Academics at the University of Newcastle, carried out a study of more than 11,000 British men and women, born in 1958.
The scientists asked mothers of children how often the father of their child took part in activities with them, including reading, organising outings and general “quality time”.
The findings, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, show that those children whose fathers spent more time with them had a higher IQ and were more socially mobile than those who had received little attention.
The study found that men tended to pay more attention to their sons than their daughters but that strong fatherly involvement in children’s early life can also improve a child’s future career prospects, the research shows.
The researchers warned that it was not enough for parents to live together, but that a father should be actively involved in a child’s life to benefit their development. The differences were still detectable by the age of 42.
Source: The Telegraph, 1 October 2008