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According to the Pew Hispanic Center, some 20 million Hispanics immigrated to the United States between 1965 and 2008. Today, Hispanics make up the largest and the youngest minority group in the United States, and this group continues to grow at an unprecedented rate (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009). Some 26% of Hispanic females have had children by the of 19, which is considerably higher than percentages for other minority groups at the same age (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009). Hispanics also marry younger than members of other ethnic groups; about 15% of Hispanics between the ages of 16 and 25 are married, compared with 9% of non-Hispanics the same age (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009, p. 69). Despite the probability of Hispanics being parents at young ages, few studies address young Hispanic parents, and only a handful address fatherhood among young Hispanics (Wilkinson, Magora, Garcia, & Khurana, 2009). The shortage of research on Hispanic young fathers is not a unique problem; in fact, research on young fathers regardless of ethnicity is lacking (Bunting & McAuley, 2004; Coleman, 1998; Manza, 2002). The few studies that do exist indicate that the younger the father is at the time of a child's birth, the less likely he is to become and remain involved with the child. We also know that lack of father involvement is associated with an increased risk of poverty, substance abuse, and criminal involvement; a decrease in the ability to cope with trauma; a disruption of development; and an erosion of respect for authority figures (Anderson, Kohler, & Letiecq, 2002; Bilchik, Seymour, & Kreisher, 2001; Garry, 1997; Travis, Cincotta, & Solomon, 2003; Turner & Peck 2002).

Professional & Technical
August 15
Association for Childhood Education International
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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