Outcomes of racially and ethnically diverse youth who grow pp in biological father-absent homes
Parker, Joshua J.
AdvisorPadilla Medina, Diana
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There is limited research on how biological father absence impacts the outcomes of children and youth from racially and ethnically diverse groups in the U.S. Some research with racially and ethnically diverse samples, mostly young children, suggest that the relationship between a biological father and a child can be a union that has the potential to positively contribute to a child’s growth and development. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review to examine the state of the empirical literature on the outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse youth who are living in the U.S. and who are between the ages of 14 and 25 years of age associated to growing up in biological father-absent homes. A systematic search of peer-reviewed journal articles published in English was conducted using an electronic search. The rigorous search identified 9 studies that addressed outcomes of growing up in a biological father-absent homes and racial and ethnic differences in youth meeting eligibility requirements. The search yielded few studies, indicating a need to conduct future research in this area. The studies primarily addressed differences among Black and Latino youth. Latino and Black youth are particularly impacted by biological father absence. Biological father absence has a negative influence on the outcomes of youth, including early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy, homelessness, healthcare uninsuredness, political nonparticipation, externalizing and internalizing behaviors, and to a lesser extent poor health and educational well-being. Although, limited analyses by race and ethnicity did not allow for us to determine the extent of the influence on racially and ethnically diverse youth. As part of appraising and synthesizing the evidence, recommendations for research, practice, and policy are presented. Keywords: fathers, single families, youth, race and ethnicity, negative consequences