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Did My Fathers Absence Affect My Development?

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My parents split up when I was ten years old. They got divorced legally when I was fifteen years old. From the ages of ten to fifteen I lived with my mother and I only briefly saw my father three times that I can remember.

What kind of an effect does this have on a child’s development?

Did My Fathers Absence Affect My Development?

Answered by on -


I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all answer for your question. But what I can say is that often that kind of distancing by one parent has some effect. But the range of possibilities can be anywhere from the child developing greater autonomy because he or she knows there is no support –to a sense of being abandoned.

The best way to move forward with this is to engage in individual therapy for brief period of time to talk about those developmental years. In this way, you can determine what effect your father’s absence may have had.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Did My Fathers Absence Affect My Development?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Did My Fathers Absence Affect My Development?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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