This new study shows how important it is for kids to have married parents

Feb 8, 2017 by

by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week:

Every society’s holiest duty is ensuring that all its children thrive to the greatest extent possible. But while almost everyone will agree in a bland way that it’s important to care for our children, it’s striking how little our kids feature in our national political debates.

What helps children thrive? When it comes to answering this question, we can — and must — disagree in good faith.

But there is an emerging scientific consensus about a few things that, regardless of how you feel or what you believe, really do help children thrive, and one of them is family stability. A growing body of sociological findings strongly suggest that family instability has negative effects on children reaching well into adulthood, from perceived well-being to educational attainment to income.

To wit: The Institute for Family Studies and the Social Trends Institute just released their 2017 World Family Map, a fascinating look at family trends all across the developed world, drawing on data from more than 60 countries.

One of the report’s key findings? A link between cohabitation — when two unmarried people live together — and family instability.

This is highly interesting. A common refrain when discussing family instability is that parents’ education and economic status is the most important criterion for family instability. Poorer and less educated parents are more likely to break up, and wealthier and more educated parents more likely to stay together. The implication is that to promote stable families, policies should focus on economic and social aid, rather than on trying to strengthen the institution of marriage.

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