We know fathers are important, so we wanted to take a moment to review how important a fathers role is, and wish everyone a happy fathers day.
1. In 2006 a study found that father-child contact was associated with increased academic function and a positive influence on socio-emotional performance. The study looked at 134 children during their first 10 years of life and showed those who had fathers involved in their life reached a higher level of academic achievement and experienced less behavioral problems:
Source: Howard, K. S., Burke Lefever, J. E., Borkowski, J.G., & Whitman , T. L. (2006). Fathers’ influence in the lives of children with adolescent mothers. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 468- 476.
2. In 2011 44% of children that had a mother only family were living in poverty and only 12% of children that came from married-couple families were living in poverty. So children without dads present are 4x more likely to be poor.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.
3. The incarceration factor: A 2004 study showed higher odds of incarceration for youths with absent fathers. Those youths who had never had a father in their life had the highest odds.
Source: Harper, Cynthia C. and Sara S. McLanahan. “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration.” Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (September 2004): 369-397.
4. A 2007 study observed mother relationship changes between birth and 3 years old and found that children born to single mothers showed higher levels of aggressive behavior than children born to mothers who were married.
Source: Osborne, C., & McLanahan, S. (2007). Partnership instability and child well-being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 1065-1083.
5. In 2000 a study looked at 109 juvenile offenders and found that family structure significantly affected delinquency rates.
Source: Bush, Connee, Ronald L. Mullis, and Ann K. Mullis. “Differences in Empathy Between Offender and Nonoffender Youth.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 29 (August 2000): 467-478.