Poverty, Dropouts, Pregnancy, Suicide: What The Numbers Say About Fatherless Kids

Alan was recently interviewed by NPR’s Claudio Sanchez about children growing up fatherless in the US. See the full article at NPR: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/06/18/533062607/poverty-dropouts-pregnancy-suicide-what-the-numbers-say-about-fatherless-kids

You cite a U.S. Department of Education study that found 39 percent of students, first through 12th grade, are fatherless.

Fatherlessness is having a great impact on education. First of all, it’s growing, and the correlations with any number of risk issues are considerable.

Children are four-times more likely to be poor if the father is not around. And we know that poverty is heavily associated with academic success. [Fatherless kids] are also twice as likely to drop out.

Dropping out of school, growing up fatherless and incarceration appear to be connected. One study you cite from 2012 titled, “The Vital Importance of Paternal Presence in Children’s Lives,” shows that seven out of 10 high school dropouts are fatherless.

Do school officials acknowledge that this “chain reaction” clearly gets in the way of children’s academic success?

You know, I’ve been in this for 30 years, and when I speak to superintendents, social service people and counselors in schools, they’ll easily acknowledge that at the root of kids’ [academic] problems, is the lack of a relationship with their father.

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