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Why two parents are important

These statistics point to the suffering of our children associated with the lack of two parents.

Why two parents are important

The following statistics support that our children suffer from lack of two parent households:

PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH PROBLEMS

1. GREAT PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS

A. Single parent children 3 to 4 times more likely to have emotional or behavioral problems ( Zill and Schoenborn, National Center for Health Statistics, 1990)

B. 84% of teens hospitalized for psychiatric care come from single parent homes (1989 study, cited by Hewlett, When the Bough Breaks)

2. HIGHER SUICIDE RATE

A. Teens who attempt suicide similar to non-suicidal teens in age, income, race or religion, are more likely to have little or minimal contact with their father (Study of 752 families by New York Psychiatric Institute, cited by Hewlett)

B. 75% of teens who commit suicide are from single parent homes (Elshtain, The Christian Century, 1993)

3. MORE ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE

A. 18% of children with strict and involved fathers used drugs

B. 35% of children without fathers used drugs (1988 UCLA study, cited by Hewlett)

C. Children in father-absent homes are 4.3 times more likely to smoke as children in father-present (Stanton, Oci, and Silva, 1994 survey of 1037 15-year-olds)

4. GREAT FREQUENCY OF SLEEP DISORDERS

A. More trouble falling asleep, more nightmares, and night terrors (Psychiatrist Alfred Messer, cited by Hewlett)

5. PERSISTENT FEELINGS OF BETRAYAL, REJECTION, RAGE, GUILT, PAIN

A. Lasting for years with a renewed intensity at adolescence

B. Two-thirds [of father-absent children] yearned for the absent parent, one-half of those with an intensity we found profoundly moving. (Wallerstein and Kelly, 1980, Surviving the Breakup)  

6. LOWER SELF-ESTEEM

A. Especially true for girls (Dr. Robert Fay presentation at NCMC conference, 1992) (Davidson, Life Without Father: America's Greatest Social Catastrophe, Policy Review, 1990)

COGNITIVE/ACADEMIC ABILITY

1. LOWER ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

A. 38% of elementary students from single parent homes were low achieving, while 23 % of both parent children were low achieving (Nat'l Assoc. of Elementary School Principals report, city by Hewlett)

B. 30% of children from father-present homes were high achieving, while only 17% of children from father-absent homes were high achieving.

2. LOWER MATH SCORES

A. (Yale University study by Carlsmith, cited by Hewlett) (Cortes and Fleming, 1968)

3. GREATER FAILURE RATE

A. Elementary students from fatherless homes or homes with mother and a stepfather have to repeat

B. (National Center for Health Statistics study of 47,000 households by Deborah grades at a rate 2-3 times higher than children with both biological parents Dawson,1991)

4. LOWER SAT SCORES

A. "Dramatic" lower scores for students from father-absent homes (Columbia University and Bowling Green State University study of 295 from father-absent homes and 760 from father-present homes, cited by Hewlett)

5. LOWER IQ AND ACHIEVEMENT

A. Children who lost fathers before age 5 scored lower on Otis Quick Test and Stanford Achievement Test as junior-high and high-school students (Santrock, 1972) (Hetherington, Cox, and Cox study, 1978) (Cortes and Fleming, 1968)

6. MORE LIKELY TO DROP OUT OF SCHOOL

A. Children from fatherless homes twice as likely to drop out of school ( US Department of Health and Human Services, Survey on Child Health, 1993)

7. LESS LIKELY TO ATTEND COLLEGE

A. (Wallerstein, Family Law Quarterly, 1986)

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR

1. HIGHER RATES OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

a. Fatherless children are twice as likely to become criminally involved (Margaret Wynn, 1964) -72% of adolescent murderers, 60% of rapists, and 70% of long-term prisoners grew up in father-absent homes (US Department of Justice data, 1991)

2. GREATER DELINQUENCY FOR BOYS

A. 87% of Wisconsin juvenile delinquents are a product of father-absent homes (Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, 1994)

B. 70% of juveniles in state reform institutions grew up in father-absent homes (US Department of Justice data, 1988)

C. young black men raised without a father are twice as likely to engage in criminal activities (Hill and O'Neill, 1993) (Matlock in Adolescence) (Siegman, 1966; Anderson, 1968; Kelly and Baer, 1969)

3. GREATER DELINQUENCY FOR GIRLS

A. (Monahan, 1957; Toby, 1957)

4. MORE VIOLENT MISBEHAVIOR IN SCHOOL

A. Children who exhibited violent misbehavior in school were 11 times as likely to live without their father than children who did not violently misbehave (Sheline, Skipper, Broadhead, Aamerican Journal of Public Health, 1994)

CHILD ABUSE

1. GREATER CHANCE OF BEING PHYSICALLY ABUSED

A. Preschoolers living without their biological father were 40 times more likely to be a victim of child abuse as compared to like-aged children living with their father (Wilson and Daly in Child Abuse and Neglect: Biosocial Dimensions, 1987)

B. Premarital pregnancy, out-of-wedlock childbearing, and absent fathers are the most common predictors of child abuse (Smith, Hanson, and Noble, Child Abuse: Commission and Omission, 1980)

2. GREATER CHANCE OF BEING SEXUALLY ABUSED

A. 69% of victims of child sexual abuse came from homes where the biological father was absent (Gomes-Schwartz, Horowitz, and Cardarelli, Child Sexual Abuse Victims and their Treatment, 1988)

HETEROSEXUAL ADJUSTMENT FOR DAUGHTERS

1. MORE DIFFICULTY IN INTERACTING WITH MEN AND MALE PEERS

A. Daughters of divorcees aggressive, forward with boys and men

B. Daughters of widows shy and timid with boys and men (Hetherington, 1972)

2. YOUNGER MARRIAGES

A. Daughter of divorcees marry at younger age (Hetherington, 1972)

3. MORE UNWED PREGNANCY

A. Girls from fatherless homes 111% (over 2X) more likely to have unwed pregnancy (Warren Farrell presentation at NCMC conference, 1992; Hetherington, 1972)

4. HIGHER DIVORCE RATES

A. Girls from fatherless home 92% (nearly 2X) more likely to divorce (Warren Farrell presentation at NCMC conference, 1992; Hetherington,1972)

HETEROSEXUAL ADJUSTMENT FOR SONS

1. LESS MASCULINE, MORE DEPENDENT BEHAVIOR

A. (Santrock's study of 4- and 5-year old, father-absent boys) (Rogers and Long's study of 6- too 15-year-old boys where father employed away from home community, 1968) (Hetherington's study of 9- to 12-year-old, father-absent boys, 1966)

GENERAL HEALTH

1. MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES

A. Fatherless children 20-30% more likely to experience accidents, injuries, and poisonings that did father-present children (Remez, Family Planning Perspectives, 1992)

B. Compared to children living with father, fatherless children experience more accidental injury, asthma, frequent headaches, and speech defects (Dawson, Journal of Marriage and Family, 1991)

This information is maintained by Wisconsin Fathers for Children and Families
PO Box 1742 Madison, WI  53701
Wow. Do the statistics explore why this is?

What is different in a single parent home that causes these problems?

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.

Male Role Model

A lot of these statistics are American, but probably still valid in Australia as our cultures are not dis-similar.

A lot of the problems stem from lack of a stable, suitable male role model.

I've read a lot of early child psychology, it's interesting stuff.

With girls, your first "love" relationship is through your father and part of a father's role is to teach you how you should be treated as you grow up. Hence, a healthy relationship with Dad or stepfather = healthy relationships with men, with the converse being true.

Boys need to model their behaviour on male role models too - how do I handle conflict, anger, sadness and so on.

Children learn in the most basic way, by constrasting both role models (that's why Dad and Mum are equally important) and exploring the different behaviours.

As a single mum, what I did for my young men was get them into scouts and make sure they had lots of time with their Dad and now I have a really special partner who they look up to as well.

OK - Dr Phil hat going back in the cupboard now…

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
One thing that would have to be considered is social demographics and culture as well as sex of the parent. In many cases men are not groomed to be a hands on parent and would take more precautions thats perhaps would be considered over cautious and opt to spend time teaching the right way rather than let experience teach. One of my favorite saying is " Not on my shift " when I talk about my daughter getting a bit dangerously silly. Although now she just laughs and does it anyway.
  
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