Growing Up in Scotland: father-child relationships and child socio-emotional wellbeing

Research report providing insight into the nature of father-child relationships in Scotland.


1 For more information, see

2 Children were invited to indicate agreement with nine statements, for example "My Dad cares about me", "If my Dad knows something is bothering me, he asks me about it". Responses were on a 4-point scale from (1) "never true" to (4) "always true". For full details, see section 2.2.


4 Average scores are: father-child relationships 3.49 (95% confidence interval 3.46 to 3.51) and mother-child relationships 3.60 (95% confidence interval 3.58 to 3.62).

5 For girls, average scores are: father-child relationships 3.53 (95% confidence interval 3.50-3.56) and mother-child relationship 3.66 (95% confidence interval 3.64-3.68). For boys, average scores are: father-child relationships 3.44 (95% confidence interval 3.40-3.49) and mother-child relationships 3.55 (95% confidence interval 3.51-3.58).

6 Fathers were asked what they felt about the amount of time they had to spend with the two-year old child, with responses coded as (1) plenty of time (2) just enough time (3) not enough time and (4) nowhere enough time. Responses were strongly patterned by employment status. Two-thirds (67%) of fathers who were unemployed said they had "plenty of time", compared to 35% of those working part time and only 15% of those working full time.

7 Although information on non-standard work schedules was not available at this time point in GUS, information on how often fathers worked evenings, nights and weekends was collected at the age 5 interview (from mothers).

However, there was no association between how often fathers worked non-standard schedules at age 5 and father-child relationship at age 10.


Email: Wendy van der Neut

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