Even in families in which single mothers are able to simultaneously provide for both monetary and domestic responsibilities (or get significant assistance on either front via other family members) it may be substantially hard to make ends meet. Living with impoverished conditions (which routinely afflict many families with absentee fathers) can damper the morale of anyone. In such situations, it may be possible for family members to have everything that they physically need to thrive yet still not do so because of emotional and even cognitive issues related to the lack of a central father figure. The mother, for instance, may feel a definite emotional neglect and the lack of attention from a loving father. She may attempt to replace this void in her life by dating other men, which may actually exacerbate the situation because doing so provides a point of confusion for children. Additionally, when such men come and go these issues can also become compounded even more. Children may suffer from a sense of abandonment or neglect as well. They may see their friends or even other family members with a doting father around and become remorseful, jealous, or experience a number of difficulties that makes simply living together with the remaining family members a lot more difficult than doing so with their father.
Finally, it is worth noting that the issue of absentee fathers is also extremely difficult for the father himself. Within the aforementioned high risk communities for absentee fathers (in which people are indigent and have few socio-economic resources to survive), the conditions which create this syndrome are nefarious. Crime and violence have decimated the population of African-American fathers, for example. Black males are much more likely to be murdered (typically by another black male) than they are to attend college. And the rate at which African-American men are institutionalized within correctional facilities, and the length of sentencing they are subjected to is extremely disproportionate to their prevalence in the country (Kamalu et al. 1) and in not a few cases, contributes to familial situations in which there are absentee fathers.
Essentially, situations in which there are absentee fathers and the broken families that are created in their wake are far from ideal. In these scenarios, children are at risk for trying to find surrogate fathers and families within gang environments. Oftentimes, families with absentee fathers require the mother to take on the role of both financial and domestic provider in less than ideal situations in which their children have too much autonomy and a lack of discipline. These broken families may also frequently encounter a lack of morale among family members related to the absence of the father figure. Perhaps even worst of all, there are a number of situations involving crime and violence in which fathers are systematically removed from their households. Again, it is noteworthy to mention that virtually all of these issues are exacerbated and become more prevalent in low income areas in which parents and children may have disadvantageous opportunities to the basic foundations of society in the form of education, health insurance, as well as non-partisan law enforcement. The rate of incidence of absentee fathers has reached nearly epidemic proportions in historic minority groups such as African-Americans and Latinos. As such, the lack of a responsible father figure may make it difficult for children to grow up and break this cycle.
Haley, Alex. The Autobiography of Malcolm X New York: Ballantine Books. 1964. Print.
Kamalu, Ngozi Caleb., Coulson-Clark, Margery, Kamalu, Nkechi Margaret. "Racial Disparities in Sentencing: Implications for the Criminal Justice System and the African-American Community." African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies. 4 (1), 1-31. 2010. Web. http://wwwcf.umes.edu/assets/0/22/5112/877a100f-ae57-47e0-9604-ebe9ab9dba20.pdf