As families break apart, reports detail America’s fatherhood crisis

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By BETHANY BLANKLEY | THE CENTER SQUARE

Reports indicate that America has a fatherhood crisis, which has created a culture of “floundering” young men. 

Young men from non-intact families are more likely to end up in prison or jail, drop out of high school ornot graduate from college compared to young men raised by their married biological parents with their father living in the home, a new Institute for Family Studies report argues.

“What we see for young men today is a family-to-prison-or-college pipeline that is more likely to deliver boys from intact families towards college graduation and boys from non-intact families towards prison or jail,” the report states. “Young men raised by their two married, biological parents are almost 20 percentage points more likely to graduate college than end up in prison/jail.”

It points to research conducted by an economics professor and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research who found that declining marriage rates are “driving many of the country’s biggest economic problems.” The research found that young men who grew up in a married household with their two biological parents are more likely to graduate college, among other outcomes. 

The IFS report also points to a Journal of Research on Adolescence report that found that adolescent boys are more likely to be incarcerated if they grew up in father-absent households. 

It also analyzes federal data that shows that “young men raised by their two married, biological parents … are almost 20 percentage points more likely to graduate college than end up in prison/jail. Strikingly, this is the only group where graduating college is more likely than prison/jail. Meanwhile, the statistic flips for young men from non-intact families.” 

According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, nearly 20 million American children live in homes where their biological fathers do not live. 

“Fathers influence their children’s development in unique and meaningful ways. Positive father involvement is associated with better outcomes on nearly every measure of child well-being, including being less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol and more likely to graduate high school,” the organization says.

Another IFS report points to data showing that fatherless families are more likely to be poor and “boys raised without their father are much more likely to use drugs, engage in violent or criminal behaviorgo to jail, and drop out of school,” citing state and federal data.

The National Fatherhood Initiative first began raising awareness about the benefits of father involvement in 1994, working to equip communities through a range of training programs and resources. Over the last 30 years, it’s distributed more than 11 million fatherhood skill-building resources and trained more than 45,000 individuals working with dads.

It’s also collaborated with more than 10,000 organizations in communities and created a comprehensive reference manual about the impact of fathers in “Father Facts.” Its evidence-based 24:7 Dadand InsideOut Dad programs are also used by organizations nationwide, including those receiving federal “responsible fatherhood” grants.

On the state level, Florida has taken the lead in addressing the issue. In 2020, its state legislature unanimously passed a bill to allocate $70 million to fund a range of support programs for fathers. 

Children not having a father in their home “has a severe impact on children, and often leads to dropping out of school, crime and substance abuse,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said when signing the bill into law. “Incredibly, there are those who diminish the importance of fatherhood and the nuclear family,” but in Florida, “we are doing everything we can to support involved fatherhood.”

Former House Speaker Chris Sprowls said at the time that while Florida “cannot legislate fatherhood, accountability or character,” it could “provide support for fathers to equip and encourage them to take an active role in the lives of their children.”

19 COMMENTS

  1. This is the greatest crisis facing our society today. Childhood is an apprenticeship to adulthood. As the apprentice, the child learns, whether by active instruction or observation absorption, what is their expectation as an adult. Do they learn good moral values? Expectation of productivity in life? Work ethic? Good citizenship? Or do they learn the Hollywood expectations of the idiot tube?
    Our sole function as human beings and citizens is to nurture the following generation and perhaps the next one. It is our choice whether we fulfill our duty, but always remember that following generations will be tasked to care for us when we reach the point that we can no longer care for ourselves.
    Raising my eighth boy child and eighth grand-boy (plus six girls and eight grand-girls)

  2. No kidding.

    Since LBJs disastrous “great society”, men and fathers have been steadily devalued in public life.

    We’re guilty because, we can’t get custody of bout kids, we are targeted by the left, and we are shouted down by women in higher education. Just for starters.

    Why should we engage in a society which doesn’t want us.

    • We should engage because mature men dont give a damn about what society wants .
      Or what some one who shouts says .
      Dont be a victim because of some politician called LBJ .

      Just do your job as a father regardless of pain.

      Educated Women are not the Enemy . We are our own enemies for allowing the mindset of acceptance and victimization into the fatherhood equation.
      Men walked away from those families and didn’t follow through on the job of fatherhood signed at conception. Follow through and Finnish the job .Dont leave your children because its the easiest path.
      Develop your self into the man who would make his children proud.

        • Masked – did your sarcasm improve the world? Improve a childs life .
          If you can’t figure out what i can as writing about in respect to this article you should go back to grade school

  3. If you are filled with concern about your country, then joining your local church and strengthening / supporting marriages and families is something to do to make things better.

    Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

  4. I am soooo glad I never married or had kids. I saw growing up that I wasnt going to be part of the problem. Best decision I ever made. Was able to live cheap. Saved a large percentage of my paychecks and retired in 2019 at age 47.
    And you dont need a college degree. In fact most degrees are worthless and those that hold those degrees should be looked down upon.

  5. It is too easy to walk out of a relationship so fix that for a start then teach the family values in school instead of the crap taught now.

  6. Blaming women in higher education, public schools, or “society” shifts the blame for fatherless families everywhere except on the real cause of fatherless families: those men who refuse to help raise the kids they fathered. Man up, guys! If you planted the seed, then you help nurture the child you helped bring about.

  7. It is all part of the leftists/globalists plan.
    Destroy the family relationship, praise single motherhood as if it is a goal, and get single mothers dependent on the government for their very survival. That moves you one step closer to making your relationship with the all-powerful State your only meaningful one.

  8. Every Child has a father, if alive , there is no reason to be fatherless or someone who will replace one. Men in America please do a child a blessing stand & become a supporting Father ! Our father in heaven will guide you just ask for that guidance . Happy Fathers Day to the ones that have & do support the family unit! Liberty Ed

  9. In the early 1970s I took a civil service test and ended up working for the welfare department in an extremely poor rural area in the deep south. Half of our staff was responsible to regularly “visit” the welfare recipients to ensure they were still eligible – in other words, that there were no working-age men living in their households.

    The damage to the nuclear family from this so-called “Great Society” achievement was already apparent. Poverty was increasing, domestic violence was increasing, school attendance was decreasing, and children’s health was declining.

    Even then I could see that that one program was systematically destroying the family structure of the poor in our country. Fathers no longer acknowledged their children, much less felt any responsibility towards them, and they were no longer motivated to work to support their families. Far too many mothers were having more children just to get a bigger monthly check. Children were growing up without male role models.

    Fifty years later, there has been no serious effort to acknowledge and fix this mess. It just keeps getting worse.

    I barely lasted 6-months before heading north.

  10. This is why we need a nationwide ban on divorce except in extreme circumstances. Keep families together. Don’t let them escape the responsibilities they have through an easy divorce. Women need to be more tolerant and supportive of their men, to help craft them into the men then need to be. Yes, some men are really bad, but that is a relative few. Back in the 50s and 60s and before, women respected men, submitted to their authority. This empowered men to be men. But by having women in every workplace, distracting men, we now have an epidemic of divorce.

    Women, submit to your men. Support them and empower them. Men, be men! Look to older men as role models – like DJT. His wife supports him unconditionally and empowers him to be the tough, no nonsense leader he is.

    DJT 2024!

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