Psychology of fatherless children

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Parents and personality development

In my previous article How your relationship with your parents affects you i explained how the way your caregivers raise you affect the way you interact with people throughout your life.

I also said that children with a not so available father can develop many psychological problems when they become adults. But what about fatherless children?
What about children who never met their fathers?

How does the absence of the father figure affects a child's development?

Psychology of fatherless children

The father is usually the one responsible for helping the child in developing his life skills.

If the father was absent then the child might fail to develop his personality properly and might develop some psychological disorders. The reason i used the word might is that in psychology you can't just assume one factor will always lead to another because there are always many factors that affect the development of a child's personality at the same time.

Here are some of the complications that might happen to a child with an absent father:

  • Insecurity: In most cultures the father is the one who provides protection and resources. When a child is raised without a father he might develop feelings of insecurity. Males might develop financial insecurity if the mother wasn't able to provide enough money for the family. Females might become gold diggers who easily get impressed by rich people. The feelings of insecurity might extend to other areas of the children's lives and as a result they might develop anxiety disorders
  • Lack of life skills: Without the right guidance The fatherless child might not develop important life skills and lag behind his peers in both the social and the academic field. The child might become socially withdrawn and might fail to get a good academic degree. Some studies have shown that children with absent fathers are more likley to lag behind their peers in academic studies
  • Unable to comply to laws or authorities: Children with absent fathers, especially males, might not learn to submit to any authority figure and as a result they might become rebels who break the rules often. If this behavior wasn't controlled then it might extend to include drug abuse and breaking the law. If the child didn't learn how to comply to rules during his childhood then he might have serious problems complying to any authority figure later on in his life (see How childhood experoences affect adulthood)
  • Deprived of love: In some cases the child might feel deprived of love as a result of the absense of the father. This usually happens with females since their relationships with their fathers is the one that determines how their romantic relationships with men will be like. Such females might fall in love often or find themselves quickly attached to the males they come in contact with
  • Inferiority: If the child believed that not having a father makes him defective then he might develop an inferiority complex. In the Solid Self confidence program i said that People develop an inferiority complex when they find themselves different in a way that affects their self worth. If the child believed that not having a father makes him less worthy than others then there is a big possibility that he will develop an inferiority complex

Good news for children with absent fathers

Just like i said earlier you might not suffer from any of the previous development disorders even if your father was absent and even if you developed any of those problems you can still get over them easily by doing the right things.

Just like you can develop an unwanted personality disorder you can also unlearn it by taking the right steps. In other words, the development problems that might have happened to you aren't permenant and you can still get rid of them if you wanted.

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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Want to know more?

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