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‘Daddy’s Girls’ Are More Resilient And Cope Better With Setbacks, Apparently

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A new study has suggested that so-called ‘daddy’s girls’ are better able to cope with setbacks and are less likely to feel lonely.

Girls who have good relationships with their fathers are also supposedly more confident when they start school and perform better in class.

The study, published in Journal of Family Psychology, analysed early childcare data from over 700 families in the US. The subject fathers and mothers were asked to report on their relationships and conflicts with their children, while the children’s psychological wellbeing was analysed.

In contrast to the main findings, girls’ relationships with their mothers were found to have no impact on their experience of loneliness and resilience, as was boys' relationships with both parents. So the fact that father-daughter relationships proved such an anomaly is clearly worthy of attention.

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Although the phrase ‘daddy’s girl’ makes me feel a bit sick, I am very close to my dad. And the findings of the study do (on the whole) ring true for me personally.

But, if they are accurate, what’s the link?

Values instilled in girls by fathers from an early age is one theory. Rosie, 26, who has also had an extremely close bond with her father and identifies with the findings of the study, tells Grazia: “I’ve always been very close to my dad. We have similar interests, and he never treats me differently from my brother or expects me to behave in a certain way just because I am a girl.

“For that reason I have always had low tolerance levels for people who do expect that from me. In that respect, my relationship with my dad has always served me well.”

One of the authors of the study, Xin Feng, backs up the view that a varied, strong and supportive relationship between fathers and daughters is causal in the findings: “In our society, mothers tend to be responsible for everyday care and stability for their children. Fathers have more freedom to interact with their children in different ways, to challenge them and have a wider range of emotional contact. That may be one reason why fathers had more impact on their daughters."