London: Around 72,000 families in Britain have no male parent or role models at home and are headed by a single mother, a study has found.
An official review into what caused last year`s riots spoke about the lack of good male role-models in the lives of many young people arrested for taking part in the disturbances, the Daily Mail reported.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said the absence of a positive father figure was a huge problem, and often fathers who were present have severe drug and alcohol addictions and were not working.
"Clearly, we want to work towards a situation where the fathers in these families provide stability, which means getting them back to work, so they can bring money in and be a positive role model to their children," he said.
The Telegraph said that another problem the study identified among the troubled families was the large number of children, which can lead to a lack of parental attention.
At least 20 percent of the 120,000 families studied have at least five children.
Prime Minister David Cameron has launched a 448-million-pound initiative for workers from a mix of charity, council and private sector organisations, to help 120,000 "problem families" turn round their lives.
The new "troubleshooters" are working with each family individually, drawing up detailed plans with targets such as returning parents to work, stopping them from drinking or taking drugs, and ensuring the children attend school and do not behave anti-socially.