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Entries in reports (1)

Wednesday
Nov022011

Fathering should be treated as a public health issue

A new report from Addaction, the drug and alcohol charity, emphasises the importance of fathers and the impact that absentee fathers have on young people and suggests that fatherng should be treated as a public health issue.

It found that not having a father left young people feeling angry, less confident, more insecure and with self esteem problems. 

"What was particularly revealing was the impact that growing up without a dad had on these young people. Far from the view that the make-up of families does not matter, our evidence suggests that not having a dad can be deeply damaging to a young person, especially where there are no alternative positive male role models," commented the report's author Martin Glynn.

Interviewees also described how the impact of 'father hunger/deficit' had created a void within their lives. Many described feeling rootless with no sense of security or identity because of their father's absence; and how they had turned to anti-social behaviour or substance misuse as result.

The young dads who were interviewedsaid that they found it difficult to cope with being parents and their struggles were "often rooted in not having their own father's support in the process." 

One young man talked about the separation from his own child and how inadequate he felt not being able to parent adequately. A significant amount of his anguish was in seeing the same cycle that had affected him, now affecting his own child.