Children who continue to have contact with their fathers after a family break-up suffer less behavioural problems, says new research.
The study showed fatherly contact helped a child's behaviour
The study found that children who had infrequent or no contact were more likely to exhibit problems.
The study looked at 162 children from broken marriages over a two-year period. Of those, 18% had no contact with their fathers.
The research was part of the Bristol Children of the 90s study.
The study, based at Bristol University, is following the progress of 14,000 children born in 1991.
Professor Judy Dunn from the Institute of Psychology at Kings College, London, headed the study.
She said there was a lesson to be learnt: "Parents should make a great effort to get on well after they split up.
"They should put their differences behind them for the sake of the children."
The 162 children were interviewed initially at eight years old about their relationships with their mother, father or step-father.
The mothers were then asked to report on their children's behaviour.
"Our findings were unequivocal: more frequent and more regular contact was associated with closer more intense relationships with non-resident fathers."