The Importance of a Father on a Child’s Development

A fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives has been shown to have a positive effect on children and their well-being in many areas —for example, on increasing the chances of academic success and in reducing the chances of delinquency and substance abuse. A literature review found that children whose fathers assumed 40% or more of the family’s care tasks had better academic achievement than children whose fathers were less

 Two of the world’s leading academics in child development detail research showing that children with involved fathers have better social skills when they reach nursery,do better in national examinations at 16, and are less likely to have a criminal record

 Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have carried out a review of studies published in the US and UK between 1987 and 2007 and found that regular positive contact between a child and a father figure decreased the likelihood of children taking up smoking or being arrested.

 Published in the February issue of the Acta Paediatrica journal, the study also revealed that children who lived with both a mother and father figure had less behavioural problems than those brought up solely by their mother.

 A 1997 review of research on child abuse and neglect concluded that this research was characterized by a “conspicuous absence of information from and about fathers in violent families.” The research suggest that :

1.  Fathers are directly involved in 36.8 percent (acting alone in 18.8 percent and with others in 18.0 percent of the cases) of maltreatment cases;

2. The presence of fathers in the home is tied to lower rates of maltreatment;

3. Unrelated male figures and stepfathers in households tend to be more abusive than biological, married fathers;

4. The quality of the relationship between the mother and father has an important indirect effect on the odds of maltreatment.

Father-deprived children are:

1. 72% of all teenage murderers.

3. 70% of kids incarcerated.

4. Twice as likely to quit school.

5. 11 times more likely to be violent.

6. 3 of 4 teen suicides.

7. 80% of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals.

Sources: National Fatherhood Initiative (U.S.A.), US Bureau of Census (U.S.A.), FBI

“Father-deprivation is a serious form of child abuse that is institutionalized and entrenched within our legal system. Powerful sexist people have a vested interest in diminishing the role of men, especially their role as fathers. Research proves that children thrive with the active and meaningful participation of both biological parents, and is true for post-divorce families.” (Dick Feeman, Joseph Maiello, Mike Jebbet, “Child Custody or Child Abuse”, Victoria Times-Colonist, Jan 8, 1998).

Children who grew up fatherless are:

1. Eight times more likely to go to prison.

2. Five times more likely to commit suicide.

3. 20 times more likely to have behavioural problems.

4. 20 times more likely to become rapists.

5. 32 times more likely to become runaways.

6. 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.

7. Nine times more likely to drop out of high school.

8. One-tenth as likely to get A’s in school.

Source :The Institute for the Study of Civil Society ( Civitas ) U.K.Stunning statistics on the problems of fatherless homes.

How families evolving and fathers are move involved in children’s development:

The traditional view of parenting roles sees mothers as caregivers and nurturers, and fathers as breadwinners and authority figures. However, with the changing roles of men and women at home and in the workplace, this traditional view no longer reflects reality. For some families, it never did.

Twenty-five years ago, child psychologist Michael Lamb accurately described fathers as the “forgotten contributors to child development.” Indeed, for much of the twentieth century, psychologists, childrearing experts, and popular culture largely assumed that when it came to child development, fathers were of secondary importance to mothers, and perhaps even unnecessary. Increased rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past four decades marginalized fathers even further, as unprecedented numbers of children grew up

Fathers are more responsible for their children than ever before. So it is vital to children that fathers’ caring role is backed by public services. Fathers do one-third of parental childcare in dual-earner families, according to the Equal Opportunities Commission. However while fathers may no longer be “forgotten contributors,” they remain missing contributors in the lives of millions of children. Children who grow up in father-absent homes are more likely to suffer from child abuse, poverty, low academic achievement, drug use, emotional and behavioral problems, and suicide. Simply put, father absence is the most consequential social problem we confront.