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Sports, Other Shared Activity Aids Father-Daughter Bonding
Fathers and daughters agree on many of the events that affect their perceived closeness

FRIDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- For fathers and daughters there is considerable agreement in the events which affect their perception of closeness, with the main turning point being participation in activities together, according to a study published in Human Communication.

Elizabeth L. Barrett and Mark T. Morman, Ph.D., from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, examined the quality of the emotional connection between 43 fathers and 43 daughters (not related) particularly in terms of perceptions of closeness. They conducted a turning-point analysis to assess which events affected the strength of these bonds as the daughter was growing up.

The researchers found that the daughters reported a total of 129 turning points with six main categories, including participating in events together, with the most frequently mentioned activity being participation in sports; getting married, which brought some daughters closer to their fathers and distanced other daughters; physical distance; and having children. Fathers reported a total of 134 turning points with six main categories, which included participation in activities together, especially participation in sports; marriage of daughter; beginning dating; and physical distance.

"The turning points of closeness that emerged from the data from both fathers and daughters provide another interpretation of the critical moments of change influencing closeness within the father/daughter relationship and further support the theoretical conceptualization of closeness as not only an emotion felt between two people, but rather a lived experience grounded in and constructed by human interaction," the authors write.

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