From Science Daily: Many policymakers and elected officials, including President Barack Obama, have publicly criticized impoverished and African-American fathers for not being involved in the lives of their children. But a new study published in the journal Families in Society suggests the criticism is largely unfounded and that even in cases of incarceration, most low-income fathers are connected to their children.
"Regardless of what these fathers were facing, they tried to stay involved with their children," says Robert Keefe, PhD, an associate professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work and the paper's lead author. In his first inaugural address, President Obama said, "Too many fathers also are missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men." "This is upsetting to hear -- especially when it comes from the top, as in the case of President Obama," says Keefe.
"Our research suggests that fathers are rolling up their sleeves and getting involved with their children."
Results from data collected between 1996 and 2011 indicate that 94 percent of mothers interviewed say their children's fathers were somewhat involved or highly involved with their families. The public criticism derives from a narrow definition of "involvement." How we look at father involvement in this country is all financial, according to Keefe, who says "all kinds of factors are considered when talking about what makes a good mother, but with fathers, economic support is the major criterion."