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The Effects of Absent African American Fathers

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Autor:   •  November 7, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  3,375 Words (14 Pages)  •  1,042 Views

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The problems among young black males stem from many areas such as lack of occupational opportunity, low self-esteem, living in a violent environment, drugs. The root of the problem of black males may be the absence of the father in the black family. This research examines the direct relationship between the absence of the black father and the problems of the young black male. The relationship between the absent father and the problems of the young black male is definitely a strong one. Black males need strong black fathers as models in which to live their lives. They need them for their self-esteem, because without them they are missing a part of themselves. The absent black father tends to turn into a cycle among black males. Young black males whose fathers were not there for them tend not to be there for their children. This research shows the relationship between the absent black father and his black male children's development, socially, and psychologically.

The research was conducted through extensive searches of various academic journals utilizing EBSCO Host Database. I would always like to give much credit to Cory Ellis for most of this research paper. A lot of the information found throughout my research came from Cory Ellis's "Growing up without Father: The Effects on African American Boys".


According to Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007, a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau in November, 2009: There are 13.7 million single moms and dads currently raising their children in the U.S . . . . Statistically, this number has not changed since 1994. 21.8 million children under the age of 21 are being raised by a single parent. This represents 26.3% of all children under 21 in the U.S. Mothers represent 82.6% of all custodial parents. Fathers represent 17.4% of all custodial parents. Over half of society's African American youth are being raised by one parent, namely the mother. The need for role models and the attempt to substitute them has created an alliance of deviancy with less than ideal older models and more youth living in female headed households and seeking unfit role models (Ancona, 1998). These role models are men who are themselves engaged in deviant, antisocial and often illegal behavior. The support and mentorship established in the traditional homes has been neglected and therefore rejected by these youth. The absence of fathers leads to the misguided notion of non-responsibility for African American adolescents and fosters a youth culture of delinquent behavior. In poor economic times, the affliction of poverty and the absence of family structure become more challenging.

The absence of the father is generally the main predictor for drug use by black males (Mandara & Murray, 2006). This is true even when one factor in family socioeconomic status, parental monitoring, friends' drug use and neighborhood crime. Black males in father-absent homes are not only more likely to use drugs than boys in father present homes; they are also more likely to use drugs than girls in father absent homes (Mandara & Murray, 2006). According to Dick Price, the Editor of the LA Progressive; Four out of five black youth can expect to be caught up in the criminal justice system during their lifetimes.

Background to Problem

Throughout this research it will be determine whether delinquent behaviors of African American male are a result of father absence, and to what extent is there a relation between African Americans males growing up without fathers and their behavior? Over the past 20 years there has been a steady increase in the number of men who have children but are not actively involved in their children's lives, especially in the African American community (Ancona, 1998). The lifestyle choices of these men contribute to whether they become involved in their own child's life. The effects of these lifestyle choices can be seen in the children as adolescents.

Purpose of the Research

The purpose of this research is to see if there is a relation between African American males who grow up without a father figure and the males having a higher crime rate, higher dropout rate, and increased alcohol and drug abuse. Also there is a relationship between African American boys growing up without a father and the likelihood of them getting involved with gangs and growing up in poverty.

Significance of the Study

The purpose of this paper is to show the effects fatherlessness has on African American boys and to stress the importance of having a father figure in the home. There is a substantial body of research literature documenting the positive benefits fathers bring to the lives of their children. A review of studies on father involvement and child well-being published since 1980, found that 82 % of these studies showed significant associations between positive father involvement and offspring well-being (McLanahan, 1994).

Theoretical Perspectives

I believe that young males, who grow up without a father, are more likely to be involved in deviant behavior; such as: drugs and imprisonment and are more likely to have anger issues.

Literature Review

Over half of African American youth are being raised in one-parent, female-headed households (Ancona, 1998). The boys being raised in these female-headed households have a strong need for role models. This natural desire to reach out to older males for guidance has pushed young boys to seek deviant older male role models (Popenoe, 1996). The support and mentorship established in the traditional homes has been neglected and therefore repudiated by these youth. The absence of fathers, and the notion of non-responsibility for African American adolescents misguided and promote of delinquent behavior, especially for African American boys. With a lapse in the economy, the affliction of poverty, illness and absence of family structure become more apparent.

Recent research on African American boys has focused on the elements of parenting and strategies to strengthen those skills. According to the research done in the 1980's, the differences in intelligence were examined as a factor amongst white and black children growing up in different environments (Deutsch & Brown, 1964). Further and more current research seemed to prove that parenting and peers played a significant role in influencing African American boys (Paschall, Ringwalt, & Flewelling, 2003). Risk indicators of parenting practices have placed an emphasis on the effects of mothers to maintain a household while providing a certain amount of stability and


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