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Children Need Their Dads

Help the Hurting Children

Some Facts and Research

An astonishing 40% of Tennessee's children will go to bed tonight without their father at home. It's not that he is at work, It's because he doesn't live there anymore. Divorce and out-of-wedlock childbirth are occurring at record rates.

What is it like growing up in a home without a dad? Children who used to spend daily time with their daddy are typically only allowed to see him four days a month. It is easy to see why children of divorce lose dad as an influence.

The hard truth is that fatherless homes produce the vast majority of troubled children. A father's influence, just like a mother's, is essential and irreplaceable.

Here is the chilling truth about our children who come from fatherless homes;

  • 63% of youth suicides

  • 70% of juveniles in State Institutions

  • 71% of teen pregnancies

  • 71% of High School dropouts

  • 75% of children in chemical abuse centers

  • 85% of youth sitting in prisons

  • 85% of children with behavioral problems

  • 90% of homeless and runaway children

Tennessee's divorce rate currently ranks third worst in the nation. With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, it affects all of us. The Children's Rights Council ranks Tennessee the fifth worst state to raise children.

When divorce occurs, current law makes one parent the sole custodian -- 90% of the time it is the mother. The father merely has "visitation privileges." He loses the legal right to parent his child.

However, all competent studies and data point to joint physical custody and shared parenting as being the best solutions for children: the highest child support compliance, highest parental involvement, and the happiest children are shown to come from these two-parent solutions.

Kids Need Their DadsEmotional and Behavioral Problems - 80% of adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from broken homes. Source: "Family Maffers: The Plight of America's Children.' The Christian Century, July1993:14-21.

Statistical analysis of the behavior and intelligence of children living in fatherless households revealed "significant detrimental effects." Growing up in a fatherless household remained a statistical predictor of behavior problems even after adjusting for differences in family income. Source: "Economic Deprivation and Early Childhood Development" Child Development 65, 1994: 296-318.

Children from fatherless families have less of an ability to delay sexual gratification and have poorer impulse and anger control. These children also have a weaker sense of conscience and sense of right and wrong. Source: "Family Interaction. " Psychopathological Disorders of Childhood. 1979: 247-302.

kids need their dadsCrime - In a study on 194 white, urban boys, researchers found that being in a step family or living with a single mother at the age of 10 more than doubled the odds that a boy would eventually be arrested, compared to children who lived with both biological parents. Source: "Family Experience in Preadolescence in the Development of Male Delinquency. " Journal of Marriage and the Family 58, May 1996:491-501.

A 1988 study found that the proportion of single parent households in a community predicts its rates of violent crime and burglary, but the area's poverty level does not.
Source: "Social Structure and Criminal Victimization. " Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 25, February 1988: 27-52.

In a re-analysis of data from a study of 500 delinquent and 500 non-delinquent youths originally conducted in the 1950's, it was found that the low supervision of adolescents frequently found in father-absent homes was more the cause of delinquency than poverty. Source: "Urban Poverty and the Family Context of Delinquency., A New Look at Structure and Process in a Classk Study. " Child Development 65, 1994: 523-540.

Kids Need their FathersDrug, Alcohol and Tobacco Abuse - Children who live apart from their fathers are 430% more likely to smoke cigarettes as teenagers than children growing up with their fathers in the home. Source: "Sociodemographk Characteristics of Adolescent Smoker's." The International Journal of the Addictions 7, 1994: 913-925.

Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse. Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington DC: 1993.

The Best Parent is BOTH parents

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