Tue, Aug 08, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Many dads say they aren't good fathers

CNA , TAIPEI

Whether they are self-effacing or simply lack self-confidence, most of the nation's fathers do not consider themselves to be "good fathers," according to the results of a recent public opinion poll released yesterday.

Fathers aged between 16 and 45 gave themselves an average score of only 65.49 points (using 100 points as "perfect") in terms of determining what makes a "good father." Fathers in the 36-45 age group were the lowest, giving themselves an average of 63.59 points, according to the poll, conducted by the online 1111 Job Bank.

The figure could also reflect that fathers in the 36-45 age group have the greatest ability to conduct a self-appraisal among fathers of all three age groups, the pollsters said.

Fathers aged between 26 and 35 gave themselves an average score of 67.06 points, while young fathers aged between 16 and 25 gave themselves an average score of 71.79 points, according to the poll conducted to mark Father's Day, which falls today.

Meanwhile, according to an estimate compiled by the Ministry of the Interior, educating a child from birth to graduation from graduate school costs between NT$4.5 million (US$137,000) and NT$6.4 million.

Seventy-five percent of the fathers who responded to the poll said their incomes always fell below household expenses, including education costs, and 55 percent of respondents blamed inflation as the major culprit behind their financial difficulties.

The poll also found that most fathers did not regret having children, but 44 percent said they would choose to have smaller families if they could do it again.

The respondents named Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), high-technology industrial tycoon Kuo Tai-ming (郭台銘) and actor-turned-Taipei City Councilor Ouyang Lung (歐陽龍) as the top three "model" fathers.

The 1111 Job bank received 510 valid responses to the poll, which was conducted via the Internet between July 19 and Friday.

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