The Facts About Single Fathers

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The Facts About Single Fathers Families are chancing each and every day. There has been much discussion in past years concerning the growth of single-mother households. However, the growing number of single-father households has not gained much attention. In fact, very little research has been conducted in this area. So what do we know about single-father families? History and Demographics Single-father families began to increase in the 1970's. According to the U.S. Census Reports, there were fewer than 350,000 single-fathers who had children living with them in 1960. By 1989 that number had increased to 1.4 million single-father families. In 1993 it was estimated that 15.5% of single-parent families were headed by a male (Gregg, 1994, p.1).

According to Eggebeen and Snyder (1996), research on single-father families had only been conducted using small non-random samples. The primary reasons for these studies was to explore the reasons for father custody and identify the nature of their parenting styles (p.2).

Two studies conducted by Hernandez (1993) and Zill (1998) described the changing family structure (Eggebeen and Snyder, 1996, p.3). Hernandez focused on the growth of single father families while Zill compared the children's well being to that of children in other family types. In order to bring these finings up-to-date and focus on other areas not yet explored Eggebeen and Snyder (1996) conducted a more recent study (p.3). They based this study on the information contained in the 1960, 1970, and 1980 1/1000 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), along with the 5% 1990 PUMS. They note that because the 1990 PUMS is based on 5% of the total U.S. population the sample size is larger than that in previous year's (p.4). From this data they used the following sample sizes of children living in single-father families: 1960, 703 children; 1970, 1,250 children;...