It may seem simple really. Just a name on a form. But babies whose fathers are identified on their birth certificate have a much better chance of surviving that first precious year of life compared to their peers, research reveals.
And that’s only the beginning.
The statistical connection between father involvement and child development, while often underplayed in our society, is startling. A father’s impact touches every aspect of a child’s life: health, safety, happiness, and success in school and in relationships.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
- Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor than their peers.
- Infants without a father’s name on their birth certificate are 2.3 times more likely to die in the first year of life compared to their peers.
- Living in a single-parent home doubles the risk that a child will suffer physical, emotional or educational neglect.
- Children in father-absent homes are 1.6 to 1.8 times more likely to use tobacco and are 1.5 to 1.9 times more likely to use alcohol.
- Teens without fathers are twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant.
- Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.
Click here for more insight on the importance of dads and for tips on how to become a more involved father from the National Fatherhood Initiative.
You also can learn about Community Voice, a grassroots program that uses community volunteers, including men and fathers, in targeted ZIP codes to reduce black infant mortality rates through health education.
• The Father Factor, from the National Fatherhood Initiative