Clinically Referred Children and Adolescents: Fathers, Family Constellations, and Other Demographic Factors

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Investigated the likelihood that clinically referred youth have contact with their biological father. Family demographics such as family constellation, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status were also explored. Based on 356 consecutive therapy and assessment referrals to an outpatient clinic, slightly less than half (42.4%) of the children and adolescents referred due to psychological problems and more than half (67.8%) of the youth referred due to learning difficulties lived with both their biological mother and biological father. For those who did not live with both of their biological parents, 40.0% and 56.0%, respectively, had regular face-to-face contact with both biological parents. These figures suggest that, although the percentages of intact families are somewhat lower in treatment samples than in the general population or in a sample referred for learning difficulties, close to half of clinically referred youth continue to live with both of their biological parents. Future directions for the inclusion of fathers in clinical research are discussed.

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Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, v. 26, issue 2, p. 216-223