There are an estimated 70.1 million fathers across the U.S. As we prepare to celebrate dads, it is also a key moment for understanding the lasting and powerful influence a father has in the life of his child. Here are three critical ways dads impact youth development:
- SOCIAL-EMOTIONALLY: Children with more involved fathers experience fewer behavioral problems and score higher on reading and achievement.*
- COGNITIVELY: A father’s involvement in his child’s school is associated with higher likelihood of that child getting mostly A’s.*
- PHYSICALLY: The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that obese children are more likely to live in father-absent homes than are non-obese children.
Yet, not all children have the loving nurturing support of a father. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America — one out of every three — live without their biological fathers at home.
At the YMCA, we recognize that a young person’s development journey is negatively impacted when they do not receive the proper holistic support needed to reach their full potential. Through our youth development programs, we partner with families to ensure all children and teens have an opportunity to develop new skills, build strong friendships, and find their sense of belonging.
By supporting the socio-emotional, cognitive, and physical development of all youth, we support their success in school and life.