Your level of persistence and determination may depend upon your father's parenting style, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Brigham Young University found that dads are in a particularly unique position to help their children develop persistence, especially in the adolescent years.
Researchers had monitored 325 families over a four-year period, and asked parents to respond to questionnaires regarding their parenting style, and children between the ages of 11 and 15 to respond to questions about school performance and attaining goals.
"In our research we ask 'Can your child stick with a task? Can they finish a project? Can they make a goal and complete it?'" co-author Professor Randal Day said in a statement. "Learning to stick with it sets a foundation for kids to flourish and to cope with the stress and pressures of life."
The results showed that fathers who practiced authoritative parenting, a demanding and responsive parenting style that provides feelings of love and aims to instill autonomy and accountability in a child, were more likely to have children who had a significantly greater level of determination, leading to better outcomes in school, and lower rates of delinquency.
However, fathers with authoritarian parenting styles and ruling with an iron fist by dishing out harsher and more punishment to children had less persistent children.
"There are relatively few studies that highlight the unique role of fathers," Padilla-Walker said. "This research also helps to establish that traits such as persistence – which can be taught – are key to a child's life success," researcher Professor Laura Padilla-Walker said in a statement.
"Fathers should continue to try and be involved in their children's lives and engage in high quality interactions, even if the quantity of those interactions might be lower than is desirable," she added.
Researchers said that while the latest findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that fathers are uniquely important to children's self-regulation and self-esteem, it does not mean that mothers cannot instill these values.
Study authors believe that fathers are more likely to influence a child's persistence because men take on the role of instilling these values more often because of societal acceptance and expectations.
"Our study suggests fathers who are most effective are those who listen to their children, have a close relationship, set appropriate rules, but also grant appropriate freedoms," said Padilla-Walker, according to ABC News Radio.
"Persistence is an important character trait to teach to our children and is meaningfully related to teen outcomes over time," she added. "We focus so often on things like genetic intelligence that I think it's refreshing to be reminded that good old-fashioned 'sticking with it' is really important, too."
The findings were published June 15 in the Journal of Early Adolescence.