Researchers using a pool from both the U.S. and New Zealand found strong evidence that father absence has an effect on early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. Teens without fathers were twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent.
Additionally, adolescents in single-mother and single-father families are at higher risk of risky behaviors, victimization, and mental distress compared to those in two-parent families. Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree. However, higher quality father-daughter relationships are a protective factor against engagement in risky sexual behaviors.
More Research on Father Absence + Adolescence in Father Facts 8 >
Source: Ellis, Bruce J., John E. Bates, Kenneth A. Dodge, David M. Ferguson, L. John Horwood, Gregory S. Pettit, and Lianne Woodward. “Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy.” Child Development 74 (May/June 2003): 801-821.
Source: Jablonska, B., & Lindberg, L. (2007). Risk behaviours, victimization and mental distress among adolescents in different family structures. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 42, 656-663.
Source: Ellis, B.J., Schlomer, G.L., Tilley, E.H., & Butler, E.A. (2012).
Source: Teachman, Jay D. “The Childhood Living Arrangements of Children and the Characteristics of Their Marriages.” Journal of Family Issues 25 (January 2004): 86-111.