Date of Graduation
This is a qualitative study regarding the impact of good father-son relationships on the son's development between adolescence to middle age with a homogeneous group of middle-aged men. Literature regarding the study of father-son relationships is reviewed along with historical and current theoretical perspectives. The literature contains a great deal of information pertaining to poor father-son relationships and essentially no information regarding good relationships. The major focus of this study was then to identify the components of a good father-son relationship and describe the impact of these on the son's life. It was found that a "good enough" father-son relationship was based upon a lifelong, secure attachment between father and son. The nature of the attachment changed throughout the son's development but was never broken. This attachment was characterized by reliability, dependability, and trust, a good triangular relationship between mother-father-son, and a family environment not overly stressful for protracted periods of time. In a good father-son relationship, fathers act as a strong identification figure for their sons to model. The development of the attachment required that father and son had time together and did things together. It was characterized by the father communicating his love for his son, predominately in a non-verbal manner. Fathers were also able to find the right balance of exercising authority along with allowing freedom in guiding their son's development. In light of the findings of this study, two models, the double helix model and the continuity model of socio-emotional health, were synthesized (using two additional statements regarding the relationship between attachment and differentiation and the overall importance of attachment to human development.
Coombs, Wayne Francis, "The impact of good father-son relationships on the son's development from adolescent to middle age: A qualitative study." (1997). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8663.