Jennifer L. Baker, Psy.D. Anne B. Summers, Ph.D. Debbi Steinmann, M.A. Training Instructor / Mentors Melissa A. Gibson, M.S. Kim Rozell, M.A. Graduate Assistants Brent Anderson, M.S. Matthew Biller, M.A. Cate Brandon, M.A Dawn Clinard, M.A. Jessie Clinton, M.S. Tabitha Carlson, M.S. Anup Jonathan Tony Larson, B.A. Nicole Mannis, M.A. Robert Mindrup, M.S.S.W. Colleen Quinn, Ph.D. Amber Schafer, M.A. Amanda Schroeder, B.S. The Training for the Healthy Marriage and Family Formation curriculum was created through the cooperative efforts of:
Why Be Concerned With Father Involvement? 1996: United States became the world’s leader in fatherless families. Mother-only households grew from 7.7% in 1960 to 21.6% in 1990. 2000: 25% of America’s children lived in mother-only families. Of these mother-only households, the percentage of mothers who had never been married increased from 3.9% in 1960 to 31.5% in 1990.
Children Living Without their Biological Father Nearly 40% of all children. Almost half of the 40% haven’t seen their father for at least a year. Over 50% of children born in the U.S. will spend half of their childhood in a father-absent household.
Locating Data in Your Area Office of Child Support Enforcement Website: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cse/extinf.htm Kids Count 2004 Data Book Online: http://www.aecf.org/kidscount/databook/
Father Presence Enhances Fetal and infant development. Physical well being & perceptual abilities. Competency for relatedness with others. Competence, self- reliance, and ambition. Initiative and self- control.
Father Involvement Decreases Poor school performance or drop out. Early and promiscuous sex. Influence of peer pressure. Engagement in criminal behavior. Drug use.
Father Involvement Decreases Poverty Child Abuse Emotional and Behavioral Problems Children in two-parent families simply do better.
Father Absence Linked to Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy Study in the U.S. and New Zealand found: Father absence was a risk factor for early sexual activity and adolescent pregnancy. Father presence was a major protective factor against early sexual activity. Girls with early father absence had the highest rates of both early sexual activity and adolescent pregnancy.
Importance of Marriage on Father Involvement Marriage increases father involvement. Fathers who live with their children: –spend more time with them. –contribute greater financial resources to their support. –have greater input on decisions that affect children’s lives.
Importance of Marriage on Father Involvement Studies reveal that even in high-crime inner-city neighborhoods, well over 90% of children from safe, stable, two- parent homes do not become delinquents.
Transition to Fatherhood Occurs primarily through: –Birth of Child. Secondarily through: –Marriage (step-parenting) –Adoption
Expectant and New Fatherhood Becoming a father consists of three sub- processes: Grasp the reality of the pregnancy and child. Strive for recognition as a parent from others. Begin to construct and assume the role of an involved father.
National Fatherhood Initiative Founded in 1994 to lead a society-wide movement to confront the problem of father absence. NFI’s mission is “to improve the well being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers.” www.fatherhood.org
Challenges Relational conflict. Time demands of work. Family of origin. Attitudes, motivation and skills. Age when becoming a father. Child’s gender.
Relational Conflict Constant fighting and conflict often cause fathers to withdraw from their children. Mother’s feelings about father can affect how much he is involved. Angry mothers are much more likely to try to exclude father involvement.
Relational Conflict Father involvement increases when mother believes: He is competent at childcare. He is interested in participating in childcare. His involvement is seen as valuable. Father involvement decreases when: – mothers are critical or judgmental of father’s care- giving ability.
Time Demands Emotional climate of work: –High stress jobs have “spill over” effect. –Job satisfaction promotes healthy interaction. Work socialization impacts fathering: –Those in highly autonomous jobs value independence in their children. –Fathers in highly supervised jobs tend to value obedience and conformity.
Family of Origin Father’s relationship to his own family of origin. –Modeling: learning the role by example. –Compensation: if their example was negative men attempt to make up for this in their own parenting style. Attitudes, motivations, and beliefs.
Age Younger fathers are more likely to: Be less educated. Have lower academic abilities. Became sexually active earlier. Be involved in crime. Older fathers are more likely to have: Less financial strain. More job flexibility. Greater confidence in one’s role as a father.
Child’s Gender A higher percentage of male children in the household was associated with increased father involvement over time. Fathers with all male children showed a greater increase of involvement over time than fathers with all female children.
Child’s Gender Fathers: Touch and talk more with newborn boys. Vocalize more to their sons. Are more responsive to a son’s vocalizations. Are more likely to engage in physical activities like tossing/lifting with a son than a daughter.
Fatherhood Programs and Resources Transition to Fatherhood –Love’s Cradle –Becoming Parents Program –Boot Camp for Dads Promoting Father Involvement –24/7 Dads –Dads at a Distance –Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED)