Children Need Their
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
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
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
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.
Crime - 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.
"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.
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
DAD of Tennessee Inc.
PO Box 24083
Nashville, TN 37202-4083
(615) 726 - DADS