Many believe that fatherlessness is primarily a racial issue. This study recognizes that although fatherlessness exists in all races, it is more prevalent within the African American community. Before beginning this project I assumed there was a primary factor causing fathers to be absent from their children’s lives, but I found that there is not a single reason causing this social trend; it is due to many causes. I arrived at this conclusion by studying the literature and interviewing ten students of various races, from The College of Wooster, and one father. Among the reasons my subjects offered for absent fathers were: young age; substance abuse; absence of paternal role models; and deterioration of relationship. My interviews also revealed the impact that absentee fathers have on children: all of the students I interviewed want children; they desire to forgive their fathers, but they are unsure of full acceptance; the women tend to seek the approval of a male(s); the students felt unwanted emotional stress from their fathers leaving and coming back; in their efforts to deal with this issue students look to media for guidance. Ultimately, this study helps contribute information on how to best mitigate fatherlessness and help mentor youth who are fatherless.


Tierney, Thomas


Sociology and Anthropology



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 LaShanda N. Evans