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Lack of Father Figure During Childhood Development


Fathers’ involvement during a child’s development phase is vital for their overall growth. It is linked to positive health outcomes in infants, including enhanced weight gain and breastfeeding rates (Cabrera et al., 2018). In addition, father involvement characterized by loving and authoritative parenting result in children’s better behavioral, social, academic, and emotional well-being. Conversely, a father’s absence could hamper a child’s development from early infancy through childhood and into adulthood (Mesman & Groeneveld, 2018). In this regard, the quality of the father-child interaction transcends the typical hours spent together.

Short-Term Impacts of the Lack of Father Figure

Children without their fathers encounter various short-term challenges during their development phase. For starters, they suffer greatly at home because of the lack of a sense of security accorded by father figures (Warin, 2018). For example, before a child is born, the relationship between the mother and father during the prenatal period could impact the risk for adverse birth outcomes. In addition, the situation could be detrimental to the academic performances of pre-school-going children. They often show fewer capabilities in reading and thinking skills (Algristian, 2019). Worse still, children without a father figure are more likely to play truant from school.

Long-Impacts of the Lack of a Father Figure

One cannot deny the long-term impacts of the absence of a father figure on a child’s development. Due to the lack of a father’s love in their lives, an individual could be predisposed to instances relating to feelings of abandonment and low self-esteem (Jessee & Adamsons, 2018). Some may turn into drugs, engage in risky sexual practices, substance abuse, and develop disorders (Keston, 2019). About substance abuse, children without their fathers’ guidance could easily be predisposed to delinquency and youth crimes, such as violent crimes. Young girls risk engaging in promiscuity and suffering from teen pregnancy (Freiermuth & Ito, 2020). Part of the sexual health challenges border on the greater likelihood of engaging in sexual intercourse before the appropriate age (Altınsoy, 2022). Thus, they easily become teenage parents and contract sexually transmitted ailments.

Life Results

Life-long outcomes of the absence of a father are detrimental to a child’s development. In this case, they could be subject to behavioral problems, particularly with social adjustments. There is an increased likelihood of reporting challenges while developing friendships. For example, a child could develop an intimidating and swaggering persona to hide their underlying resentments, unhappiness, fears, and anxieties that result from a father’s absence (Alonso, 2019). In terms of health, a child could report more psychosomatic health symptoms and diseases, such as chronic asthma and pain, lasting a lifetime. The same is evident concerning mental health disorders. A father’s absence is consistently overrepresented in diverse mental health issues and conditions. Notable instances of detrimental mental health conditions that a child could suffer from into their adulthood entail the development of depression and anxiety (Fielding et al., 2019). Thus, failure to have an intervention in place for a child may predispose them to start contemplating suicide.


Overall, a child’s development is tied to a father’s involvement in the growth. It plays an essential role in mental and physical development, such as emotional stability and weight gain. However, the father’s absence could hamper a child’s development from early infancy through childhood and into adulthood. These impacts can be categorized into short-, long- and life results. An example of a short-term effect that the lack of a father figure could lead to includes academic performance, particularly for preschool-going children. In this case, a child is likely to show fewer capabilities in reading and thinking skills. A notable long-term impact is that a child without a figure could fall prey to substance abuse and partake in risky sexual practices. Regarding life-long results, a lack of a father figure could make a child develop an intimidating and swaggering persona to hide their underlying resentments, unhappiness, fears, and anxieties.


What was evident from the text was the importance of every child having a father figure. Failure to do so can be detrimental to a child’s development, including physical, mental, and psychological aspects. Parents must ensure that their children grow up in an ideal environment with a father figure. However, interventions must be in place to stop the probable culmination of fatherlessness, including reducing crime rates and fathers’ incarceration.


Algristian, H. (2019). Expressive writing as brief psychotherapy. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences7(16), 2602.

Alonso, M. S. L. (2019). Analyzing child to parent violence (CPV). Revista INFAD de Psicología. International Journal of Developmental and Educational Psychology.1(2), 107-116.

Altınsoy, F. (2022). Posttraumatic Growth Experiences of Adolescents with Parental Loss: A Phenomenological Study. OMEGA-Journal of Death and Dying, 00302228211048668.

Cabrera, N. J., Volling, B. L., & Barr, R. (2018). Fathers are parents, too! Widening the lens on parenting for children’s development. Child Development Perspectives12(3), 152-157.

Fielding, W. J., Sutton, H., Veyrat-Pontet, A., Ballance, V., & Smith, P. (2019). Conclusions: a path forward. Our Prisoners, 181.

Freiermuth, M. R., & Ito, M. F. (2020). Seeking the source: The effect of personality and previous experiences on university students’ L2 willingness to communicate. Learning and Motivation71, 101640.

Jessee, V., & Adamsons, K. (2018). Father involvement and father-child relationship quality: An intergenerational perspective. Parenting18(1), 28-44.

Keston, J. (2019). A Look Back at My Experience with Police Violence, the Root Cause, and the Traumatic Impact It has on Black Communities. Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, 4-9.

Mesman, J., & Groeneveld, M. G. (2018). Gendered parenting in early childhood: Subtle but unmistakable if you know where to look. Child Development Perspectives12(1), 22-27.

Warin, J. (2018). Fathers and Male Preschool Workers. In Men in Early Childhood Education and Care (pp. 59-78). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.


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