The Effects of Father-Absence on Children

Published on March 2nd, 2011


• 72% of all teenaged murderers grew up without fathers. 60% of rapists were raised in fatherless homes.
Source: Cornell, Dewey et al. “Characteristics of Adolescents Charged with Homicide.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 5 (1987): 11-23.

• 70% of the kids now incarcerated in juvenile corrections facilities grew up in a single-parent environment.
Source: Beck, Allen, Susan Kline, and Lawrence Greenfield. Survey of Youth in Custody, 1987. US Bureau of Justice Statistics. Washington, D.C.: GPO, Sept. 1988

• Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school as their classmates who live with two parents.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1993.

• Fatherless children are eleven times more likely than are children from intact families to exhibit violent behavior.
Source: Barber, Nigel. “Single Parenthood As a Predictor of Cross-National Variation in Violent Crime.” Cross-Cultural Research 38 (November 2004): 343-358.

• Children whose fathers are absent consistently score lower than the norm in reading and math tests.
Source: Teachman, Jay, et al. “Sibling Resemblance in Behavioral and Cognitive Outcomes: The Role of Father Presence.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 60 (Nov 1998): 835-848

• 75% of teen suicides occur in single-parent families.
Source: Jean Beth Eshtain, “Family Matters: The Plight of America’s Children.” The Christian Century (July 1993): 14-21.

• Children who live apart from their fathers experience more accidents and a higher rate of chronic asthma, headaches, and speech defects.
Source:  Harknett, Kristin. Children’s Elevated Risk of Asthma in Unmarried Families: Underlying Structural and Behavioral Mechanisms. Working Paper #2005-01-FF. Princeton, NJ: Center for Research on Child Well-being, 2005: 19-27.

• 80% of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes.
Source:  Jack Block, et al. “Parental Functioning and the Home Environment in Families of Divorce”, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27 (1988)

• Compared to girls raised in homes where both parents are present, the daughters of single parents are 164% more likely to become pregnant before marriage, 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, and 92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages.
Source:  Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Atlantic Monthly (April 1993)

• A growing body of evidence shows a high correlation between fatherlessness and violence among young men (especially violence against women).
Source:  F.R. Duplantier, The Importance Of Fathers 08-16-1995, HERITAGE FOUNDATION HOME

• The absence of a biological father increases a daughter’s vulnerability to rape and sexual abuse by 900%. (Often these assaults are committed by stepfathers or the boyfriends
of custodial mothers).
Source: 1988 National Health Interview Survey conducted by the National Center for Health StatisticsNational Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The Effects of Father Absence

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