Student Affairs Advocate

Fatherless Children

Fatherless homes have definitely increased over the years, and I believe children who grow up without their fathers are definitely more susceptible to gangs, dropping out of high school, going to prison, and more. I am definitely not suggesting that a child who grows up without a father cannot be successful, because I grew up without a father; however, they are at a greater risk of having unsuccessful lives. Therefore, I would like to talk about this issue and provide possible solutions to the problem.

Growing up without a father was very difficult for me. I had no one to teach me how to be a man, and had to learn through trial and error.  My father was not around for any of my sporting events, first date, high school graduation, college graduation, etc. My mother worked most of the time so I had no one to go to for advice, encouragement, or affection.  The point of the matter is, a boy needs his father, and when there is no one in the home to provide discipline, strong values, emotional support, and love, then children will go out and find these things elsewhere.

Statistics show:

15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
• 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide
• 6.6 times more likely to become teenage mothers
• 24.3 times more likely to run away
• 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
• 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions
• 10.8 times more likely to commit rape
• 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school
• 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenage
• 73% of adolescent murderers come from mother only homes
•  6.3 times more likely to be in state operated institutions

It’s a Fact
Here’s why:
· 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census).
· 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
· 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
(Source: Center for Disease Control).
· 80% of rapist motivated by displaced anger come from fatherless homes. (Source:
Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, pp. 403-26).
· 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. (Source: National Principals Assoc. Report on the State of High Schools).
· 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. (Source: Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. Of Corrections, 1992).
These statistics translate to mean that children from fatherless homes 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
· 20 times more likely to end up in prison

All of these statistics are a result of a fatherless child, and affect our society in some way. In regards to education, 71% of all high school dropouts come from a fatherless home, which means that if most fathers would be there for their children, we would have more educated and productive members of society. Other statistics regarding single mother homes show:


  1. Children from single-mother families are 2.21 times (221%) as likely to have one or more total problems than those from two-parent families, twice as likely to have an emotional disorder, etc. (The probability of this being due to chance is smaller than 1 in 1,000)
  2. Weighted projections to reflect national population of children.
  3. Data for items so annotated apply for 6- to 11-year-olds only. All other data in the table apply to 4- to 11-year olds.

This information supports the fact that children who have emotional and psychological issues perform poorly in the classroom, and ultimately society. In studies involving over 25,000 children using nationally representative data sets, children who lived with only one parent had lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, poor attendance records, and higher dropout rates than students who lived with both parents.  It is clear that our educational system is being affected when there are several children in the classroom who have emotional issues. Even if many of these students were to graduate from high school and go to college, then many of them would not be prepared for the demands of a college course, which can ultimately affect student retention on many college campuses.

How do fatherless households affect girls?

Girls need affections, attention, and love from their fathers, just like boys. However, girls need to hear their father tell them they are beautiful, as well as give them positive affection. Girls, who are being deprived of positive male affection at home, typically go out and seek this affection elsewhere. A father can also be there to demonstrate how a man should treat a woman, and when she is older she will expect the same treatment from whomever she dates.  Statistics show:

Adolescent females between the ages of 15 and 19 years reared in homes without fathers are significantly more likely to engage in premarital sex than adolescent females reared in homes with both a mother and a father.

– A survey of 720 teenage girls found:

Children in single parent families are more likely to get pregnant as teenagers than their peers who grow up with two parents. 

Typically what we see from teenage mothers is their children reaching the adolescent phase and having babies as well, which is a cycle.  Most of these young mothers have babies by teenage fathers who deny the baby, or could care less about taking care of the baby.

So all of these issues are affecting our society in one way or another, and finding possible solutions to the problem is crucial, when considering the possible dangers that await our young people who are growing up without fathers. Once again, I think it is important to re-iterate that many young people, who were reared in single mother homes, have gone on to be successful in life. Mainly because there was someone there to take the father’s place, whether it be a step dad, grandfather, uncle, brother, mentor, or church pastor. Nevertheless, many of the children I am talking about did not have the same opportunities, and so some possible solutions may include:

Community Involvement: Single mothers should definitely allow their kids to be a part of local Boys and Girls Clubs, The United Way, YMCA, and other non-profit organizations that specialize in youth development.

Sports and other Extra-Curricular Activities: Allowing kids to participate in sports can be very beneficial, as students will have the opportunity to be around positive male role models, and utilize their energy in a positive way.

Church involvement: Single mothers who lack family and community support can definitely take their children to a local church, where these students will have the opportunity to participate in church activities, and possibly be around positive male role models.

College visits/Tours: Single mothers can make time to take their teenage girls and boys to college campuses, where they will have an opportunity to see how college differs from high school.  Children may be intrigued by the many activities that colleges have to offer, not to mention the possibility of living on campus and making new friends from all over the world.

Don’t settle: Single mothers should not settle for any guy that comes along, simply because they are lonely. Remember, you are not choosing a guy just for you; this guy will also be around your children, therefore, choose wisely and make sure the guy displays positive characteristics that your children can benefit from.

In conclusion, it is so important for fathers to be there for their children. My son is four years old and I have been there every moment of his life. It wasn’t always easy, but I knew I couldn’t leave him, simply because I knew how it felt growing up without a father, and I never want my son to experience that type of pain.  I can’t even begin to fathom how hard it would be to leave my son longer than a day or two, so I can’t understand how some men can leave their child/children for several years, if not their whole life.  On the other hand I would like to commend those fathers who also grew up fatherless; however, you did not let that deter you from raising your children. A father should never be able to use the excuse that he is no longer with the mother, or he dislikes the mother of his child, because that has nothing to do with the child.  It’s unfortunate that so many children are growing up without fathers; nonetheless, I can only hope that teachers, administrators, youth development workers, and all other parties involved will be able to understand why it is imperative that we do not take our jobs for granted.

Please click on the link below to watch a video about fatherless children.

Roland C. Warren talks about Issue of Father Absence


2 thoughts on “Fatherless Children

  1. Monica Johnigan on said:

    I like the blog…it really hit home for me. But thank God for my parents and family support and of course God. It gets hard at times…but I know God has me and my kids best interest at heart. Thanks for the insight 🙂

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