Fatherhood turns men to faith. Forty-four percent of dads attend worship services at a church, synagogue, or mosque, compared with 29% of guys without children, according to an eight-year study by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University.
"I've known a number of men who come back to church when their kids are born or when they are old enough to start asking their dads the really tough questions of life," men's issues writer Robert Wolgemuth told Scripps Howard. "Fathers start to wonder if God can help them to sort out their own lives and help raise their children."
Religious involvement was just one way that becoming a father changes the course of a man's life, the survey of almost 6,500 men found. Dads also typically earn more and move homes less than childless men.
"If fathering does not change your life, then you are not doing it right," said Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale's Child Study Center.
Fathers are also more concerned about some of the ways society is changing, found the study. "Once you begin to look outside of your own needs and selfishness, once you begin to worry about someone else, then you lift your eyes above the next horizon," commented Pruett, "and when you do, you realize that there is plenty to be worried about."