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Where's My Daddy? - The effect of the presence or absence of biological fathers

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Where's My Daddy? Jerome Cason Dr. McColskey PSY2012 November 25, 2002 Tallahassee Community College Where is M y Daddy? The effect of the presence or absence of biological fathers has become a growing trend in the United States; it plays a critical role in the development of children, typically, African-American boys. In examining this problem, two articles were taken into consideration: (1) Behavioral Differences between African American Male Adolescents with Biological Fathers and those without Biological Fathers in the home (Elaine et al., 1999) and (2) Sons, Daughters and Fathers' Absence: Differentials in father-leaving probabilities and in home environments (Mott, 1994). Although the main focus of each article is the absence of fathers, Mott takes a different approach. Integration In comparison, both authors realize the importance of fathers in the household and feel as if it is an issue that should be taken seriously. In 1995, approximately 24 million children - 28% of the population of the American children - did not live with their biological fathers, an increase of 17.5% over that population 36 years ago (Shapiro, Schrof, Sharp, and Friedman, 1995). Also, one important factor that may be missed by the layperson is taken into account by both authors; the effects of matriarchal dominance. ...read more.


Subsequently, Mott takes the difference in child raising patterns into effect when considering the outcome of single parent homes (1994). In addition, Mott also examines the relationship between girls and the absence of their father (1999). He concluded that gender difference was less pronounced in African-American children (1999, p.11). In other words, regardless of your gender, the absence e of a father generally has the same effect. His could also be the result of cultural differences. However, my sisters seemed to be favored in my household. My mother and my sisters were able to bond on a different level than my mother and me. There seemed to be a lack of understanding when it came to gender specifics (e.g. sex and relationships) although my mother claimed to understand since she was once a girl. Next, one important issue that must not be overlooked is the issue of African-American family structure. Elaine et al. agrees that the African-American family structure is often extended and multigenerational and not limited to the membership of the nuclear family (1999, p.1). In this setting, often other male role models are available to the children. ...read more.


The issue of perhaps, children in the South being raised differently from the children in the Midwest is not addressed at all. There could possibly be more slave descendants in the South, which could possibly affect how children are disciplined when there is conduct disorder or poor academic performance. Second, it does not explain whether non-biological fathers were present at all. The presence of stepfathers could make a significant difference in the results of this study. For example, Elaine et al. suggests that there was no strong empirical evidence for the link between father absence and criminal behavior (1999, p.2). However, this could have been due to the presence of a stepfather or even and a live in boyfriend. All in all, when these factors are taken into account the results of the study can be misleading. It is important to remember that as much bias as possible should be eliminated and strong confounding variables should be recognized. In addition, this study appeared to be thorough and strong in its implications. One finding that I did not mention earlier was that, interestingly, 77% of those participants who skipped a grade had to repeat a grade to catch (1999, p.5). Perhaps the practice of skipping grades needs to be abandoned since in the end there is no gain from actually skipping a grade. ...read more.

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