The value of Fathers

As this is being written on Father’s Day Eve, I wish to commend all those good dads who love their kids, and speak in favor of society doing more to strengthen the family in all situations.   When dads take off, it creates an awful effect on the kids.   One of my roles is as an expert witness in child custody cases, so I have looked at the research.  There remains an assumption of the part of many courts that in a divorce the mother should automatically get the kids and to heck with the father.  The courts should consider the research on family structure.  For example, a  study by Mike Hoeve  in 2009, reported in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology  (vol. 37#6) addressed the relationship between parenting and delinquency.  The research was a meta-analysis of 161 research studies by other researchers.   Only 20% of the studies focused on fraternal parenting, yet the results indicated the effects of poor support by the father had a greater impact than maternal poor support.  Poor parental support, such as rejection or hostility, along with poor parental monitoring and poor psychological control were found to be the strongest determinants of delinquency.   That is just one impact, father absence has a profound effect, and the courts should do all possible to keep the parents cooperating in the interest of the kid.  Father’s Day is well received, and should be emphasized.  My kids do, and I love them for it.