Friday, June 17, 2011

Study Links Education to Responsible Fatherhood

Fathers with a college education are more likely to get married, have better jobs, and spend more time with their children, a recent Pew study reported.

Only 13 percent of fathers with at least a bachelor’s degree had children outside marriage, compared with 51 percent of those with high school diplomas and 65 percent of those who didn’t finish high school.

The divide also exists along ethnic lines. Black and Hispanic fathers were more likely to have children out of wedlock—72 percent and 59 percent, respectively—compared to 37 percent for white men.

Pew also concluded that men with a college education spend more time with their children, about 6.5 hours a week, but some less-educated fathers who struggle to provide for their families are more likely to become estranged.

Among fathers who live away from their children, 27 percent report that they didn’t see them at all in the past year. Almost one-third communicated by phone or email with their children less than once a month. “As a result, many women now raise children outside of marriage or without a father figure,” said Appalachian State University professor Beth Latshaw.

The number of U.S. households with married couples fell below 50 percent for the first time. Sociologists say younger people across all spectra are increasingly delaying marriage, choosing instead to live together as they struggle to find work, and resisting long-term commitments

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