Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Importance of a Dad

I am currently reading a book called Apologetics For a New Generation. In the third chapter I ran across some interesting statistics from three different studies. I have known that the influence of a father figure is important to the proper development of our kids, but these studies really suggest that the role of a dad is far greater than I imagined.

The studies were done after the tragic killings at Columbine High School. The first, commissioned by Columbia University, was to see if family structure had any impact on drug and alcohol use and if that played a part in the tendency toward violent behavior. Here are a few of the findings:

* In a single-parent home where the mother is the head of the home, a child is 30 percent more likely to become involved in drugs, alcohol and violence.

* In a two-parent biological home, but where there is a fairly poor relationship with the father, a child is 68 percent likely to become involved in drugs, alcohol and violence.

* In a two-parent biological home where the child has a good to excellent relationship with the father, a child is less than 6 percent likely to become involved in drugs, alcohol or violence.

Family structure and relationships within the family produce the likelihood of certain behaviors.

Another study was commissioned by the FBI to see if there was a profile that could help teachers, administrators and police to identify potential shooters. It's called the Classroom Avenger profile. The study of 17 previous school shooters found that they shared three main characteristics. They were all white, middle class and came from homes where the father was absent, distant or not involved in the parenting process.

The final study that was mentioned was commissioned by Johns Hopkins to identify contributing factors to five diseases or conditions--mental illness, hypertension, malignant tumors, heart disease and suicide. After 30 years of studying 1,377 subjects, they found only one common link among these conditions--a lack of closeness to ones parents, especially the father. Stress is the key. Those that grow up in a loving, nurturing home are better able to deal with stress. The relationships in their families, especially with fathers, equip them to handle the stresses that can cause these debilitating conditions!

I found these things to be interesting and worth sharing.

By the way, I love being a dad (most days).

John <><


Amanda said...

These are interesting indeed. Thankfully, Richard tries hard to be an involved dad. He too loves it on most days.

I wonder what the future will be like with divorce rates as high as they are now.

Mike said...

I think I've also seen a study where people need a certain amount of stress to remain healthy.

Claudia said...

I ran across a survey our son had taken in high school as a class assignment. When asked which of his parents ihe needed most, he said his dad. So there you go...real life example.

Bandit said...

My son is 31 and we still talk almost every day. We have always been buds. He was truly a great french horn player and we spent alot of tme together in the bandroom.

As a retired educator, I can tell you that these studies are right on target.

Mike said...

@bandit - "alot of tme together in the bandroom"

Well you blew it on 'alot'. Then you messed up 'tme'. But I'm really glad you got 'bandroom' right.

Bilbo said...

This is why I have a problem with gay couples wanting to raise children...I have no doubt that they can love the child, but I believe that child needs both a mother and a father to help teach the lessons that only a male or a female parent can impart. I'm like John...I loved being a dad (most days), but somehow I love being a grandfather even more.