Father bonding and blood pressure in young adults from intact and divorced families

Danielle S. Roubinov, Linda Luecken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: The father-child relationship may uniquely affect offspring's physical and psychological health. Divorce may change the nature of the father-child bond and the long-term health consequences of paternal parenting behaviors. The current study investigated a possible biological pathway from father-child relationship quality to physical health outcomes in young adults. Methods: Cardiovascular stress reactivity to a lab-based challenge task and ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) were measured in young adults (mean age=20.1 years) from divorced (n=50) and intact, married (n=49) families. Participants completed self-report measures of paternal control and caring during childhood. Results: Higher perceived father control was associated with elevated BP reactivity to the task and higher ABP among participants from divorced families. Young adults from intact families who reported lower paternal caring demonstrated higher ABP. Conclusions: The family context may provide an important backdrop for evaluating the long-term physiological consequences of fathers' parenting behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Blood pressure
  • Caring
  • Control
  • Divorce
  • Fathers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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