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Fatherless children more prone to behavioral and mental problems

Fatherless children more prone to behavioral and mental problems

31 March | 0 Comments | By Arizona Mental Health Helpline Team

Undeniably, a father is a role model to his children. From sharing their first-day experience at school to disclosing their first secret, fathers play an important role in their children’s lives.  However, many children grow up without a father to guide them or hold them when they stumble. The increase in the number of divorce cases and bearing children out-of-wedlock has resulted in a rapid growth of single mothers, nonresidential fathers, or a cohabiting relationship with a stepfather or stepmother, etc.

According to the 2007 United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report, the children of the advanced countries like the United States rank extremely low in terms of social and mental well-being due to various reasons, particularly the long absence of father.

Impact of father’s absence on overall personality of children

Though a father is often viewed as a financial supporter of the family by the stereotypical society, he is also a source of immense emotional strength for his children, which is an essential ingredient of raising the kids. After a divorce, the role of a father is reduced to that of an “accessory parent,” which deprives the children of all that care and happiness that only a father can provide.

In fact, divorced fathers are looked down upon as an insignificant component of their children’s lives. They are criticized and estranged from their children’s lives. As a result, children often go through some terrible problems, that affects both mentally and emotionally, some of which are mentioned below:

  • Loneliness: Such children often complain of feeling lonely and abandoned while struggling with their emotions.
  • Behavioral problems: Most of the children who grow up without a father tend to have difficulty in making social adjustments and often fail in relationships, such as friendships or relationship with their mother, etc., as well as are likely to manifest behavioral problems.
  • Poor academic performance: The children without fathers find it difficult to prove their performance at school. Moreover, they tend to display comparatively lesser concentration and poor decision-making capabilities.
  • Crime: Due to the continued absence of a fatherly figure to direct toward the right and wrong, children often become too vulnerable to commit heinous crimes. Consequently, there has been a rapid increase in the rate of crime and violence.
  • Teen pregnancy: In the absence of a father, girls are more likely to indulge in sexual activities and end up with problems related to pregnancy and other sexual issues.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse: According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse. Compared to children staying with their parents, such children are more likely to smoke, drink and abuse drugs in their adulthood.
  • Exploitation: There is a greater risk of being exploited sexually, emotionally and physically among children living with single mothers or others.
  • Physical health problems: Fatherless children are significantly more prone to health illnesses due to their irregular food habits, drug abuse or mental issues.
  • Mental health disorders: Mental health issues are one of the prevalent issues among the fatherless children. They tend to suffer from severe cases of mental issues, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. The children of single parents are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.

Strengthen relationships to build future

The absence of a father can have tremendous effect on a child’s mental health. If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health disorder, it is important to seek medical help immediately. You can seek assistance from the Arizona Mental Health Helpline to get in touch with the various residential mental health treatment centers in Arizona. You can call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-606-7791 or chat online to know about various mental health disorder treatment centers in Arizona.

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