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 than 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: his health, his safety, his happiness, his success in school and in relationships.
Consider the following:
- Children in father-absent homes are 5 times more likely to be poor than their peers.
- Infants without a father’s name on their birth certificate were 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 were twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and 7 times more likely to get pregnant.
- Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.
For more on the importance of dads, and for tips on how you can become a more involved father, click here.
Follow this link for information 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