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  Father Facts

Substance Abuse

Family structure significantly impacts adolescent substance and alcohol use, particularly for young men.
Children from father-absent homes are more likely to engage in substance or alcohol use. Children with fathers who abuse drugs are also at greater risk for substance use. Research points to the importance of parental involvement as a protective factor against alcohol and substance abuse.  80% of criminals abuse alcohol and drugs so we are putting incarcerated facts in this section.


  • A study with 441 college students revealed that a poor parental bond with one’s father was highly
    predictive of depression, a well-known predictor of alcohol abuse and related problems for both females
    and males. These findings suggest evidence for parental influences on pathways to alcohol abuse through

  • A study of 296 at-risk adolescents whose fathers were drug abusers revealed that paternal smoking and
    drug use lead to strained father-child relationships. This weakened relationship led to greater adolescent
    maladjustment with family and friends and a higher risk for adolescent drug use and smoking. Fathers who
    smoke cigarettes were less likely to enforce antismoking rules for their children and had weaker bonds in
    terms of adolescent admiration and emulation.

  • One out of every 28 children in 2010 had an incarated parent. Of those children, 3.6% were White
    and 25.1% were Black. More than half (54%) of inmates had childen under the age of 18, and 90% of the
    incarated parents were fathers. Incarceration caused a 30-50% reduction in visitation. On average, the
    number of days that fathers visited their children decreased by two to four days per month following

  • The Pew Center estimated that in 2010 there were over 2.7 million children (or 1 in 28 children) in the
    United States with an incarcerated parent. Additionally, 1.1 million incarcerated individuals are fathers of
    children between the ages of 0-17.

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