The influence of father absence on the self-esteem and self-reported sexual activity of rural southern adolescents.

The ABNF journal : official journal of the Association of Black Nursing Faculty in Higher Education, Inc

PubMedID: 16382796

Hendricks CS, Cesario SK, Murdaugh C, Gibbons ME, Servonsky EJ, Bobadilla RV, Hendricks DL, Spencer-Morgan B, Tavakoli A. The influence of father absence on the self-esteem and self-reported sexual activity of rural southern adolescents. ABNF J. 2006;.
The absence of the father in the resident home is an increasing trend in the United States, and the belief that the absence of fathers is lined with a variety of social pathologies is gaining national momentum. This study explored the relationship of father absence on self-esteem and self-reported sexual activity among rural southern adolescents. A sample of 1,409 adolescents (558 males and 851 females) aged 11 to 18 years was surveyed, and the Miller Self-Esteem Questionnaire (MSQ) was used to measure self-esteem. Analysis revealed that increased sexual activity occurred by adolescents in homes where no father present in the residence. Although a statistical significance was noted in the relationship between father absence and lower self-esteem, the magnitude of the difference was not large. Further, no relationship between self-esteem and sexual activity was noted. Seemingly, the absence of the father has a potentially detrimental effect on adolescents' lifestyle choices. Consideration of the notion that the phenomena of fathering rather than the mere presence of a father may contribute to differences in adolescent's lifestyle choices should be studied.