Effects of Fatherlessness (US Data)
1) BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS/ RUNAWAYS/ HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS/CHEMICAL ABUSERS/ SUICIDES
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God's Children.)
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
RE: Youth Suicide and Divorce/ Single parent Homes:
"In a study of 146 adolescent friends of 26 adolescent suicide victims, teens living in single-parent families are not only more likely to commit suicide but also more likely to suffer from psychological disorders, when compared to teens living in intact families."
Source: David A. Brent, (et. al.) "Post-traumatic Stress Disorders in Peers of Adolescent Suicide Victims: Predisposing Factors and Phenomenology." Journal of the AMerican Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry 34 (1995): 209-215.
"Fatherless children are at dramatically greater risk of suicide."
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, Survey on Child Health, Washington, D.C., 1993.
"Three out of four teenage suicides occur in households where a parent has been absent."
Source: Jean Beth Eshtain, "Family Matters: The Plight of America's Children." The Christian Century (July 1993): 14-21.
"A family structure index - a composite index based on the annual rate of children involved in divorce and the percentage of families with children present that are female-headed - is a strong predictor of suicide among young adult and adolescent white males."
Source: Patricia L. McCall and Kenneth C. Land, "Trends in White Male Adolescent, Young-Adult, and Elderly Suicide: Are Ther Common Underlying
Structural Factors?" Social Science Research 23 (1994): 57-81
2) JUVENILE DELINQUENCY/ CRIME/ GANGS
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978)
70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)
California has the nation's highest juvenile incarceration rate and the nation's highest juvenile unemployment rate. Vincent Schiraldi, Executive Director, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, "What Hallinan's Victory Means," San Francisco Chronicle (12/28/95).
These statistics translate to mean that children from a fatherless home are:
5 times more likely to commit suicide.
32 times more likely to run away.
20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
14 times more likely to commit rape
9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.
20 times more likely to end up in prison.
Juveniles have become the driving force behind the nation's alarming increases in violent crime, with juvenile arrests for murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault growing sharply in the past decade as pistols and drugs became more available, and expected to continue at the same alarming rate during the next decade. "Justice Dept. Issues Scary Report on Juvenile Crime," San Francisco Chronicle (9/8/95). "Crime Wave Forecast With Teenager Boom," San Francisco Chronicle (2/15/95).
Criminal behavior experts and social scientists are finding intriguing evidence that the epidemic of youth violence and gangs is related to the breakdown of the two-parent family. "New Evidence That Quayle Was Right: Young Offenders Tell What Went Wrong at Home," San Francisco Chronicle (12/9/94).
3) TEENAGE PREGNANCY
"Daughters of single parents are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a premarital birth, and 92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages. All these intergenerational consequences of single motherhood increase the likelihood of chronic welfare dependency." Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Atlantic Monthly (April 1993).
Daughters of single parents are 2.1 times more likely to have children during their teenage years than are daughters from intact families. The Good Family Man, David Blankenhorn.
71% of teenage pregnancies are to children of single parents. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
4) CHILD ABUSE
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that there were more than 1,000,000 documented child abuse cases in 1990. In 1983, it found that 60% of perpetrators were women with sole custody. Shared parenting can significantly reduce the stress associated with sole custody, and reduce the isolation of children in abusive situations by allowing both parents' to monitor the children's health and welfare and to protect them.
"The National Fatherhood Institute reports that 18 million children live in single-parent homes. Nearly 75% of American children living in single-parent families will experience poverty before they turn 11. Only 20% in two-parent families will experience poverty." Melinda Sacks, "Fatherhood in the 90's: Kids of absent fathers more "at risk"," San Jose Mercury News (10/29/95).
"The feminization of poverty is linked to the feminization of custody, as well as linked to lower earnings for women. Greater opportunity for education and jobs through shared parenting can help break the cycle." David Levy, Ed., The Best Parent is Both Parents (1993).
Family abductions were 163,200 compared to non-family abductions of 200-300. The parental abductions were attributed to the parents' disenchantment with the legal system. David Levy, Ed., The Best Parent is Both Parents (1993), citing a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice (May 1990).