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What Is the Definition of “Daddy Issues”?

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From the U.S.: The “daddy issue” is a problem and no professionals seem to have done research on it or come up with an actual term for it. When I say”daddy issue” I mean a the effects on a child of a father is abusive, absent, in and out. Also, how and where to get help.
Everyone has their opinion about what it is, but why isn’t there a professional talking about this problem?

What Is the Definition of “Daddy Issues”?

Answered by on -


The reason professionals aren’t talking/researching “daddy issues” is that it isn’t a diagnosis. It’s a term in the conventional wisdom that simply means that a person has had such a complicated and troubling relationship with her or his father that it has a negative impact on the ability to make a healthy relationship with an adult male later in life.

That difficulty can result in a number of diagnoses including anxiety and depression. If abuse of the child was part of the picture, PTSD may be an outcome. More usually, what are called “daddy issues” create problems in forming a romantic relationship.

If the person with such issues is in a relationship, the most helpful treatment is probably couples therapy. A trained couples therapist can help both members of the couple identify if and how the relationship with the father is contaminating their relationship and can provide guidance for overcoming it.

If the person is not in a relationship, individual therapy to identify and reverse negative patterns learned in childhood can be very helpful.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

What Is the Definition of “Daddy Issues”?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). What Is the Definition of “Daddy Issues”?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.