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The Impact of Fatherlessness in Young Girls and Women

Fatherlessness refers to the absence or limited presence of a father figure in a child's life, particularly during their formative years. This absence can occur due to various circumstances, including: death, divorce or separation, incarceration, or the father may be physically present but emotionally distant, or he may be absent from the child's life due to work-related commitments, substance abuse issues, or other reasons.

Psychological Effects of Fatherlessness in Girls

Girls growing up without a father figure may experience a range of psychological issues, such as anxiety, low self-esteem, and feelings of abandonment. These girls may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors and have difficulty forming meaningful relationships in adulthood.

Some of the major causes of psychological issues in fatherless girls include feelings of rejection, abandonment, and low self-worth. These feelings can lead to a range of negative behaviors and emotions in adulthood. It's essential to note that not all fatherless girls will experience these psychological effects, and many individuals from such backgrounds demonstrate resilience and overcome challenges with the right support systems in place.

Emotional Impact of Growing Up Without a Father Figure

The emotional effects of growing up fatherless can be severe and long-lasting. Girls may have difficulty trusting others and forming meaningful relationships, and may struggle with feelings of insecurity and worthlessness.

"Growing up without a father figure is like driving without a map – it's easy to get lost."

The emotional impact of growing up without a father figure can lead to:

  • feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety or depression

  • low self-esteem

  • emotional insecurity

  • feelings of abandonment

  • loneliness and isolation

  • trust issues

  • withdrawing from relationships

  • seeking external validation

  • engaging in risk taking behaviors

  • strength, determination or motivation

  • seeking father figures in other males

  • communication issues

  • vulnerability in interactions with others

  • complex emotions involving forgiveness and healing

Social Effects on Young Girls and Women

Girls growing up fatherless may also experience social challenges, such as difficulty making friends and navigating social situations.

Women who grew up without a father are:

2x more likely to suffer from obesity

9x more likely to drop out of school

54% more likely to be incarcerated

​4x more likely to experience poverty

Statistics and Research on Fatherlessness

Fatherlessness is a complex and multifaceted issue, and there is a wealth of research and statistics available that shed light on its impact. Below are only a few key statistics and research findings related to fatherlessness.

More than 19 million children live without a father:

63% of youth suicides occur in households without a father:

71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes:

Ways to Cope with the Absence of Father Figure

Coping with the absence of a father figure can be a challenging and emotional process. However, there are steps one can take to help manage the difficulties. Check out how to Navigate Through Grief and Loss.

Resources Available to Support Those Dealing with Fatherlessness


  • "Fatherless Daughters: Turning the Pain into Power" by Pamela Thomas

  • "Healing the Father Wound" by Kathy Rodriguez

  • "The Father Factor: How Your Father's Legacy Impacts Your Career" by Stephan B. Poulter

Get involved with A Sisterhood For Fatherless Daughters non-profit organization

becoming a mentor (big sister) for fatherless daughters

volunteering with us

or donating to the cause

"A Sisterhood for Fatherless Daughters," plays a crucial role in providing support, mentorship, and a sense of community to help fatherless girls navigate these psychological challenges. By addressing these issues openly and offering resources for emotional well-being, our organization empowers young women to build resilience and lead fulfilling lives despite the absence of a father figure.

It is incumbent upon all of us to raise awareness about this issue and support organizations that are working to help those impacted by it.


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