One in five American mothers have children from different fathers
Study finds that 28 percent of mothers have children by at least two different men
A new study shows that one in five of all American moms have children who have different birth fathers. And when researchers compare them with only moms with two or more children, that figure is even higher: 28 percent have children with at least two different men.
Multiple-father type of family structures were more common among minority women, with 59 percent of African-American mothers, 35 percent of Hispanic mothers and 22 percent of white mothers reporting children with more than one father.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Multiple-father type of family structures were more common among minority women, with 59 percent of African-American mothers, 35 percent of Hispanic mothers and 22 percent of white mothers reporting children with more than one father.
"To put it in perspective, this is similar to the number of American adults with a college degree," the study's author, Cassandra Dorius, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research says. "It's pervasive."
Dorius' study examined data from nearly 4,000 U.S. women who had been interviewed more than 20 times over a 27-year period.
Dorius says the findings are highly important in regards to the consequences to both the mother and her children. Women with children from multiple fathers tend to be disadvantaged compared to other moms. "They are more likely to be under-employed, to have lower incomes, and to be less educated," Dorius says.
This type of family structure, with children from multiple fathers can lead to a lot more stress for everyone involved, in part because the women need to juggle the demands and needs of more than one dad.
"Everyday decisions are more complex and family rules are more ambiguous," Dorius says. "Families need to figure out who lives with whom and when, who pays for things like clothing, who is responsible for child support."
Earlier studies that looked at women with children from different dads focused only on young or inner-city mothers. New data shows that this kind of family structure is found at all levels of income and education. The figures are frequently tied to divorce and remarriage and not just to single motherhood, Dorius says. Forty-three percent of the women with children with multiple dads were married when their first babies were born.
Women with low income and little education were also more likely to have children with different birth fathers. \"While these women tended to be poorer than others to begin with, their whole lifetimes continue to be disadvantaged," Dorius says.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Mothers, fathers, advantaged, disadvantaged, single moms
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