| 11°C Dublin

A heart-to-heart with Dad makes children happier

Children who regularly talk to their fathers about topics that matter most to them are happier than those who do not, according to new research.

Young people who said they talked seriously to their dads "most days" gave themselves an 87pc score on a happiness scale compared with 79pc for those who said they hardly ever spoke to their fathers in this way.

The findings, from an analysis of research from the British Household Panel survey into 1,200 young people in Britain aged between 11 and 15, were released by the Children's Society to coincide with Father's Day on Sunday.

Nearly half of young people -- 46pc -- said they "hardly ever" spoke to their fathers about important topics compared with 28pc who hardly ever spoke to their mothers about the things that matter most.

Less than a third of young people -- 31pc -- spoke seriously to their mother "most days" but only 13pc confided in their father that often, according to the analysis.

The study, commissioned by the Children's Society and undertaken by the University of York, showed that young people talk less to their fathers about important issues as they get older.

The data showed 42pc of 11-year-olds did so more than once a week compared with 16pc of 15-year-olds.

The charity said the findings were "highly significant" as academic research has shown that a child's well-being later in life depends on their teenage relationship with their father as well as with their mother.