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Fathers.com shares the statistics from some of their studies on the Effects of Father Absence: Millions of father-absent or father-neglect families carry on successfully. But few would say that they would not be stronger by having two caring and cooperative parents. The importance of fathers to the well-being of children is clearly shown by the variety of negative effects experienced by children of father-absent families, as reported by research.

- Half of the mother-only families live below the poverty line.

- The income of mothers in single-parent families one year after divorce is 67% of what it was prior to divorce, while income of divorced men falls to around 90% of pre-divorce income.

- Mother-only families move more frequently than two-parent families, subjecting the family to more adjustment stress and less stability in neighborhood relationships.

- Adolescents from mother-only families are more likely to be sexually active, and daughters are more likely to become single-parent mothers.

- Adolescents report receiving less help with homework and make decisions under less parental supervision in general than do adolescents from two-parent families.

- Adolescents in mother-only families report being more susceptible to peer pressure than adolescents in two-parent families.

- Adolescents in mother-only families are more likely to commit delinquent acts.

- Children from mother-only families did less well on standardized tests of cognitive development. Their difference in comparison to children from two-parent families was even greater on teacher evaluations such as grade-point averages and reports of behavioral problems in schools and with peers.

- Absence from school was higher for children from mother-only families.

- Girls from mother-only families are more likely to become depressed during adolescence and also express more aggression than other girls.

- Young adults who grew up in mother-only families were more likely to drop out of high school.

- Young adults who grew up in mother-only families have lower earnings; girls are more likely to receive welfare.

- Young adults from mother-only families are more likely to divorce.

- Young adults from mother-only families are more likely to commit delinquent acts and to engage in drug and alcohol use than offspring from two-parent families.


This author adds – “Three theories attempt to explain the negative effects from mother-only families: Economic deprivation, differences in parental values and childrearing practices, deprivation in neighborhood stimulation and support. All help to explain some aspects of the differences, but the basic fact is that FAMILIES WITHOUT A FATHER PRESENT SUFFER MANY AND GREAT DISADVANTAGES.”