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Helping fathers manage sons

Men's low participation in parenting programs must be turned around to prevent violence and antisocial behaviour among future generations of boys, according to new research

Men’s low participation in parenting programs must be turned around to prevent violence and antisocial behaviour among future generations of boys, according to new research


With the participation rates of fathers in parenting programs non-existent in some parts of Australia, a $2.6 million project is engaging and supporting fathers to help manage aggressive behaviours in their sons.

The Like Father Like Son project is being led by Professor Mark Dadds at the University of NSW and a team of international researchers including Professor Paul Frick from ACU’s Learning Sciences Institute of Australia.

Professor Frick says research has clearly indicated that children with serious conduct problems are at risk for a host of problems later in life.

“These include risk for later violence and criminal behaviour but also risk for other mental health problems, such as substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and suicide,” said Professor Frick.

“Finding effective treatments for children with conduct problems is critical and this project is innovative in that its primary goal is to test and implement strategies that enhance father involvement in the prevention and treatment of serious conduct problems, by fostering positive father-son relationships and by developing strategies to engage fathers in the child mental health treatment system.

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