Addressing risk behaviors, service needs, and mental health issues in programs for young fathers.

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Journal Name
Families in society : the journal of contemporary social services.
Journal Volume
86
Page Count
6
Year Published
2005
Author (Individual)
Weinman, Maxine L.
Buzi, Ruth S.
Smith, Peggy B.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
Unbound
Young fathers (N = 143) ages 16 33 participated in an assessment of risk behaviors, service needs, and mental health issues upon entering a fatherhood program. Almost 70% were unemployed, 39% were school dropouts, 47% used alcohol, 40% had problems with the law, and 42% had been in jail. The most frequently reported mental health issues were problems related to relationships, neighborhood, family, tobacco use, police, and being a parent. Fathers also identified feeling states of anger, sadness/depression, nervousness/tension, helplessness, and aggression. Although risk behaviors and mental health issues were identified, fathers did not request services to address them; rather, their most frequently requested service needs were related to jobs and vocational training. The article suggests that an assessment of mental health issues that focuses on a strengths perspective might yield a better evaluation of both mental health issues and service needs. The article addresses ways that program planners could enhance realistic participation. (Author abstract)

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