The Need For Father Involvement

Statistics from:  the “National Practitioners Network for Fathers & Families, Inc.”




�      According to 72.2% of the U.S. population, fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing America.

Source: National Center for Fathering, Fathering in American Poll, January 1999

�   An estimated 24.7 million children (36.3%) live absent their biological father.

Source: National Fatherhood Initiative, Father Facts, (3rd Ed.): 5

�   63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Census

�   90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Census

�   85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.

Source: Center for Disease Control

�   80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.

Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, vol. 14, pg. 403-426

�   71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.

Source: National Principals Association Reports on the State of High Schools

�   70% of all juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes.

Source: US Department of Justice, Special Report, Sept. 1988

�   85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.

Source: Fulton County, Georgia jail populations; Texas Department of

Corrections, 1992

�   The average man living at home spends 12 minutes a day with his children.

Source: James Levine, Working Fathers 1997, 23-24



� In 1996, young children living with unmarried mothers were five (5) times as likely to be poor and ten (10) times more likely to be extremely poor.

Source: One in Four: America’s Youngest Poor, National Center for

Children in Poverty, 1996

� Almost 75% of American children living in single-parent families will experience poverty before they turn 11 years old. Only 20% of children in two-parent families will do the same.

Source: National Commission on Children. Just the Facts: A Summary of

Recent Information on America’s Children and their Families. Wash, DC,



�   The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”

Source: USDHHS National Center for Health Statistics Survey on Child

Health, Wash, DC, 1993

�   Children growing up in single-parents households are at a significantly increased risk for drug abuse as teenagers.

Source: Rhonda E. Denton and Charlene M. Kampfe. The relationship between family variables and adolescent substance abuse: A literature review. Adolescence 114, 1994

�   Children who live apart from their fathers are 4.3 times more likely to smoke cigarettes as a teenager than children growing up with their fathers in the home.

Source: Warren R. Stanton, Tian P.S. Oci and Phil A. Silva.

Sociodemographic Characteristics of Adolescent Smokers. The International Journal of the Addictions 7, 1994


�   A study of nearly 6,000 children found that children from single parent homes had more physical and mental health problems than children who lived with two married parents. Additionally, boys in single-parent homes were found to have more illnesses than girls in single-parent homes.

Source: Gong-Soog Hong and Shelly L. White-Means. Do Working Mothers

Have Healthy Children? Journal of Family and Economic Issues 14

(Summer 1993)

�   Children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for

Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 1988

�   Three out of four teenage suicides occur in households where a parent has been absent.

Source: Jean Bethke Elshtain. Family Matters: The Plight of America’s



�   In studies involving more than 25,000 children using nationally

representative data sets, children who lived with only one parent had lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, poorer attendance records, and higher dropout rates than students who lived with both parents.

Source: Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur. Growing up with a Single

Parent: What Hurts, What Helps, 1994.

�   Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for

Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health, 1993


�   Children in single-parent families are more likely to be in trouble with the law than their peers who grow up with two parents.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for

Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 1998

�   A study in the state of Washington found an increased likelihood that children born out-of-wedlock would become a juvenile offender. Compared with their peers born to married parents, children born out-of-wedlock were:

  • 1.7 times more likely to become an offender and 2.1 times more likely to become a chronic offender, if male.
  • 1.8 times more likely to become an offender and 2.8 times more likely to become a chronic offender, if female.
  • 10 times more likely to become a chronic juvenile offender if male and born to an unmarried teen mother.

Source: Amy Conseur, Maternal and Prenatal Risk Factors for Later

Delinquency. Pediatrics, 1997


�   Adolescent females between the ages of 15 and 19 years reared in homes without fathers are significantly more likely to engage in premarital sex than adolescent females reared in homes with both a mother and a father.

Source: John O.G. Billy, Karin L. Brewster and William R. Grady.

Contextual Effects on the Sexual Behavior of Adolescent Women. Journal

of Marriage and Family 56 (1994), 381 -404

�   A survey of 720 teenage girls found:

  • 97% of the girls said that having parents that they could talk to could help reduce teenage pregnancy.
  • 93% said that loving parents reduced the risk.
  • 76% said that their fathers were very or somewhat influential on their decision to have sex.

Source: Mark Clements. Parade. February 2, 1997

�   A white teenage girl from an advantaged background is five times more likely to become a teen mother if she grows up in a single-mother household than if she grows up in a household with both biological parents.

Source: Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. Facing the Challenges of Fragmented

Families. The Philanthropy Roundtable 9.1 (1995): 21


�   According to a Gallup Poll, 90.3% of Americans agree that, “fathers make a unique contribution to their children‚s lives.”

Source: Gallup Poll, 1996. National Center for Fathering. Father Figures. Today’s Father 4.1 (.996): 8

�   A study assessing the level of adaptation of one-year olds found that, when left with a stranger, children whose fathers were highly involved were less likely to cry, worry, or disrupt play than other one-year olds whose fathers were less involved.

Source: M. Kotelchuk. The Infant‚s Relationship to His Father: Experimental Evidence. The Role of the Father in Child Development.  Michael Lamb. 2nd ed. 1981

�   Father-child interaction has been shown to promote a child‚s physical well-being, perceptual abilities, and competency for relatedness with others, even at a young age.

Source: E.M. Krampe and P. D. Fairweather. Father Presence in Family

Formation: A Theoretical Reformulation. Journal of Family Issues 14.4

(Dec1993), 572 -591

�   A survey of over 20,000 parents found that when fathers are more involved in their children‚s education including attending school meetings and volunteering at school, children were more likely to get A‚s, enjoy school, and participate in extracurricular activities and less likely to have repeated a grade.

Source: Father’s Involvement in Their Children’s‚ Schools. National Center for Education Statistics, Wash D.C: GPO, 1997

�   Using nationally representative data on over 2,600 adults born in the inner city, it was found that children who lived with both parents were more likely to have finished high school, be economically self-sufficient, and have a healthier lifestyle than their peers who grew up in broken homes.

Source: Janet B. Hardy. Self-sufficiency at ages 27 to 33: Factors Present between Birth and 18 years that Predict Educational Attainment Among Children Born to Inner-city Families, Pediatrics 99 (1997): 80-87

�   In a 26-year study on 379 individuals, researchers found that the single most important childhood factor in developing empathy is paternal involvement. Fathers who spent time alone with their kids performing routine childcare at least two times a week, raised children who were the most compassionate adults.

Source: Ricard Koestner, Carold Franz, and Joel Weinberger. The Family

Origins of Empathic Concern: A Twenty-Sir Year Longitudinal Study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 58 (1990), 709-717


�   In 1999, 57.6% of working fathers believed that their employer did not recognize the strain a father faces between the demands of his family and the demands at work.

  • 69% of workers between the 45-54 age group.
  • 40.6% in the 19-24 age group.

Source: National Center for Fathering, Tension faced by working fathers. 1999

�   In 1996, only 27.7% of working fathers gave the same response.

Source: National Center for Fathering, Tension faced by working fathers. 1999

�   71% of working fathers believe that they would be more productive at work if the employer implemented more family-friendly policies.

Source: National Center for Fathering, Tension faced by working fathers. 1999

�   In a 1993 survey conducted by Child magazine, both mothers and fathers ranked “being involved with children‚s daily life” above “being able to support the family financially” in a survey which ranked the characteristics of a “good father.”

�   A 1992 study at St. Paul Companies found that “staff who believed work was causing problems in their family lives were much more likely to make mistakes than those who had few job related personal problems.”

Source: James A. Levine, Working Fathers. 1997, 43

�   In a 1996 survey of 800 organizations, 69% of the respondents stated that a family-friendliness program produced a return that was equal to or greater than the cost. 47% personally observed an increase in productivity.

Source: William Mercer, Inc. Consulting Group, New York, 1996

�   A 1987 Fortune magazine poll found 30% of fathers said they had personally turned down a job promotion or transfer because it would have reduced the time they spend with their families.

Source: Dallas Morning News

�   In a 1991 survey, 75% of the men said they would trade rapid career advancement for the chance to leave more time open to their families.

Source: Dallas Morning News

Research compiled by: Ben George, Lakes & Pines CAC, Inc.

1700 Maple AvenueEast, Mora, MN 55051


Additional Info:

For every 100 Girls:

  • …enrolled in kindergarten, there are 116 boys.
  • …enrolled in high school, there are 100 boys.
  • …who graduate from high school, there are 96 boys.
  • …suspended from public school, there are 250 boys.
  • …expelled from public school, there are 335 boys.
  •  …diagnosed with a learning disability, there are 276 boys.
  • …diagnosed with emotional disorders, there are 324 boys.
  • …enrolled in college, there are only 77 men.
  • …who earn an associate’s degree, there are only 67 men.
  • …who earn a master’s degree, there are only 62 men.

Source:  Scholastic Instructor, Sept/Oct 2008


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