Research on fathering in America.

An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that fathers play an important and irreplaceable role in the lives of children:

  • 89% agree that it is important for children to live in a home with both their mother and father.
  • 92% agree that fathers make a unique contribution to their children’s lives.

Americans recognize that significant progress has been made on a number of fronts related to fathers and fathering:

  • Most fathers know what’s going on in their children’s lives +6 percentage points
  • Most fathers feel comfortable discussing spiritual issues with their children
  • Employers recognize the strain fathers face between the demands of family and the demands of work
  • Dads are eating one or more meals with their family each day

Americans have a high level of satisfaction with fathers and fathering:

  • Almost eight out of ten give most fathers credit for doing a good job of providing for and protecting their families (77%) and for caring enough about their children’s feelings (78%).
  • 89% of fathers are satisfied with themselves as fathers.
  • 94% of fathers are satisfied with their ability to talk to their children.
  • 95% of fathers are satisfied with their relationship with their children.

Despite all the positive attitudes expressed by respondents, the state of Fathering in America is decidedly mixed:

  • 7 out of 10 people surveyed agree that the physical absence of fathers from the home is the most significant family or social problem facing America.
  • Less than two in three (64%) believe that most fathers have a good picture of what it takes to be a good father.
  • Only half give most fathers credit for knowing what is going on in their children’s lives.
  • Nearly all respondents (97%) believe that fathers need to be more involved in their children’s education.

(Source: Fathering in America, 2009, National Center for Fathering,