Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Elizabeth Goryunova, PhD


Absent fathers, absentee father, absentee father and developing children


This paper examines the crisis of single parent homes, specifically absentee fathers in America. It examines and attempts to explore how father-figure inclusion can mitigate the consequences experienced by the majority of children in absent father homes. Scholarly research to date indicates children of absentee fathers are susceptible to detrimental conditions including an increased likelihood of delinquent behavior, higher risk for teenage pregnancy, emotional instability and an increased propensity for substance abuse. Longitudinal effects can manifest as intergenerational absenteeism, arrested development, low wage employment, stunted education, recidivist incarceration and higher rates of suicide. The objective of this research is to extrapolate new knowledge about the phenomenon of absent fathers by reviewing, critiquing, and synthesizing existing literature as an offering to the body of scholarly work in hopes of reconceptualizing methods for intervention. This is accomplished through qualitative research design, utilizing integrative literature review methodology. Findings strongly suggest high rates of intergenerational father absenteeism through divorce, out of wedlock child bearing, incarceration and other issues leave children at a disadvantage in many areas, and if the rate of father absenteeism can be reduced it will also decrease rates of domestic violence, juvenile detention, unplanned pregnancies, teenaged substance abuse, and behavioral issues in school among other various social problems.