Addressing risk behaviors, service needs, and mental health issues in programs for young fathers.

Journal Name
Families in society : the journal of contemporary social services.
Journal Volume
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Weinman, Maxine L.
Buzi, Ruth S.
Smith, Peggy B.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
Young fathers (N = 143) ages 16 33 participated in an assessment of risk behaviors, service needs, and mental health issues upon entering a fatherhood program. Almost 70% were unemployed, 39% were school dropouts, 47% used alcohol, 40% had problems with the law, and 42% had been in jail. The most frequently reported mental health issues were problems related to relationships, neighborhood, family, tobacco use, police, and being a parent. Fathers also identified feeling states of anger, sadness/depression, nervousness/tension, helplessness, and aggression. Although risk behaviors and mental health issues were identified, fathers did not request services to address them; rather, their most frequently requested service needs were related to jobs and vocational training. The article suggests that an assessment of mental health issues that focuses on a strengths perspective might yield a better evaluation of both mental health issues and service needs. The article addresses ways that program planners could enhance realistic participation. (Author abstract)

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