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Children Living with Married Biological Parents Have Less Behavioral Issues

Studies have found that compared to children who live with two married biological parents, children who live apart from their fathers are generally more likely to be suspended from school, participate in delinquent activities, experience depression and anxiety, and report various behavioral problems.

 

According to study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, various studies have shown that children who live apart from their biological father have a greater risk of negative life outcomes. These studies have also found that compared to children who live with two married biological parents, children who live apart from their fathers are generally more likely to be suspended from school, participate in delinquent activities, experience depression and anxiety, and report various behavioral problems. For this particular study, the researchers examined how family structure and father involvement relates to adolescentsí external and internal behavioral problems. As with previous studies conducted on this subject, the researchers of this study found significant differences in the level of behavioral problems between adolescents living with their married biological parents and those in all other family structure categories. According to this study, adolescents whose mothers divorced and remained single, or those born outside marriage with their mother remaining unmarried, and those in other family types reportedly had the greatest behavioral problems when compared with adolescents who lived with their married biological parents. Furthermore, adolescents who experienced their mother marrying a stepfather after a parental divorce showed the worst behavioral issues. According to the researchers, the fact that many young adolescents who live with their biological father experience his (the fatherís) active involvement in their lives, while most that live away from their fathers do not, is an important aspect of why children who live with their married biological parents typically have higher a well-being. [1]

 

[1]Family Structure, Father Involvement, and Adolescent Behavioral Outcomes, Journal of Marriage and Family, February 2006, pp. 137-154.


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