Growing up without a father can permanently alter the BRAIN: Fatherless children are more likely to grow up angry and turn to drugsThis is based on mouse studies, so may not be directly applicable to humans. Nevertheless it gives a biochemical mechanism for how kids are harmed from the lack of a father in the home.
Canadian scientists believe growing up in a fatherless household could have a greater impact on daughters than on sons
They said growing up without a father could permanently alter the structure of the brain and produce children who are more aggressive
Dr Gabriella Gobbi of McGill University in Canada said that the main impacts were seen in the prefrontal cortex
Growing up without a father could permanently alter the structure of the brain and produce children who are more aggressive and angry, scientists have warned.
Children brought up only by a single mother have a higher risk of developing ‘deviant behaviour’, including drug abuse, new research suggests.
It is also feared that growing up in a fatherless household could have a greater impact on daughters than on sons.
I show the brain scan because that always makes any brain article seem much more scientific.
‘This suggests that these mice are a good model for understanding how these effects arise in humans.’ The report said the behaviour of the mice was ‘consistent with studies in children raised without a father, highlighting an increased risk for deviant behaviour and criminal activity, substance abuse, impoverished educational performance and mental illness’.A large number of our social ills can be attributed to kids being raised by single moms.
It added: ‘Our results emphasise the importance of the father during critical neurodevelopmental periods, and that father absence induces impairments in social behaviour that persist to adulthood.’ Dr Gobbi said the results suggested both parents are vital for children’s mental health development and hoped the findings would spur researchers to look more deeply into the role of fathers.
A separate report by the Centre for Social Justice, published in June this year, found that more than 1million British children currently live without a father and have no adult male role model, a figure that is rising by 20,000 a year.
Some of the poorest parts of the country are becoming ‘men deserts’, the report found, because there are so few visible male role models for children.
In the Manor Castle ward of Sheffield 75 per cent of households are headed by a single parent, most commonly a woman.