand some the complexities of their relationship and the areas in which they likely struggle as they learn to connect, remain connected.