Single-fatherhood: an emerging public health challenge

Single-fathers have three times higher chances of dying compared to single-mothers and partnered-fathers, a recent study published in the Lancet Public Health found. The study used Canadian Community Health Survey between the years of 2001 and 2012.

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Families with single-parents are increasingly becoming common in high-income countries. Although most of them are headed by single-mothers, families with single-fathers are also on the rise.

Being single-father on its own is not the problem, the problem is what leads to single-fatherhood and it’s associated social and lifestyle factors.

Key information:

  • More single-fathers (27%) are older (>50) compared to single-mothers (16%).
  • More single-fathers (85%) are separated, divorced, or widowed compared to single-mothers (68%).
  • More single fathers (30%) binge drink in a month compared to single-mothers (11%).

Key insights:

  • Families have evolved with mothers at the heart of it, equipping mothers to lead healthier family lives and building social support around them.
  • To address the issue, fathers should be more involved in home activities and social programs should cater to the needs of them.

 

 

Reference:

Chiu, M., Rahman, F., Vigod, S., Lau, C., Cairney, J., & Kurdyak, P. (2018). Mortality in single fathers compared with single mothers and partnered parents: A population-based cohort study. The Lancet Public Health, 3(3), e115–e123. http://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30003-3

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