The Effects on Children of Fathers-in-Absentia

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“The Effects on Children of Fathers-in-Absentia”

Oakland Community College

Dr. Suzanne Cleck, PsyD

Class: The Fundamentals of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

My father left my mother and I during the first year of my life. I know first hand the psychological effects of growing up in a fatherless household. I grew up with feelings of stress, generalized anxiety and a pervasive sense that there was something missing in my life, a sense of being incomplete. Even then I knew that something was awry, but was never able to articulate my feelings or needs. Statistically, children from fatherless single-parent families suffer a myriad of maladies than those children of two-parent households. As a direct result “…they are at greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse and dependency, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality.” (1) In my First Paper, “Why I Chose to Take This Class, the Fundamentals of Drug and Alcohol Abuse,” I revealed that during my infancy my father was an addict and ultimately left my mother and I solely because he did not want to give up his drug-oriented lifestyle. I was born an addict by definition. My mother used and abused drugs up until the day she found out she was pregnant with me. My father never stopped using and is a current alcoholic and sometime drug-user. “Teenagers living in single-parent

households are more likely to abuse alcohol and at an earlier age compared to children reared in two-parent households.” (2) It has also been shown that the absence of the father in the home affects significantly the behavior of adolescents and results in the greater use of alcohol and marijuana." (3) I saw the use of recreational drugs as a norm and never questioned the legal or moral implications of its use. Children with fathers at home tend to do better in school, are less prone to depression and are more successful in relationships. Children from...
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