Making the Case for Fathers


Father’s Day is approaching, and as child and family researchers (and as a mother and possible future mother), we’re concerned about the future of fathers. When a recent poll shows that 2 out of 5 unmarried women under age 50 would consider parenting a child alone, it raises important questions and concerns. Why would so many women think parenting is easy enough to “go it alone”? How can four hands and two brains not be the default position for parenting?

Research findings support the notion that the presence of a loving and nurturing father improves outcomes for children, families, and communities. A separate but highly-related research field has also identified the importance of stable two-parent families and positive parent relationships for child well-being. However, recent trends in family formation such as increases in nonmarital childbearing and high divorce rates have contributed to increasing rates of single motherhood, father absence and multiple-partner fertility (MPF) – or the process of having biological children with more than one partner. These changes to the family, combined with significant economic and cultural shifts, limit many fathers’ opportunities to be involved in positive ways in their children’s lives.

Source: Child Trends

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