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Govts Told, Dads Matter

Media Release

Govts Told, Dads Matter
Monday, February 18, 2008

An extensive review of research encompassing the last twenty years has confirmed that fathers and father figures play an important role in raising well-adjusted and law-abiding children. Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell summarised the findings;

"According to Science Daily the Swedish researchers found that;
- regular positive contact reduces criminal behaviour among children in low income families
- children who lived with both a mother and father figure had less behavioural problems than those who just lived with their mother
- children who had positively involved father figures were less likely to smoke and get into trouble with the police, better levels of education and developed good friendships with children of both sexes.

The researchers advised that governments have an important role to play in creating public policy that ensures fathers spend time with their children."

"New Zealand has the second highest rate of single parent families in the developed world. In part this is because of the long-term state support available for those families. Most developed countries time-limit and work-test assistance for single parents. These conditions reduce incentives to form fatherless families."

"One of the focusses of this year's election campaign will be youth crime but both main parties have so far failed to address the underlying problem. Reducing anti-social behaviour rests on reintroducing an expectation that fathers will financially and emotionally support their children. If the state continues to replace fathers whole communities will continue to suffer the results."

Background; The review examined 24 papers published between 1987 and 2007 which included major ongoing research from the US and UK and 22,300 individual sets of data.


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