A Closer Look at Fatherhood

The new report from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics noted the teen birth rate declined 25 percent between 2007-2011—a record low. Teen birth rates fell at least 15 percent for all but two states during this most recent period of sustained decline.  There are many curriculums and programs aimed to reduce teen pregnancy; however, teen pregnancy is closely connected to the goal of promoting responsible fatherhood.

With Father’s Day approaching, RAAPS is taking a special look at how we can highlight responsible fatherhood.  As noted in The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s Why It Matters Publication:

–  Boys and girls without involved fathers are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to abuse alcohol or drugs, twice as likely to end up in jail, and two to three times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems.

–  Teen girls who don’t have a father in their life are two times more likely to initiate sexual activity early and are seven times more likely to get pregnant compared to girls with fathers present.

–  Also, teen girls who have a higher quality relationship with their fathers are less likely to initiate sexual activity compared to those who report a lower quality relationship with their fathers.

–  Teen boys who live with both parents initiate sex at an older age compared to teen boys in other family situations.

Sexual activity among teenage boys is declining.  When they are engaging in sex, more teen boys are reporting using dual methods of birth control.  Although we know there is more that can be done to send a message to teen boys to abstain from becoming a father until they are ready, it’s equally as important to remind fathers of the role they play in helping their own sons and daughters avoid becoming teen parents.  The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) provides a great resource to address just that. This OAH course provides an overview of important insights and data on the unique and irreplaceable role that fathers (including teen fathers) play in the well-being of their children.  It equips organizations to effectively support fathers, consistently and for the long-term, and reduce the ill effects of father absence in communities.  View this resource.

Healthy Teen Network also highlights current data trends in The Unique Needs of Young Fathers publication.  View this resource.

From our family to yours, Happy Father’s Day!


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