According to Professor Gordon E. Finley of Florida International University, a father’s presence in the household is key to fighting poverty.
Non-resident fathers are responsible parents. The principle cause of poverty in the U.S. is absent fathers. Fathers in households build the self-esteem of children, pulling them out of the cycle of poverty.
Fathers who parent may be residents or nonresidents of their children’s households. Father presence is a rich and complex construction of parenting roles and relationships with their children. The concept of father absence should not be limited by its emphasis on the residential location of biological fathers. However, it is limited by personal contact patterns. Furthermore, the paradigm seems to be established upon a cultural ideal of masculinity prevalent in the historical period prior to the 1970s (Lamb, 1987). As such, father presence is more than the mere antithesis of father absence. Unfortunately, very little research focuses on the broader concept of father presence. Nevertheless, these few studies are powerful and compelling.
Very significant statistical data and research can be found on this subject in “Fathers’ Rights” (Basic Books) authored by Jeffery Leving.
“Father Presence extends beyond physical boundaries and plays a critical role in the lives of their children and their emotional well-being. The presence of fathers in families will create better households economically and the children of these families will do better socially, psychologically and have a more positive outcome in their education. Elementary school children who showed violent behavior were 10 times as likely to not have involved fathers in their lives,” said Timothy O’Grady, Director of The Fatherhood Educational Institute (http://fatherhood-edu.org).
Numerous demographic studies show that children raised in families without fathers are at extremely increased risk of living and growing up in poverty. Family dysfunction and disorganization is consistently and positively related to area crime rates, and the relationship remains when other ecological characteristics like poverty and race are included as controls.
The most reliable predictor of crime in America is father absence.
The vision of the Fatherhood Educational Institute is to promote positive fatherhood involvement in all communities. Its vision is a world where all fathers are involved in the lives of their families. Fathers should be encouraged in their efforts to be involved in their children’s healthy development, not kicked to the curb.
The Fatherhood Educational Institute is based out of Chicago and hopefully will lead to much needed social and legal reform in America.
The Fatherhood Educational Institute is a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to educating fathers about their rights and responsibilities and empowering them to stay involved in the lives of their children.