Researchers: Crumbling family structures are contributing to mass shootings

By Jon Dougherty

(NationalSentinel) A study by the Family Research Council says that crumbling traditional family structures are contributing to a wave of mental health issues that often lead people to commit mass shootings and other violence.

“The fact that we have an epidemic of absentee fathers in the home and that we have a disintegrating family structure in America, which is brought about by a variety of things, is a major issue and a major cause for what we see happening in these mass shootings,” Ret. Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, Vice President of the FRC, told The Epoch Times.

The Pew Research Center says that “one-in-five children (21 percent) are living with a solo mother, up from 12 percent in 1968,” while 32 percent of kids are cared for by a single parent.

“Well, if there are absentee fathers, then who’s mentoring these sons and daughters?” Boykin asked. “Who’s encouraging them? Who is establishing values in them? Well, in many cases, that is replaced by the Internet.”

As for the wave of mass shootings at schools in the U.S. spanning the past several years, research psychologist Peter Langman, an expert in the field, found that 82 percent of school shooters, from a list of 56 who fit the ‘active shooter’ definition by the FBI, grew up in dysfunctional families.

He described such families as broken homes, absence of parents, the presence of drug abuse, and divorce, among other factors.

Additional research from the National Fatherhood Initiative notes that kids living in homes without fathers are four times more likely to be in poverty, two times more likely to not finish high school, and far more likely to commit a crime that will send them to prison.

The organization says this is the “father factor” that is tied to just about “all of the societal ills facing America today.”

“And it is the whole idea that we have a generation of young people that have no mentors, that have no one to instruct and encourage them, to help them on this path to manhood or womanhood,” Boyken told The Epoch Times.

For years, researchers have been warning about how the destruction of the core family is tied to increased dysfunction in children and violence.

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“Policymakers at last are coming to recognize the connection between the breakdown of American families and various social problems,” a 1995 study by the Heritage Foundation said.

“The unfolding debate over welfare reform, for instance, has been shaped by the wide acceptance in recent years that children born into single-parent families are much more likely than children of intact families to fall into poverty and welfare dependence themselves in later years,” it added.

“These children, in fact, face a daunting array of problems. While this link between illegitimacy and chronic welfare dependency now is better understood, policymakers also need to appreciate another strong and disturbing pattern evident in scholarly studies: the link between illegitimacy and violent crime and between the lack of parental attachment and violent crime,” the study noted.

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[…] Daly cited a two-year-old paper by Dr. John Caccavale, the executive director of the National Alliance of Professional Psychology Providers, in which he argued for “A Proposal To Integrate Mental Health Assessment Into Access to Guns.” (Related: Researchers: Crumbling family structures are contributing to mass shootings.) […]

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