Research Proposal: Effects on Children Who Grow Up in Fatherless Homes

Pages: 8 (2234 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy for $19.77

The Negative Implications of the Fatherless Child

Abstract:

The theoretically and empirically argued connection between the

fatherless home and the disadvantaged child is explored to greater depth in

this research endeavor. A surface level literature review will consider

some pieces of evidence to reinforce the claim that the absence of a father

is a disruption to the family unit that can lead the child to

psychological, economic, sociological, educational and legal abnormalities.

These abnormalities are generally problematic and the literature review

will, in this case, demonstrate an actual and direct relationship between

such problematic abnormalities and the root absence of a father whether

through unmarried pregnancy, divorce or male incarceration. In all

instances, the literature review will provide a brief confirmation of the

hypothesis while justifying the eventual expansion of the literature review

to accommodate a more focused and detailed examination of the connections

proposed by the findings.

Introduction:

Popular consensus in research holds that the disruption of the family

unit can have distinctly negative effects on the children produced by said

families. In particular, the common absence of a father figure from the

family unit, whether at the initiating stages of the family or in

eventuality during childhood development, is illustrated in countless

research examples to render the child considerably more vulnerable than

peers with intact families to experience such negative conditions as

behavioral problems, educational deficiencies, economic disadvantages and

the proclivity toward criminal behavior. These are dangers which justify

the investigation here, which will probe several sources of literature on

the topic in order to confirm the suspected connected between the

fatherless family and the child prone to negative conditions such these

above noted. The investigation here undertaken will use literature to

support and elaborate this claim, with the eventual interest in determining

which areas of consequence for fatherless children will justify the

greatest focus.

Literature Review:

The general consensus produced by research in the development

psychology, criminology and sociology disciplines is that the stability of

the family unit is a crucial determinant in one's life. To the concern

over the absence of the father in this unit then, there is a common

demonstration of concern as to the adverse effects levied upon the child.

So is this contended in the article by Anderson (2008), which reports that

"Karl Zinsmeister of the American Enterprise Institute has said, 'There is

a mountain of scientific evidence showing that when families disintegrate,

children often end up with intellectual, physical and emotional scars that

persist for life.' He continues, 'We talk about the drug crisis, the

education crisis, and the problem of teen pregnancy and juvenile crime. But

all these ills trace back predominantly to one source: broken families.'"

(Anderson, 1) This is to suggest that in contexts where a father figure is

absent, a family is more likely to produce children who suffer from social,

educational and legal deficiencies which can manifest in some rather

devastating ways. Anderson contends that the problem of illegitimacy is a

significant indicator of the challenges which will be faced by certain

children. Those who are born to single mothers not only lack access to

many of the psychological needs fulfilled by an effectively compassionate

male figure but will also miss the practical needs which are addressed by

the presence of a two parent home.

As the article by Boaz (1994) demonstrates, one of the core practical

deficiencies is in the area of economic stability. The financial security

of a two worker household is supplanted instead by a context in which the

mother must both work and rear children. The duality of this role without

the support of a partner can be emotionally taxing and can severely limit

the ability of a mother to instill positive lifestyle tendencies, to evoke

disciplinary action where necessary and to provide oversight and assistance

in the child's education. Boaz here identifies the apparent correlation

between single motherhood and economic disadvantage while simultaneously

hinting at the deficiencies which this invokes in the area of parenting.

Boaz contends that "children need two parents, for financial and emotional

reasons. Children in fatherless homes are five times as likely to be poor

as those in two-parents families. Single mothers also find it difficult to

control teen-age boys, and such boys have made our inner cities a crime-

ridden nightmare." (Boaz, 1)

Boaz continues on to indicate that an issue often unacknowledged by

social critics is that of divorce. He argues that this has provoked many

of the negative conditions that are affiliated with the fatherless

household, contending that individuals who live in homes broken thusly are

twice as likely to drop out of school or require some for of psychiatric

help. In fact, the Boaz article is compelling for making the argument that

by and large, conservative watchdog groups, families values organizations

and religions moral hygiene coalitions have given this problem short-shrift

in terms of acknowledgement, instead focusing much of the attention

concerning the crisis of the family on the erosion of gay rights. This is

a wrongheaded focus, Boaz contends, which allows the deconstruction of the

family unit to continue without proper public intervention. To Boaz, there

is something particularly hypocritical about allowing this pressing problem

to go unacknowledged while also actively pursuing the social

disenfranchisement of another group. Here, the social folly is compounded

by a malevolent misconstruction of blame.

This is especially foolhardy given the consistency with which

research has come to support the notion that the absence of a father in the

family unit can have fundamentally destructive ends. In addition to the

resolution that this noted absence is positively correlated with economic

problems, educational shortcomings and a susceptibility to criminal

behavior, it also becomes clear here that the reverse is true. In

individuals suffering from certain adverse emotional conditions, there is a

greater likelihood that further probing will reveal the absence of a

father. In particular, there is such a connection between adverse

emotional effects and the father's legal status. For children of father's

in jail or prison especially, this holds true. So is this demonstrated in

the research endeavor conducted by Wilbur et al (2007), in which a survey

amongst 102 respondents yields a pattern indicative of the psychological

consequences of patriarchal incarceration. To the point, Wilbur et al find

that "children whose fathers were in jail had higher Children's Depression

Inventory total scores compared with children without incarcerated fathers,

indicating more depressive symptoms. This finding was robust in

multivariate analyses after adjustment for children's age, gender, prenatal

cocaine and alcohol exposure, and school-age violence exposure." (Wilbur et

al, 678) The adjustment for this variance of factors which can also be

said to impact one's vulnerability to depression reveals that the

incarceration of one's father is a prime determinant of the presence of

emotional difficult or psychological disorder for the child.

The text by Segura & Zavella (2007) takes a global perspective on

this correlation, making the argument that it is a common condition in many

Latin American and Caribbean societies as well that the absence of a father

figure will have a damaging impact on the family unit as a whole.

Accordingly, Segura & Zavella indicate that "the proportions of female-

headed households vary from one place to another, but a common denominator

among studies which have attempted to account for the existence of the

mother-child household has been the explanation that it is the result of

male instigation. Furthermore, the family which the man 'leaves behind' is

often though to be worse off socially and economically in his absence, be

it temporary or permanent." (Segura & Zavella, 360) This demonstrates the

argument that there is something of a universality to the claims of this

discussion. Particularly, in societies where the family and social

structure are both dependent on the male/female family unit, the absence of

a father for any reason can be negative and can prove disadvantageous for

offspring. Further, the manner in which the absence of the father has come

about is likely also to have some manner of impact on the child.

And as this research demonstrates, there are implications to this

issue which are fully separate from questions of gender. In many contexts,

it is certainly the case that men earn more than women. However, in

addition, for the single-parent household there is an absence of two

earners, which is increasingly seen as a necessity for economic viability.

As the Segura & Zavella text indicates, "while the head of the household's

wage may be the principal source of income for the family, it is not the

only indicator of economic well-being. Contributions from other household

members are also important." (Segura & Zavella, 361) This provides the

research discussion with the insight that without consideration of the

gender implications, we can already observe that the absence of a second

earner in the family can alone be a considerable obstacle for the single

mother to overcome.

Methodology:

The discussion here is driven by a literature review which touches

only on some of the surface issues… [END OF PREVIEW]

Ordering Options:

?
Which Option Should I Choose?

1.  Buy Full Paper (8 Pages)

Perfectly formatted MS Word document!

or

2.  Write a NEW paper for you!

Write a New Paper

Popular!

Effects and Results of Children Living or Coming From Fatherless Homes Term Paper


Living Without a Father Research Paper


Life Without Father When Dads Disappear Term Paper


Cinema Paradiso When I Was Child Term Paper


Redemptive Role of the Black Church Dissertation


View 10 other related papers  >>

Cite This Research Proposal:

APA Format

Effects on Children Who Grow Up in Fatherless Homes.  (2009, July 31).  Retrieved November 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/effects-children-grow-up-fatherless/32063

MLA Format

"Effects on Children Who Grow Up in Fatherless Homes."  31 July 2009.  Web.  21 November 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/effects-children-grow-up-fatherless/32063>.

Chicago Format

"Effects on Children Who Grow Up in Fatherless Homes."  Essaytown.com.  July 31, 2009.  Accessed November 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/effects-children-grow-up-fatherless/32063.