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Survey Shows Black Fathers Break Away from Stereotypes

Patience Edet Goanue | 2/11/2014, 12:59 p.m.
The Black father has been stereotypically described to be many things. Now he can add: responsible and engaged father to ...
Doyin Richards, a father of two girls lives in Los angeles and has been promoting the image of a black father that defies standing stereotypes. http://www.facebook.com/daddydoinwork Doyin Richards@daddydoinwork

The Black father has been stereotypically described to be many things. Now he can add: responsible and engaged father to the list. A recent national survey has found that Black fathers are involved in their children's lives as much and even more than his Latino and white counterparts.

The survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, documents the extent of more than 3,900 fathers' involvement in their children’s lives between 2006 and 2010. According to the report, children whose fathers assumed 40 percent or more of the family’s care-tasks had better academic achievement than children whose fathers were less involved. The survey used multiple indicators of father involvement for both fathers who live with their children and fathers who live apart from their children.

Among fathers who lived with their young children, 70 percent of Black fathers bathed, dressed, diapered, and helped their children use the toilet every day compared with 60 percent white and 45 percent Hispanic fathers. 41 percent of Black fathers who lived with their children helped with homework everyday compared to 29 percent of Latino and 28 percent of white fathers.

The survey conducted an assessment on several activities the fathers participated in with children under the age of five including:

  • Eating meals with or feeding the children
  • Bathing, diapering, or dressing the children, or helping the children bathe, dress, or use the toilet themselves
  • Playing with the children
  • Reading to the children
  • For children aged 5–18, activities include:
  • Talking with the children about things that happened during their day
  • Eating meals with the children
  • Helping the children with homework or checking that the homework had been done
  • Taking the children to or from activities

The survey was reviewed and approved by the NCHS and University of Michigan Institutional Review Boards.