Poll: Influence of fathers larger in children's lives, especially for sons

WASHINGTON - American fathers haven't caught up with mothers in influencing their children, but they've gained over the years, especially with sons, a Gallup poll says.

While 40 percent of men age 18 to 49 believe their fathers were more influential than their mothers, only 23 percent of men age 50 and older felt that way about their fathers.

Sunday is the nation's annual day to honor fathers.

In the poll, 28 percent of respondents said their fathers were more influential in their upbringing, while 53 percent said their mothers were, and 15 percent said their parents influenced them about equally.

The change has been slow, with 22 percent saying in 1951 that their fathers were more of an influence and 48 percent saying their mothers, while 25 percent said both were an equal influence.

Nine of 10 fathers said they were shown enough appreciation by their children, while 85 percent of mothers felt that way. Just over seven in 10 in the poll felt they have shown their fathers enough appreciation, while eight in 10 said that about their mothers.

The poll of 1,031 adults was taken May 5-7 and has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points, larger for subgroups such as mothers or fathers.


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