Research suggests that living with two unmarried parents may be as harmful to children as divorce.
Divorce rates are finally dropping, but that doesn't mean people are forging stronger family units. With fewer people getting married these days, the number of kids living in households with two unmarried parents is on the rise. And, according to new research released today by the National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values, that may be as bad for kids as dealing with a parent's divorce.
In the report, "Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences," researchers say that couples who live together without getting married are far less stable than married couples—and it's the kids who struggle the most. "Children in cohabiting households are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems—drug use, depression, and dropping out of high school—compared to children in intact, married families," the report says.
"I think there's good news and bad news in this report," says W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia, the lead author of the report. "The good news is that divorce rates for couples who are marrying with kids today have almost fallen to 1960s levels, so the number of people who are making the commitment to marriage before having kids are much higher today."
But the bad news is that divorced parents who decide to live with their new significant others in order to provide stability for their kids may actually be doing more harm than good.
Read the rest of the article at Yahoo Shine: Not Married With Children?
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This article was originally published at Shine. Reprinted with permission from the author.