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Author: Gallagher, Maggie
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Gallagher, Maggie
Fatherless Boys Grow Up Into Dangerous Men
Wall Street Journal, (1 December 1998): A,22,3
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Dow Jones, Inc.
Keyword(s): Arrests; Crime; Divorce; Family Formation; Fathers, Absence; Fathers, Biological; Parents, Single; Poverty; Remarriage

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Gallagher (by-line) an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values and a nationally syndicated columnist writes: "Coincidence? Between 1980 and 1990 the homicide arrest rate for juveniles jumped 87%. Following rapid changes in family formation in the 1970s, youth violence rose sharply in the 1980s and '90s, even while it declined for adults over age 25. Such correlations are merely hints that fatherlessness causes crime. Until recently, scientific evidence has been hard to come by. Researchers had long suspected a link between father absence and crime, but few had access to the kind of large nationally representative database needed to rule out alternative theories. Since boys raised by single parents disproportionately come from disadvantaged backgrounds, maybe it was not fatherlessness but poverty or discrimination that put them at risk of crime. Nor could most of these earlier studies distinguish between different sorts of disrupted families: Was it just children of unwed mothers who were at risk, or did divorce have similarly negative effects? Is a stepfather as good as a biological dad? How much does remarriage, which dramatically raises family income, do to restore to children the protection of a two-parent home? To answer questions like these, Cynthia Harper, a demographer at the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco, along with Princeton's Sara McLanahan, one of the nation's top family scholars, undertook what few researchers had in the past: a longitudinal look at how family structure affects serious crime, using a large national database, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Their study offers a unique opportunity to calculate the true costs of family breakdown and to compare different theories about the "root causes" of crime."
Bibliography Citation
Gallagher, Maggie. "Fatherless Boys Grow Up Into Dangerous Men." Wall Street Journal, (1 December 1998): A,22,3.