Research effects of father absence



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This child's father died even before he was born in a small and provincial southern town. His mother then moved away to further her education, leaving the boy with his grandparents, who owned a small grocery store.

His mother came back when the child was four, having obtained her nursing degree. Then she remarried -- to a reputedly abusive alcoholic. The new family relocated to another town, and a half-brother was born.

The child was sent to school in public schools, and had no particular special advantages, although his mother did send him to summer music camp. Notwithstanding little unusual parental involvement in his academic career, he nevertheless excelled in his studies. He also learned to play the saxaphone, and became very fond of music. He worked hard at his studies in addition to school extracurricular activities.

When he was in high school, he was selected as a delegate to Boys Nation, and went on a trip to Washington, DC, where he got to tour the White House and meet the president.

His dedication to school work paid off when he was awarded a scholarship to an esteemed university. Then he got a scholarship to what is classically considered to be the world's foremost university. After that, he was accepted into the world's most prestigious law school.

When he was 27, he married a woman he had met in law school, and went into politics. He had one child.

It was said of him by locals that if he ever met you once, he would not forget your name, and upon happening to see you even years later, would go out of his way to cross the street to say hello. His charm and warmth became legendary.

After becoming the youngest governor of a state in the United States, this child eventually became the 42nd president of the United States, serving two terms in office. While president, he presided over the lowest unemployment rate in modern times and the longest-ever sustained economic growth of the country, and turned the federal deficit into a surplus.

Notwithstanding suffering a number of personal and political scandals, he ended his service as president with a 65% approval rating of the people -- the highest presidential approval rating of any president upon leaving office since WWII. Afterward, he wrote a book about his life called "My Life" and retired to do humanitarian work.

William Jefferson Clinton, a boy from a "fatherless home."

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* The term "fatherless" is used in this series as it is in current research and policy rhetoric by the U.S. federal government, DHHS and the National Fatherhood Initiative, most U.S. states in connection with child custody law and policy, and various family values and fatherhood interest policy and lobbying groups.

"...Just add Dad, the magic ingredient. It's hard to know where wishful thinking becomes deliberate deception. But this argument, advanced by the fathers' rights movement, is like saying that, since Mercedes Benz owners make more money than people who drive Hyundais, you will become wealthy if you buy a Mercedes..." Mike Peterson



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