The society is finally catching up to information that children have known all along, the father plays a very important role and this has been further verified by research on various fronts.
Here I am just going to highlight some of them so that you will understand that fatherlessness is no small thing and that unless fathers step up to the plate and do what is necessary to salvage our society from the claws of destruction, then it will only get worse.
With utmost respect for the role mothers play in the lives of their child, we do not point this facts out to undermine that role but rather to solidify the claim that children need both parents.
As Dr. James Dobson highlights in his book –Dads and Daughters, ‘..dads can’t be moms and moms can’t be dads..’
So here it goes…
Absence of Fathers and Poverty
Children raised in homes where the father is absent are almost 4 times likely to be poor compared to those raised in homes with both parents present.
In fact, the data went on to show that poverty rate in families where both parents were around was 12% compared to 44% in homes where only the mother was available.
U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.
Fatherlessness and Substance abuse among Children
A research done by Colombia University as stated in the 1999 issue of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly indicated that the odds of engaging in substance abuse are higher, by 68%, for children living in a two-parent home but with a strained father-child relationship compared to ALL two-parent homes.
The research went on to indicate that children in mother-only homes were even more prone to engage in substance abuse by 30% over those in two-parent homes.
According to a study reported in The International Journal of the Addictions of the year 1994, children who grow up in homes where fathers are absent, the children are 4.3 times more prone to smoke cigarettes than from those with fathers present.
Fatherlessness and Health (Physical, Emotional and Mental)
A child is adversely affected health-wise if the father is not present.
Infant mortality rates are higher by 1.8 times for unmarried mothers as compared to married mothers – this is according to a report by National Vital Statistics Reports of 2000.
Suicide rates has been found to be TWICE among children from single-parent homes. read more about this here.
Fatherlessness and Crime
In a research carried out in 2004 by the American Department of Justice on 7000 inmates, found out that 39% of them had been raised in a mother-only household.
In another research carried out on 13,986 female inmates by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in America showed that MORE than 50% grew up without their fathers.
An article published in the Social Psychology Quarterly of 1996 based on a probability study on 1,636 youth of both genders found out that youths from female-headed homes were more likely to commit criminal acts as compared to their peers from homes with both parents.
Fatherlessness and Sex
A study carried out in 2003 on 700 girls, “girls whose fathers left the family earlier in their lives had the highest rates of both early sexual activity and adolescent pregnancy, followed by those whose fathers left at a later age, followed by girls whose fathers were present.” More on this here. [accessed on 20.10.16 1400hrs]
It is reported that abortions are high among females who were raised in fatherless homes. more on this here.
Fatherlessness and Abuse
The risks of child abuse is immensely increased in cases where the father is absent more so, the biological father. The is risk of abuse is 3.5 More for a child raised without a father in the home according to The U.S Department of Health and Human Services and this risk goes up 10 TIMES if the parent is cohabiting with another adult. More on this here.
Fatherlessness and Education
It was noted that children who live without their fathers in their homes are more likely than the average child to perform poorly or if the separation happened during their schooling years to experience a decrease in performance and even drop out, this is according to a research carried out by Sarah Allen and Kerry Daly, “The Effects of Father Involvement: An Updated Research Summary of the Evidence,” Father Involvement Research Alliance (2007)
So the importance of Fathers cannot be overemphasized.