Why Dads Matter
Through the personal stories shared in this book, we’ve seen examples of fathers who were purposeful about building up their kids and stoking the early flames of their faith. In the process, those fathers rejected passivity and prepared their children for the trials of life that await us all. However, some of these stories also revealed the pain that far too many carry into adulthood because their dads weren’t present, weren’t engaged, weren’t providing the guidance they needed at the time they needed it most.
We believe these stories paint a beautiful and eclectic mosaic of the eternal significance of fatherhood, but sometimes numbers and analysis can illuminate even deeper truths. With an assist from the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), we have collected some sobering trends and statistics about the ways fatherlessness affects our families. Our prayer is that the stories in “Father’s Day Miracle,” combined with the research below, will remind us all that our kids need us to be the leaders in our households that God created us to be by embracing our purpose and being intentional with the fleeting time we have as parents.
All information taken from NFI’s “Father Facts 7” publication. To learn more about the National Fatherhood Initiative, visit fatherhood.org.
In America, 23.6% of children (17.4 million) lived in father-absent homes in 2014. (US Census Bureau)
In Ohio, 26.4% of homes with children under 18 are single-mother homes. In Cleveland, that number is 58.1%.
Individuals from father absent homes were found to be 279% more likely to carry guns and deal drugs than peers living with their fathers. (Crime & Delinquency)
Father absence makes underage boys more likely to drink alcohol; father absence makes girls more likely to have early intercourse. (Various Studies)
A study of 263 13- to 18-year-old adolescent women seeking psychological services found that the adolescents from father-absent homes were 3.5 times more likely to experience pregnancy than were adolescents from father-present homes. Moreover, the rate of pregnancy among adolescents from father-absent homes was 17.4% compared to a four (4) percent rate in the general adolescent population. (Journal of Urban Health)
Ninety (90) percent of resident fathers shared a meal and spoke with their children about their children’s day almost daily, 63% helped their children with homework, and 54% took their children to or from activities throughout a given week. In comparison, 31% of non-resident fathers spoke with their children about their children’s day several times a week, 16% have shared a meal with their children several times a week, 10% helped with homework, and 11% took a child to or from activities. (Pew Research Center)
19% of youth in stepfamilies and 16% with single parents were exposed to some form of maltreatment in 2013. Only 7% of those living with both biological parents were exposed. (Social Science and Medicine)
In a national survey of 1,533 American mothers aged 18 and older, ninety-three (93) percent agreed that there is a father absence crisis in the United States today, with 67% “strongly agreeing.” (NFI)
In a separate survey of 701 American fathers aged 18 and older, ninety-one (91) percent of fathers agreed there is a father-absence crisis in the country (NFI)
7 out of 10 people surveyed believe physical absence of fathers is the most significant family or social problem currently facing America. (NFI)
By age five, nearly two-fifths of children with nonresident parents had no regular contact with their fathers for the past two years. (The Future of Children)