Research suggests fatherhood can help anti-social young men become responsible members of society.
The study, by Victoria University's Institute of Policy Studies, surveyed working class men in the Wairarapa aged between 20 and 29.
The men had children older than one year and, before becoming fathers, had engaged in low-level crime.
The study found that, after becoming fathers, the men had more social outlets to become positive members of society.
"Suddenly you're a positive member of society ... you're a decent bloke, a dad and a worker," lead researcher Dr Gareth Rouch says.
Dr Rouch says the men were also more inclined to hold down steady work.