Results of our studies


Today an ideal father should not only be able to provide for the family but also be actively involved in child-rearing.

MOSCOW, October 23, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a study devoted to fatherhood and Russian attitudes towards modern fathers.

“Good father / “bad father”

Respondents were asked to give definitions to describe a “good father” and a “bad father”. Russians were offered to continue a phrase “A good father is someone who…”. The findings show that respondents tend to describe a “bad father” as someone who does not deal with child-rearing (37%). This is followed by an opinion that a “bad father” is someone who does not work, make money and provide for the family” (15%); this is followed by “a lack of care for family and children” (14%).


According to Russians, a “good father” is likely someone who takes care of his family and treats his family and children well (30%). Every fifth is confident that a good father is highly involved in child-rearing (21%), he works, makes money and provides for the family (20%).


On the whole, involved fatherhood is essential to Russians. According to their views, a good father not only provides for his family but is also actively involved in the upbringing, education and is very supportive.

“Involved fatherhood”

As to acceptable forms of fatherhood and father’s behaviors, most of respondents say that every man can be a good father to his children from the first marriage (88%) or can cope with child upbringing (70%), despite difficult situation in life (divorce or family break-up). Remarkably, both viewpoints are equally shared by men and women (85% of men and 89% of women for the first statement; 67% and 61% for the second statement, respectively). It means that a gender skew is minimal in this issue. 

According to Russians, a “good father” exercises rigor towards his child (77%) and treats the child’s mother with respect (65%). However, those who think that rigor or sternness is important are mainly male respondents (81%), persons aged 45-59 (83%) and those aged 60 (83%), whereas women (74%) and young Russians aged 18-24 (69%) and 25-34 (67%) are less likely to share this stance.


According to half of respondents, it is rather difficult to be a good father being far from children or living in another city (48%). This opinion is mainly shared by Russians aged 18-24 (53%) and 25-34 (58%), and metropolitan residents (61%).

However, the other half of respondents are confident that being a good father is possible even at a distance (50%). Those are basically older respondents aged 60+ (56%), as well as residents of small cities (less than 100,000 inhabitants) (54%) and rural area (54%).

An overwhelming majority of Russians consider that today fatherhood is trending (44%). This stance is supported by young Russians aged 25-34 (51%), and 35-44 (47%), as well as those Russians who assess their financial well-being as very good or good (49%).

Father to decide?

When it comes to children educational activities, the fathers’ involvement is of the highest importance, according to the survey findings. Indeed, 95% of Russians say that fathers should attend parent-teacher meetings. The same number of respondents believes that fathers should help children with their creative assignments (handcrafts, modelling, etc.) (90%). According to 88% of respondents, fathers should check homework; 86% think they should help search for activities, classes and tutors for children. It is also important for a good father to participate in school parties (89%) and attend meetings of parents’ committees (80%).


The results of the survey suggest that today Russians highly appreciate fathers involvement. This is especially true for younger respondents and is not gender-specific.

VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on October 17 and 19, 2019. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

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