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Do Young Boys Need a Father More Than a Family?

            Communication Studies Research Methods.
             In recent years, as divorce rates have climbed and family structures continue to deviate further from the two-parent household, much has been made of absentee fathers and the impact that it has on children, particularly boys. Many studies have suggested that the absence of a father often causes boys to drop out of school and become delinquent. Research will show that boys raised outside of intact marriages are, on average, more than twice as likely as other boys to wind up in jail -- with each year spent without a dad increasing the odds of future incarceration by 5 percent (NJCCR.org). While there can be a variety of reasons as to why a young male could become delinquent (such as race, income, intelligence, etc.) family structure or lack thereof was rated as the main reason.
             These findings were compiled by two professors, one from the University of California and the other from the University of Princeton. They used a large national database containing a wealth of information about our nation's youth referred to as the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. By using it they were able to isolate the desired variables and arrive at the statistics above. Their research, on the surface, seems to have covered all bases. But there is another finding they as well as others before and since came about which is most intriguing. Boys who live with only their fathers do not have the same problems as boys who have no father figure. This means that if a boy lives with his father and his father has not remarried, than the boy is less likely to run afoul than those in all other family structures aside from a two-parent household. Does this mean that a father and a father alone is sufficient to raise a young boy but any family structure not involving a father falls short, regardless of how loving and secure it may seem? It is a fascinating possibility and one that, because of my background, I take a personal interest in.

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