Want to strengthen your father-daughter bond? A new study suggests taking up a sport together, after researchers found that relationships among fathers and daughters improved significantly once they engaged in a shared activity.

Published in the Journal of Human Communication and released this week, the study out of Baylor University in Texas found that the most commonly cited event that served as a turning point for the 43 fathers and 43 daughters questioned was playing sports together.

The participants were not related to one another. Women were a minimum of 22 years old, and fathers between 45 and 70.

Female respondents who played a sport with their father said they learned to compete, take risks and stand up for themselves, and enjoyed having their father all to themselves.

When asked to pinpoint the moment their relationship entered a turning point, women also mentioned working and vacationing together, marriage, and physical distance.

Among fathers, playing sports was likewise the most frequently cited activity they identified as marking the turning point in relationships with their daughters.

For some, throwing around a ball or coaching their daughter’s softball team established a unique bond with their daughter that couldn’t be shared with the mother or other sibling, while other dads added that the shared activity helped open up the lines of communications.

Other activities identified that helped bring them closer to their daughters included church functions, household projects and teaching them how to drive, while events included marriage and the moment their daughter started dating.

Meanwhile, a 2011 study published in the journal Development and Psychopathology found that girls who receive ‘lower quality fathering’ tend to engage in more risky sexual behavior during their adolescence, while the opposite was true of girls who were brought up by engaged, supportive dads.

Content provided by AFP relaxnews.