We Should Nurture and Support Our Youngest Male Memphians

Children in father-absent homes are more likely to be poor. In Memphis, 87 percent of children in poverty live with unmarried parents. Poverty, low social support and high levels of parental stress may place these children at risk for suboptimal brain development, behavioral problems and reduced cognitive outcomes. 

As a group, children of single parents do not fare as well as other children. Starting with conception, children of single moms face more health risks than other babies. These include maternal prenatal smoking, maternal substance abuse, low birth weight, and poverty. Since 2002, the percentage of births to unmarried mothers has increased in Shelby County (22%) and across Tennessee (14%). 

In addition, father absence has an effect on early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. Teens without fathers are more likely to be involved in early sexual activity and more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent. Of the 15,000 births in Shelby County, about 15 percent are to teen moms. 

What Are Local Organizations Doing To Help? 

Boys, Incorporated is engaged in collaborations with the Fatherhood Initiative to see if they can partner in such a way that they may be able to bring this wonderful component to the organization. The aim is to spearhead a healthy reconnection with the fathers and the young boys that are coming into the programs. 

For more information, attend the 'Bring Your A Game Symposium!' 

Friday, February 18th, 2011 9:00 am- 4:30 pm The Urban Child Institute 600 Jefferson Avenue Auditorium

Please call 901.385.4224 to register.