Sons grieving fathers and find comfort in memorial jewerly

Fatherless sons face unique challenges in life

When you research fatherless sons psychology, usually you find many stories about boys who had a father that was never in the picture, since day one. Others have had theirs dad taken from them from either desertion or death at some time during childhood. 


Strong statistical evidence shows that these young men are up against so many more challenges than boys with fathers. More likely to drop out of school. Engage in drugs and alcohol. Be incarcerated. There are several challenges faced by fatherless sons. In fact, one study even promotes the idea that the loss of a father affects the structure of the brain, which in turn can cause higher levels of aggression and anger in children. Click here to take a look at an infographic from the National Fatherhood Initiative to see statistics that show what fatherless sons are up against.


Keep reading as we uncover the effects of growing up as a fatherless son.


There have been psychological studies that show boys who grow up without their fathers are quick to anger and often display aggressive tendencies. This anger can be expressed loudly or experienced quietly within the individual. Quiet anger can be volatile and insidious. There is no release valve, and this silent anger continues to grow along with you. Men who grew up with this type of silent anger often spend a lot of energy trying to contain these emotions as it is not culturally acceptable or productive to be outright angry.


Just because the individual experiences this anger does not mean they have to act on it in destructive ways. Some healthy outlets for aggression include:


  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Medication
  • Journaling or Letter-Writing 
  • Talking About the Feelings


Emotional distress is common for teenagers growing up without a father. Depression can be a chronic state for some, and for others, periods of depression come and go. It’s not uncommon for a boy who lost his father to experience feelings of loneliness and despair. With the increased risk of depression for this demographic, that feeling of loneliness can intensify and lead to dark places.


When the loss of a father was caused by death, there are some things you can do to support a son dealing with this pain. Memorial gifts for the loss of a father are great ways to take a man’s legacy and pass it down for generations. Turning a father’s cremated ashes into an authentic diamond is a popular way to “immortalize” a loved one who has died. Keeping this diamond close and passing it on to children one day can help a fatherless son dealing with depression. 


If feelings of depression continue, a fatherless son may want to explore the option of grief counseling. Attending a parent loss support can help eliminate those feelings of isolation, and help the fatherless son relate to other people as they realize that they are not alone.

Low self-esteem

Men who lost their fathers during childhood are more prone to low self-esteem. Fatherless son effects can take a psychological toll on a child, especially when they are moving through their teen years. It’s during this time that young men develop a strong sense of self as they explore where they fit into the world and what kind of man they want to be. Self-esteem issues can hinder this dynamic period of fundamental growth and maturation.


If you want to help boost the self-esteem of a fatherless son, the best thing you can do is listen to them. Maintain a positive attitude around the individual and help them feel safe. Understanding can also go a long way. Fatherless son relationships can be very difficult to maintain due to the psychological effects of the loss.

Academic underachievement

Statistics show that fatherless sons are more likely to drop out of school in comparison to their peers. In fact, children who are raised in households without fathers account for 71% of all high school dropouts. For those who complete high school, they are not as likely to go on to college to continue their education beyond that point.


Offer praise and positive reinforcement for a boy who lost his father. It’s important for them to experience a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and this can be achieved by paying attention to their school projects, sports, and activities. Students who are involved in many extracurricular activities are less likely to drop out of high school.


Whether you are a fatherless son, or you know a fatherless son, you’re not alone. Identifying these challenges can help you understand why they feel the way that they do. Use the advice in this article to support a boy who lost his daddy or cope with the loss you experienced personally. Check back on our blog often as we cover the subject of fatherless sons in further detail.