Children who have an ongoing, positive connection to their fathers do better in school and get along better with their peers than children without such a relationship. Those children whose fathers play a positive role in their lives also tend to stay out of the juvenile justice system. Unfortunately, the latest figures show that 17 million children in this country have absent fathers (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1996). In addition, each year 1 million children are born to unwed parents, and another million are newly affected by divorce. What is more, close to 3 million are being raised solely by their fathers. Policymakers' interest in fatherhood has been fueled by these statistics. (Author abstract).
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