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lasting Influences of Fathering on Female Development

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A look at Father Influence from a dual life-cycle perspecrive

A look at Father Influence from a dual life-cycle perspecrive


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  • 1. The Effects of Father Influences on Female Psychosocial Development Father/Daughter Relationship Dynamics
  • 2. 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
  • 3.
    • Although, the number of interracial marriages in the United States has been on the rise:
  • 4. The homophily principle (contact between people within similar cultures occurs at a higher rate than among those of dissimilar cultures),
    • This principal is said to structures network ties of every type, including marriage
    • Are African American men and women simply not coming in contact with one another?
  • 5.
    • Clearly African American men and women commonly live, shop, attend churches and play within the same communities.
    • Thus it seems probable that, the rate of African-American relationships and, marriages should increase due to the mere propinquity in their everyday shared life experiences.
  • 6.
    • 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.
  • 7.
    • A.A. women are said to experience this crisis in their unsuccessful attempts at:
    • dating
    • forging relationships
    • becoming married
    • remaining together with African-American men.
  • 8.
    • What are the possible causal pathways for the deterioration of A.A. male/female relationships?
    • An approach to understanding these relationships can began by exploring the primary male-female relationship; fathers and daughters
  • 9.
    • 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 ”.
  • 10.
    • What happens over time (after the Sanctuary Phase), to the fathers whose daughters described the first decade of their relationship so fondly?
  • 11.
    • A large number of respondents said their fathers began to disconnect from them, let them down and disappoint them time and time again
  • 12.
    • Disappointment
    • Lost trust
    • Emotional disconnection
    • Abandonment.
  • 13.
    • The challenge it seems is in understanding and identifying why, and at what point, the a disconnect occurs in the father-daughter relationships
    • What factors contribute to it’s deterioration?.
  • 14.
    • 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.
  • 15. For more information or to schedule a father/daughter workshop in your area contact: Karen Davis-Johnson, MSW Cultural Enrichment Center (CEC) Parenting College Dads and Daughters Network © 708-372-2504 Email: [email_address] log: http://4dadsanddaughters.blogspot.com/