A study of the impact of “boomerang fathers” — those who cycle in and out of their children’s lives — yielded surprising results for researchers. “Boomerang fathering” provided a type of stability in a daughter’s life that staved off her depressive symptoms compared to those adolescent girls whose fathers were completely absent.
The study, “Boomerang Fathers in Adolescent Female Depression,” was published in the National Council on Family Relations, Journal of Marriage and Family.
“Previous research has suggested that stressful experiences, like family instability, father absence or stepfather presence, contribute to an adolescent experiencing depression,” said Daphne Hernandez, University of Houston assistant professor and principal investigator. “This is not what happened in the cases of these youth. Boomerang fathering served as a protective factor for female adolescent depression compared to female adolescents who experienced instability, but not boomerang fathers.”