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Where Have All the Fathers Gone?

JEFFREY ALEXANDER, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(11):1076-1079. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120360032002.
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Behavior disorders, learning problems, psychosomatic complaints, and poor adaptation to chronic illness are demanding increasingly more time from today's pediatricians. The incidence and seriousness of these problems suggests serious troubles within the American family.

As a pediatric educator, I am troubled by major deficiencies in pediatric training in regard to early identification of these disorders, lack of knowledge as to effective treatment modalities, and poor utilization of supporting resources. Of especial concern, however, is the dearth of attention given to behavior and family counseling in pediatric training. Nowhere is this deficiency more apparent than in the neglect of fathers in pediatric education.

Changes in American Family Life  The American family as we know it, or at least are accustomed to think of it, appears to be under tremendous social and economic pressure. In 1976, fifty-four percent of mothers with school-age children and 37% with preschool-age children were working outside

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