Fathers Are 'Cautionary Tales' Concerning Health.


Some adults see their mothers and fathers as still influencing their own health, but in very different ways. In interviews with 45 married couples, researchers at Ohio State University, Columbus, found that mothers influenced their adult children's health in the same way they had through life--by being there when they are needed to help their offspring get through a health crisis.

However, when it comes to dads... well, they are most helpful by showing their adult children what not to do to stay healthy. "Adults in our study sometimes talked about how they were affected by their fathers having really poor health behaviors, like smoking or heavy drinking," says lead author Alexandra Kissling, doctoral student in sociology. "They really wanted to make sure they didn't make the same mistakes."

Kissling conducted the study with Corinne Reczek, professor of sociology. Their results were published in the Journal of Family Issues. The researchers did in-depth interviews with 90 adults (comprising 45 married...

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