FACT SHEET: Fathers Matter – Pass It On

May 30, 2023

The United States has the HIGHEST RATE of children in single-parent households of any nation in the world.

There are over 18 million Fatherless children in the US.

Fathers are absent from approximately 80% of single-parent homes.

Fatherless families are 4x more likely to live in poverty than that for married-couple families.

Fatherless children are more likely to abuse drugs and show signs of delinquent behavior. 

  • Children from single-parent families are twice as likely to suffer from mental health problems as those living with married parents.
  • Data suggests 84% of homeless families are headed by women and 90% of homeless and runaway children come from fatherless homes.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavior disorders are from fatherless homes.
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from single-parent homes.
  • Most adolescents who enter the justice system have suffered from parental abandonment, substance abuse, or a dysfunctional household.
  • In a study of 75 juvenile delinquents, 66% experienced fatherlessness, 20% had never lived with their father, and 25% had an alcoholic father.
  • In a study of 56 school shootings, only 10 of the shooters (18%) were raised in a stable home with both biological parents. 82% grew up in either an unstable family environment or grew up without both biological parents together.
  • Children living absent their biological father are 2 to 3 times more likely to be expelled or suspended at some time.
  • Girls who feel closeness to their father are 75% less likely to have a teen birth. One study showed girls whose father left the home before they were 5 were 8 times more likely to come pregnant as adolescents.
  • Children who feel closeness to their father are 80% less likely to spend time in jail.
  • When children have an actively involved father, they are 33% less likely to drop out of school and 43% more likely to get A’s.
  • Children in single-parent homes are more likely to have low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and more suicidal thoughts and attempts.

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