Attention all soon-to-be dads: Becoming a father could be great for your health, according to a U.S. study slamming the myth that having another mouth to feed is a burden on your livelihood.
Researchers from Oregon State University discovered that men who become fathers for the first time show a decrease in the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and crime.
The team of psychologists reached this theory after studying more than 200 males aged 12 to 31 from neighborhoods afflicted withhigher than average crime over a period of 19 years.
The men were monitored every year, and a significant change could be seen after the birth of their first biological child.
“When men have a child they want to participate in the community and family. It is hopeful that for both older and younger men, tobacco use tended to decrease following the birth of a first child,” said David Kerr, lead author of the study.
Men well into their 20s and early 30s tended to change the most.
“When men have children they are more open to the possibility of change. There are also external pressures and less time to engage in this kind of behaviour,” Kerr continues.
According to Kerr, younger fathers have a more difficult time. “But it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.”