How Children Fare Emotionally in Father-Custody Households

Myth -- Post-divorce, children do just as well emotionally in father-custody as in mother-custody.

Fact: "[A]dolescents living in a father-custody household feel more hopeless than adolescents living in a mother-custody family. There is no difference in the effect of sex of the custodial parent between girls and boys. The same-sex hypothesis stating that children are better off living with the parent of the same sex is not supported by these data... [A]dolescents in a father-family perceive less appreciation than adolescents in a mother-family [but this factor] does not seem to have any consequences for the relation between the sex of the custodial parent and well-being...The ...question still needing an answer is why, then, adolescents in father-families suffer more from hopelessness than adolescents in mother-families."

Mieke Van Houtte PhD and An Jacobs, 2004, JOURNAL OF DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE, Volume: 41 Issue: 3, "Consequences of the Sex of the Custodial Parent on Three Indicators of Adolescent's Well-Being:: Evidence from Belgian " 143 - 163

Fact: Remarried custodial fathers are no more involved with their children than they were when married to the children's mothers; while somewhat more involved when still single, when married, they revert back into a pattern of letting the mother-figure in the household rear the children. "Repartnered resident fathers are located in the multidimensional space about halfway between unpartnered resident fathers and resident fathers who are married to resident mothers, indicating that repartnering may pull resident fathers back toward the parenting patterns seen in biological two-parent families."

Daniel N. Hawkins, Paul R. Amato, Valarie King (2006) Parent-Adolescent Involvement: The Relative Influence of Parent Gender and Residence Journal of Marriage and Family 68 (1), 125?136.

Fact: Notwithstanding widespread media disinformation conflating children in mother and father custody as generally suffering detriment that was attributed to their custodial parent's relocation, the actual numbers from Sanford Braver's study of college freshman from divorced families indicated that the most well-adjusted and satisfied children were those in the custody of their mothers whose fathers moved away. Children in the custody of their fathers scored significantly lower on personal and emotional well adjustment than children who remained in the custody of their mothers, had significantly more hostility, and ranked lowest of all groups in general life satisfaction.


Fact: [A]dolescents from single father households are judged by teachers to be less well behaved and to show less effort in class. They also score slightly less than their single-mother counterparts on standardized tests, both verbal and math, and are perceived to be less academically qualified for college. Children raised by single fathers attain on average six months less education.

Downey, D. B., Ainsworth-Darnell, J. W., & Dufur, M. J. (1998). Sex of parent and children's well-being in single-parent households. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60(4), 878-893

Bias: Google search terms "father absence" and research -- 16,300; "mother absence" and research -- 588. (July 30, 2005)

Please read more on the Liz Library.

Gosh, it must suck to see such research on paper. That is why the government is trying to redefine fatherhood, with your tax dollars. Well, sorry, it's not working. Fathers go back to the same ol--same ol once remarried. All of these father-studies are stretching trying to come up with data to prove how important fathers are and what they fail to understand is that some fathers are great, but it is not enough to change the data, or their roles.

0 advocates for peace: