paternal behavior


Summary: The behavior patterns associated with or characteristic of a father.

Top Publications

  1. Lonstein J, de Vries G. Sex differences in the parental behavior of rodents. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2000;24:669-86 pubmed
    ..Understanding the mechanisms that generate sex differences in the parental responsiveness of rodents may indicate how similar sex differences in parental care are generated in other mammals. ..
  2. Martin L, McNamara M, Milot A, Halle T, Hair E. The effects of father involvement during pregnancy on receipt of prenatal care and maternal smoking. Matern Child Health J. 2007;11:595-602 pubmed
  3. Gleason E, Marler C. Testosterone response to courtship predicts future paternal behavior in the California mouse, Peromyscus californicus. Horm Behav. 2010;57:147-54 pubmed publisher
    ..that male endocrine or behavioral response to courtship interactions would be predictive of future paternal behavior. To test this hypothesis, we formed 20 pairs of California mice, and evaluated their behavior during the ..
  4. Wynne Edwards K, Timonin M. Paternal care in rodents: weakening support for hormonal regulation of the transition to behavioral fatherhood in rodent animal models of biparental care. Horm Behav. 2007;52:114-21 pubmed steroids (estradiol, testosterone, progesterone), glucocorticoids, oxytocin and vasopressin and paternal behavior are reviewed...
  5. Frazier C, Trainor B, Cravens C, Whitney T, Marler C. Paternal behavior influences development of aggression and vasopressin expression in male California mouse offspring. Horm Behav. 2006;50:699-707 pubmed
    ..This study provides further evidence that paternal behavior influences the development of aggression and associated neural substrates.
  6. Fägerskiöld A. A change in life as experienced by first-time fathers. Scand J Caring Sci. 2008;22:64-71 pubmed publisher
    ..Knowledge about first-time fathers' experiences during the early infancy of their children may bring about increased support from midwives and child health nurses. ..
  7. Fujimoto H, Liu H, Lopatina O, Brown D, Higashida H. Scopolamine modulates paternal parental retrieval behavior in mice induced by the maternal mate. Neurosci Lett. 2013;546:63-6 pubmed publisher
    ..These results indicate the involvement of cholinergic cellular signaling in the central nervous system in the maternal induction of paternal parental behavior in ICR mice. ..
  8. Harrison F, Barta Z, Cuthill I, Szekely T. How is sexual conflict over parental care resolved? A meta-analysis. J Evol Biol. 2009;22:1800-12 pubmed publisher
    ..We present a meta-analysis of 54 such studies, and conclude that the mean response was indeed partial compensation. Males and females responded differently and this was in part mediated by the type of manipulation used. ..
  9. Genesoni L, Tallandini M. Men's psychological transition to fatherhood: an analysis of the literature, 1989-2008. Birth. 2009;36:305-18 pubmed publisher
    ..Men struggle to reconcile their personal and work-related needs with those of their new families. ..

More Information


  1. Becker E, Moore B, Auger C, Marler C. Paternal behavior increases testosterone levels in offspring of the California mouse. Horm Behav. 2010;58:385-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Therefore, this period of development previously viewed as hormonally quiescent may be more active in response to paternal behavior than previously thought.
  2. O Connell L, Matthews B, Hofmann H. Isotocin regulates paternal care in a monogamous cichlid fish. Horm Behav. 2012;61:725-33 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results indicate that isotocin plays a significant role in promoting paternal care, and more broadly suggest that the convergent evolution of paternal care across vertebrates may have recruited similar neuroendocrine mechanisms. ..
  3. Gettler L, McDade T, Agustin S, Kuzawa C. Short-term changes in fathers' hormones during father-child play: impacts of paternal attitudes and experience. Horm Behav. 2011;60:599-606 pubmed publisher
  4. Alio A, Bond M, Padilla Y, Heidelbaugh J, Lu M, Parker W. Addressing policy barriers to paternal involvement during pregnancy. Matern Child Health J. 2011;15:425-30 pubmed publisher
  5. Perini T, Ditzen B, Hengartner M, Ehlert U. Sensation seeking in fathers: the impact on testosterone and paternal investment. Horm Behav. 2012;61:191-5 pubmed publisher
    ..These data suggest that adaptation processes of the transition to fatherhood are influenced by individual differences in personality traits. ..
  6. Gray P, Parkin J, Samms Vaughan M. Hormonal correlates of human paternal interactions: a hospital-based investigation in urban Jamaica. Horm Behav. 2007;52:499-507 pubmed
    ..These findings also highlight the importance of sociocultural context in human fatherhood while exhibiting parallels with existing data on the non-human vertebrate hormonal bases of paternal care. ..
  7. Sevil U, Ozkan S. Fathers' functional status during pregnancy and the early postnatal period. Midwifery. 2009;25:665-72 pubmed publisher
    ..although there was no significant difference in functional status for the husbands of pregnant women and the husbands of postnatal women, sociodemographic factors were found to have an effect. ..
  8. Akther S, Korshnova N, Zhong J, Liang M, Cherepanov S, Lopatina O, et al. CD38 in the nucleus accumbens and oxytocin are related to paternal behavior in mice. Mol Brain. 2013;6:41 pubmed publisher
    ..The neural circuitry and hormones that control paternal behavior are not well-understood...
  9. de Jong T, Chauke M, Harris B, Saltzman W. From here to paternity: neural correlates of the onset of paternal behavior in California mice (Peromyscus californicus). Horm Behav. 2009;56:220-31 pubmed publisher
    ..New fathers approached pups more rapidly and spent more time engaging in paternal behavior than virgin males. In each cage housing two virgin males, one was spontaneously paternal and one was not...
  10. Out D, Pieper S, Bakermans Kranenburg M, Van Ijzendoorn M. Physiological reactivity to infant crying: a behavioral genetic study. Genes Brain Behav. 2010;9:868-76 pubmed publisher
    ..These results point to genetic and experiential effects on HR reactivity to infant crying that may contribute to the explanation of variance in sensitive and harsh parenting. ..
  11. Rempel L, Rempel J. The breastfeeding team: the role of involved fathers in the breastfeeding family. J Hum Lact. 2011;27:115-21 pubmed publisher
    ..The experiences of these fathers suggest the importance of assisting them to recognize their unique contributions to the nurture of their children as members of the breastfeeding team. ..
  12. Luis J, Ramírez L, Carmona A, Ortiz G, Delgado J, Cárdenas R. Paternal behavior and testosterone plasma levels in the Volcano Mouse Neotomodon alstoni (Rodentia: Muridae). Rev Biol Trop. 2009;57:433-9 pubmed
    b>Paternal behavior and testosterone plasma levels in the Volcano Mouse Neotomodon alstoni (Rodentia: Muridae)...
  13. Alvergne A, Faurie C, Raymond M. Variation in testosterone levels and male reproductive effort: insight from a polygynous human population. Horm Behav. 2009;56:491-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Taken together with previous results in monogamous settings, these findings suggest that the endocrine regulation of reproductive effort is probably a general feature of human populations. ..
  14. Szentirmai I, Szekely T, Komdeur J. Sexual conflict over care: antagonistic effects of clutch desertion on reproductive success of male and female penduline tits. J Evol Biol. 2007;20:1739-44 pubmed
    ..We argue that the strong antagonistic interests of sexes explain the high frequency of biparental desertion. ..
  15. Ahern T, Hammock E, Young L. Parental division of labor, coordination, and the effects of family structure on parenting in monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Dev Psychobiol. 2011;53:118-31 pubmed publisher
  16. Bond M, Heidelbaugh J, Robertson A, Alio P, Parker W. Improving research, policy and practice to promote paternal involvement in pregnancy outcomes: the roles of obstetricians-gynecologists. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2010;22:525-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Obstetricians-gynecologists can play a greater role in promoting research, policy and practice to improve paternal involvement in pregnancy and childbirth. ..
  17. Jasarević E, Bailey D, Crossland J, Dawson W, Szalai G, Ellersieck M, et al. Evolution of monogamy, paternal investment, and female life history in Peromyscus. J Comp Psychol. 2013;127:91-102 pubmed publisher
    ..The results suggest monogamy and paternal investment can alter the evolution of female life-history trajectories in mammals...
  18. Bredy T, Brown R, Meaney M. Effect of resource availability on biparental care, and offspring neural and behavioral development in the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus). Eur J Neurosci. 2007;25:567-75 pubmed
    ..Together, the results suggest that resource availability affects biparental investment strategies, with subsequent effects on hippocampal development and novel object recognition in the offspring...
  19. Nakagawa S, Gillespie D, Hatchwell B, Burke T. Predictable males and unpredictable females: sex difference in repeatability of parental care in a wild bird population. J Evol Biol. 2007;20:1674-81 pubmed
    ..Our results suggest a need for a new theoretical framework that encompasses variation in the predictability and plasticity of parental investment by individuals. ..
  20. Gordon I, Zagoory Sharon O, Leckman J, Feldman R. Prolactin, Oxytocin, and the development of paternal behavior across the first six months of fatherhood. Horm Behav. 2010;58:513-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Results point to the role of PRL and OT in the development of human fathering and underscore their differential relations with patterns of paternal care. ..
  21. Tachikawa K, Yoshihara Y, Kuroda K. Behavioral transition from attack to parenting in male mice: a crucial role of the vomeronasal system. J Neurosci. 2013;33:5120-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, the downregulation of pup pheromone-induced activation of the vomeronasal system might be important for the behavioral transition from attack to parenting in male mice. ..
  22. Bäckström C, Hertfelt Wahn E. Support during labour: first-time fathers' descriptions of requested and received support during the birth of their child. Midwifery. 2011;27:67-73 pubmed publisher
    ..the results of this study could initiate discussions about how health-care professionals can develop support given to the labouring couple, with an interest in increasing paternal involvement. ..
  23. Kentner A, Abizaid A, Bielajew C. Modeling dad: animal models of paternal behavior. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010;34:438-51 pubmed publisher
    ..focused on the interactions between mothers and offspring, with little research directed at understanding paternal behavior. In animal studies, experimenters correlate paternal behaviors with those seen in rodent or primate mothers, ..
  24. Gleason E, Marler C. Non-genomic transmission of paternal behaviour between fathers and sons in the monogamous and biparental California mouse. Proc Biol Sci. 2013;280:20130824 pubmed publisher
  25. Bales K, Kramer K, Lewis Reese A, Carter C. Effects of stress on parental care are sexually dimorphic in prairie voles. Physiol Behav. 2006;87:424-9 pubmed
    ..These findings support earlier studies suggesting that the neuroendocrine substrates of parental behavior, as well as the effects of stressors, are sexually dimorphic in this species. ..
  26. Martin T, Martin P, Olson C, Heidinger B, Fontaine J. Parental care and clutch sizes in North and South American birds. Science. 2000;287:1482-5 pubmed
    ..However, neither Skutch's hypothesis nor two major alternatives explain differences between latitudes. ..
  27. Tallamy D. Evolution of exclusive paternal care in arthopods. Annu Rev Entomol. 2001;46:139-65 pubmed
    ..Females use nest construction or the act of guarding another female's eggs as honest signals of paternal intent and quality. ..
  28. Trainor B, Marler C. Testosterone, paternal behavior, and aggression in the monogamous California mouse (Peromyscus californicus). Horm Behav. 2001;40:32-42 pubmed
    Testosterone (T) mediates a trade-off, or negative correlation, between paternal behavior and aggression in several seasonally breeding avian species...
  29. Reynolds J, Goodwin N, Freckleton R. Evolutionary transitions in parental care and live bearing in vertebrates. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2002;357:269-81 pubmed
  30. Sheldon B. Relating paternity to paternal care. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2002;357:341-50 pubmed
    ..My conclusion is that although there are some cases where the models have qualitative support, we are a long way from understanding whether paternal care is commonly adjusted in relation to certainty of paternity. ..
  31. Moore T, Kotelchuck M. Predictors of Urban fathers' involvement in their child's health care. Pediatrics. 2004;113:574-80 pubmed
    ..In addition, support of universal health coverage for children might, in addition to other obvious benefits, enhance a father's engagement with his child's health care. ..
  32. MacColl A, Hatchwell B. Heritability of parental effort in a passerine bird. Evolution. 2003;57:2191-5 pubmed
    ..Using both parent-offspring regression, and an animal model approach, with a pedigree derived from ringing data, we show that our measure of effort has a significant heritable component. ..
  33. Van Roo B, Ketterson E, Sharp P. Testosterone and prolactin in two songbirds that differ in paternal care: the Blue-headed Vireo and the Red-eyed Vireo. Horm Behav. 2003;44:435-41 pubmed
    ..Our observations support the hypothesis that differences in paternal care reflect differences in circulating T and PRL. ..
  34. Bredy T, Lee A, Meaney M, Brown R. Effect of neonatal handling and paternal care on offspring cognitive development in the monogamous California mouse (Peromyscus californicus). Horm Behav. 2004;46:30-8 pubmed
  35. Komdeur J, Wiersma P, Magrath M. Paternal care and male mate-attraction effort in the European starling is adjusted to clutch size. Proc Biol Sci. 2002;269:1253-61 pubmed
    ..Experiments showed that the relative contribution of the male and female to nestling provisioning was unrelated to brood size. ..
  36. Houston A, McNamara J. A self-consistent approach to paternity and parental effort. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2002;357:351-62 pubmed
    ..It is easy to construct models that predict negative correlations between effort and paternity. ..
  37. Bales K, Kim A, Lewis Reese A, Sue Carter C. Both oxytocin and vasopressin may influence alloparental behavior in male prairie voles. Horm Behav. 2004;45:354-61 pubmed
    ..Since treatment with only one antagonist did not interfere with the expression of alloparenting, these results suggest that access to either OT or AVP receptors may be sufficient for the expression of alloparenting. ..
  38. Neff B. Decisions about parental care in response to perceived paternity. Nature. 2003;422:716-9 pubmed
    ..These results confirm the importance of genetic relatedness in parental care decision-making. ..
  39. Parker K, Kinney L, Phillips K, Lee T. Paternal behavior is associated with central neurohormone receptor binding patterns in meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus). Behav Neurosci. 2001;115:1341-8 pubmed
    ..autoradiography, the authors examined whether AVP and OT receptor patterns were associated with facultative paternal behavior in either sexually and parentally inexperienced or experienced meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus)...
  40. Clark M, Galef B. Age-related changes in paternal responses of gerbils parallel changes in their testosterone concentrations. Dev Psychobiol. 2001;39:179-87 pubmed
  41. Bester Meredith J, Marler C. Vasopressin and the transmission of paternal behavior across generations in mated, cross-fostered Peromyscus mice. Behav Neurosci. 2003;117:455-63 pubmed
    The role of arginine vasopressin (AVP) in the nongenomic transfer of paternal behavior from fathers to offspring was examined in Peromyscus. Male California mice (P. californicus) exposed to fewer retrievals by white-footed mouse (P...
  42. Parker K, Lee T. Central vasopressin administration regulates the onset of facultative paternal behavior in microtus pennsylvanicus (meadow voles). Horm Behav. 2001;39:285-94 pubmed
    Pharmacological experiments have implicated a role for central arginine vasopressin (AVP) in regulating paternal behavior in monogamous prairie voles...
  43. Kruckman L, Steinberg S. Reinventing fatherhood in Japan and Canada. Soc Sci Med. 2000;50:1257-72 pubmed
    ..Birth and early child rearing appears to have a significant impact on marriage in all four groups. Public policy issues are addressed and potential responses provided. ..
  44. Bester Meredith J, Young L, Marler C. Species differences in paternal behavior and aggression in peromyscus and their associations with vasopressin immunoreactivity and receptors. Horm Behav. 1999;36:25-38 pubmed
    ..We propose the hypothesis that aggression may be better correlated with species patterns of AVP-ir staining density and receptor distribution. ..
  45. Fleming A, Corter C, Stallings J, Steiner M. Testosterone and prolactin are associated with emotional responses to infant cries in new fathers. Horm Behav. 2002;42:399-413 pubmed
  46. Bressan P, Bertamini M, Nalli A, Zanutto A. Men do not have a stronger preference than women for self-resemblant child faces. Arch Sex Behav. 2009;38:657-64 pubmed publisher
    ..We discuss how the fast-response, multiple-question procedure used in previous experiments may have led to reports of a much larger self-resemblance preference in men than in women. ..
  47. Wilson K, Prior M. Father involvement and child well-being. J Paediatr Child Health. 2011;47:405-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Evidence summarised here suggests that fathers and mothers alike need to be educated about the fact that positive paternal involvement is highly beneficial to children. ..
  48. Burstein M, Ginsburg G. The effect of parental modeling of anxious behaviors and cognitions in school-aged children: an experimental pilot study. Behav Res Ther. 2010;48:506-15 pubmed publisher
    ..Results highlight the importance of parental modeling and the potential role of both mothers and fathers in prevention and treatment for child anxiety. ..
  49. Alter M, Gilani A, Champagne F, Curley J, Turner J, Hen R. Paternal transmission of complex phenotypes in inbred mice. Biol Psychiatry. 2009;66:1061-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Future studies are required to examine these interesting possibilities. ..
  50. Johnson A. Engaging fathers in the NICU: taking down the barriers to the baby. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2008;22:302-6 pubmed publisher
    ..This is a part of the ongoing nursing assessment that identifies family care needs and weaves interventions into the developmental plan of care. ..
  51. Arnott B, Meins E. Continuity in mind-mindedness from pregnancy to the first year of life. Infant Behav Dev. 2008;31:647-54 pubmed publisher
    ..Findings are discussed with reference to mind-mindedness being governed by caregiver-centered factors and differences between mothers and fathers in caregiving practices. ..
  52. Chauke M, de Jong T, Garland T, Saltzman W. Paternal responsiveness is associated with, but not mediated by reduced neophobia in male California mice (Peromyscus californicus). Physiol Behav. 2012;107:65-75 pubmed publisher
    ..To determine whether the onset of paternal behavior has similar associations in biparental male California mice (Peromyscus californicus), we compared paternal ..
  53. Seelke A, Perkeybile A, Grunewald R, Bales K, Krubitzer L. Individual differences in cortical connections of somatosensory cortex are associated with parental rearing style in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). J Comp Neurol. 2016;524:564-77 pubmed publisher