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Relationship with
Dad affects intimacy as adult

Relationship with
Dad affects intimacy as adult

A balanced father-child relationship correlates to your ability to form and sustain intimate relationships in adulthood, according to a study from the University of Haifa School of Social Work. Researchers analyzed 231 men and women, aged 22 to 32 years old, who had either lost their fathers to death or divorce between the ages of 6 and 12, or had lived with their married parents throughout their childhood.

Results showed that 82% of the children of married parents were involved in an intimate relationship while only 62% of orphaned and 60% of those who lived through a divorce did. the study also found that the greater the feeling of loss toward father meant less likelihood of establishing an intimate relationship as an adult.

"The results showed that orphans and children of divorced parents experienced different emotional connections with their fathers," explained lead researcher Nurit Nahmani in a statement. "The orphans tended to idolize their fathers, while children of divorced parents tended to feel frustration and anger towards their fathers.

"Forty-one percent of the participants whose father was permanently or partially absent reported a feeling of loss, often accompanied by a fear of being abandoned a second time and reported not being involved in a relationship," she continued.

On a brighter note, the study did find a potential for developing intimate relationships exists even when a father was absent during childhood. Orphans and children of divorced parents who overcame their loss as they matured, experienced a higher level of closeness and commitment when they were in an intimate relationship. (The Advocate)

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