Research effects of father absence



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This child was born in Great Britain into a lower middle-class family. His father, who was himself an orphan, worked on a ship, and repeatedly walked in and out of his wife and child's life starting when the boy was still an infant. He left for good, emigrating to another country, when the boy was five.

The child's mother was very young, and financially unable to care for him, and so he was raised mostly by his mother's sister. Thus, the child's young mother also went in and out of his life.

His mother visited him often, however, but the child later would indicate that not being with her regularly was a traumatic loss. On one of her visits when he was a young teenager, she brought him a banjo, and began to teach him how to play it. In his spare time, the child also liked to make drawings and write poetry. In fact, he discovered that he was incredibly good at drawing.

But then the child's mother died in an accident. The child started to become more and more outspoken and rebellious. He found some comfort in his friendship with another boy he met at school who also had lost his mother, and who happened to share his interests. He stayed in touch with him after graduating high school and after going off to attend a fine arts college.

The child decided he did not like college, that it was too "conformist", and so he dropped out. After getting in touch with his high school friend, the two formed a band.

This child, one of the most influential songwriters of the twentieth century, was

John Lennon, 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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