The Fatherless Crisis

“It is easier to build strong boys than it is to repair broken men. —Fredrick Douglas
The Fatherlessness Crisis In America: Fatherlessness was seen as the most serious social problem by almost 80% of respondents in a recent Gallup poll.

The Truth About the Fatherlessness Crisis in America

85% of all youths sitting in a prison today grew up in a fatherless home.

85% of all youths sitting in a prison today grew up in a fatherless home.

  • Fatherless homes breed violence and with over 24 million children living absent of their biological father, we MUST do something.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • 80% of rapists motivated by displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior)
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes(Source: Rainbows for all Gods Children.)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes(Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prison today grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
  • 72% percent of adolescents serving sentences for murder are from fatherless households
  • 75% of the long-term correctional facility inmates are from father-absent households

In addition, Children From Fatherless Homes:

  • 54% more likely to be poorer than his father
  • 74% greater risk of suffering from emotional neglect
  • 77% greater risk of being physically abused
  • 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury as a result of abuse
  • 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect
  • 165% greater risk of experiencing notable physical neglect and overall,
  • 120% greater risk of being endangered by some type of child abuse

Children from fatherless homes are:

  • 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 5.1 times more likely to be poor
  • 6.3 times more likely to be in state-operated institutions
  • 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school
  • 10.8 times more likely to commit rape
  • 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 15.5 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager
  • 24.3 times more likely to run away
  • 33 times more likely to be seriously abused
  • 73 times more likely to be killed

Facts compiled by the Department of Justice:

  • 54% more likely to be poorer than his father
  • 60% are rapists
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
  • 72% percent of adolescents serving sentences for murder are from fatherless households
  • 71% of high-school dropouts are from fatherless homes
  • 75% of kids in drug rehabs are from fatherless homes
  • 75% of the long-term correctional facility inmates are from father-absent households
  • 85% of rapist that were motivated by “displaced anger” are, from fatherless homes
  • 85% of kids who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes
  • 85% of kids in State Institutions are from fatherless homes
  • 90% of all runaway kids are from, you guessed it, fatherless homes

Children From Fatherless Homes have:

  • 74% greater risk of suffering from emotional neglect
  • 77% greater risk of being physically abused
  • 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury as a result of abuse
  • 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect
  • 165% greater risk of experiencing notable physical neglect and overall,
  • 120% greater risk of being endangered by some type of child abuse

Gallup Poll Statistics

According to Gallup, 72% of Americans believe that fatherlessness is our biggest social problem. The absence of a father leaves young men angry, struggling with questions about their identity and ill prepared for life.  Where there is significant fatherlessness, there is significant poverty, leading to lower academic achievement, increased drop-out rates, gang involvement, and subsequent incarceration, while perpetuating the cycle of fatherlessness.

The Price paid by you and me for not saving these children is staggering. The following table highlights the life-time cost in current value (2009 dollars) imposed by a career criminal, drug user and high-school dropout on society.

(Cohen & Piquero, 2009)

Current Costs of a High-Risk child Not Changing
Description Current Value
Career Criminal $2.7 – $4.8 million
Heavy Drug User $840,000 – $1.1 million
High School Dropout $390,000 – $580,000

Sources: (Grossman & Tierney, 1998), Grossman and Rhodes (2002) found that positive effects on youth outcomes became progressively stronger as relationships persisted for longer periods of time. Natural mentoring relationships that endure for multiple years have also shown the strongest effects (DuBois & Silverthorn, 2005; Klaw, Fitzgerald, & Rhodes, 2003; McLearn, Colasanto, & Schoen, 1998; Werner, 1995). Duration alone is not sufficient, however, as a relationship could be long- lasting yet participants may meet only sporadically. Regular contact over time is important, and can enhance the mentee’s feelings of security and attachment in the mentoring and other important relationships (Keller, 2005; Rhodes, 2005). no benefits were evident for an unconditionally supportive relationship type, thus suggesting a need for mentors to be more than simply ‘‘good friends.’ National Fatherhood Initiative, Father Facts, (3rd Edition)