New Rich Resource for Fatherhood Information: Father Facts 7


This is your lucky day if you’re looking for trusted US and State statistics, as well as research studies on father involvement, father absence, and the effects on children’s, mother’s and father’s well-being. Especially for those writing funding proposals to support fathers or co-parenting services, this newly released collection of statistics and research summaries provides a goldmine for making your case to funders.  Christopher Brown, President of National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) just announced the release of Father Facts 7

Current Data and Research on Fathers

This 122-page e-book includes tables of national and state statistics spanning 1960-2014 regarding, for example, family living arrangements by race/ethnicity, demographics of single mothers and father absence.  Doing its readers a great service, it also provides brief summaries of almost 200 additional research studies since the previous edition of Father Facts regarding the benefits of father involvement, and the causes and consequences for father absence on children and mothers.  Several chapters share data and research on targeted groups, such as teen fathers, incarcerated fathers, or military fathers, as well as millennials and grandfathers raising children.  The chapter titled Issues Related to Father Absence may be of special interest to those working with families to resolve issues of child custody, child support and supervised visitation. 

The vast review of recent fatherhood studies presented in Father Facts 7 was coordinated by Jay Fagan, Professor in the School of Social Work at Temple University and Co-Director of the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network.  He and his team of social work graduate students identified research studies and data to update the previous edition of Father Facts published in 2010.  Dr. Fagan was on the NICHD-funded panel that contributed to the 2009 revision of the KIPS tool and the online training, KIPS eLearning (Link). 

Father Research Shows Benefits for Children, Mothers and Fathers

Here are a few highlights from the abstracted studies. Whether or not fathers are living in the household, if they are involved positively in their children’s lives, research shows the favorable associations with children’s social, emotional and behavioral well-being, school readiness and academic achievement (Father Facts 7, Pages 62-65).  Research also indicates that fatherhood is related to men’s well-being in terms of more stable employment, stronger ties with extended family and community organizations, and in some studies, fewer mental health disorders (Father Facts 7, Pages 65-67).  When fathers are involved with their children, research studies demonstrate associations with mothers’ healthier pregnancies, fewer symptoms of depression and stress, and more leisure time.  In a study of divorced couples, remarriage was more likely when nonresident fathers had more frequent contact with their children (Father Facts 7,Pages 67-68).

Father Facts 7 is a treasure trove for all who want to better understand the issues, attitudes and parenting of today’s fathers.  Actually, with solid background information on today’s fathers, all of us can better understand the array of contexts that families experience, which will help us meet each family – including father, mother and child — where they are.  With this understanding, we can help them move forward, at their own pace, on a path toward a nurturing family life. 

For our readers who use the KIPS parenting assessment, Father Facts 7 provides a rich resource in their work with families.  KIPS assesses parent strengths and needs within parent-child interaction. Father Facts 7 gives us a current and rich perspective on the wide range of circumstances, benefits and challenges experienced by fathers.  Father Facts 7 also suggests the great value of working with fathers to benefit their children and both parents.  By combining the insights from a KIPS assessment with the current perspective gained from Father Facts 7, we can better serve the whole family.