Researchers watched dads interacting with their infants at three months and then assessed the same babies’ behaviour at twelve months.
They found that babies whose dads were more engaged at three months had fewer problems when assessed at twelve months.
But babies with remote or distant dads were more likely to have behavioural problems when they reached the age of one.
The report referred to research showing that the “roots of enduring behavioural problems often lie in early life, and the trajectories of behavioural problems often extend back into the preschool years”.
Dr Paul Ramchandani, who led the research, said: “We found children whose fathers were more engaged had better outcomes.”