Where’s Poppa?: Dads’ Roles Changing with the Times
A Pew Research Center analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) confirms the continuation of a 50-year trend leading to more than one in four fathers of children 18 or younger living apart from their children; 11 percent live separately from some of their children and 16 percent from all of them. Logically, the study further shows that fathers living with their children become more intensely involved in their lives, spending more time with them and taking part in a greater variety of activities, such as sharing meals, helping with homework and playing.
Black fathers (44 percent) are more than twice as likely as white fathers (21 percent) to live apart from their children, while Hispanic fathers (35 percent) are in the middle. Among fathers that never completed high school, 40 percent live apart from their children, compared with only 7 percent of fathers that graduated from college.
Many absent fathers try to compensate by communicating via email, social media or phone. Almost half say they are in touch with their children several times a week, but nearly one-third communicate less than once a month. Twenty percent say they visit their children more than once a week, but 27 percent have not seen their children in the past year.