Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Parents Skip Marriage and Opt for Living Together

By:  Carole L. Chiamp

Forget Ozzie and Harriet.  There are twelve times more unmarried parents with children living together today than in 1970.

A report published by the National Marriage Project, an initiative at the University of Virginia and the Institute for American Values, both partisan groups which support marriage, claims more children are likely to have unmarried parents than divorced ones.  The groups don’t think that is a good thing.  They believe it makes children’s lives less stable.

Additionally, the groups claim that their statistics point out that Americans with only a high school diploma are far more likely to cohabit without benefit of marriage than are college graduates.

Other information available from the groups suggests that children in cohabitating families tend to do worse in school and are less psychologically healthy than those whose parents are married.  Further, a report from the Department of Health and Human Services found children living with their biological parents had the lowest rate of child abuse – 6.8 per 1,000 children – while children living with one parent and an unmarried partner had the highest incidence, at 57.2 per 1,000 children.

Just 37% of Wayne County households include a husband and wife.  In Oakland and Macomb Counties, households with a marriage couple comprise 51% and 50%, respectively.

For more on this, see The New York Times article “More Unwed Parents Live Together, Report Finds" by Sabrina Tavernise and Detroit Free Press article “Nuclear family no more:  New data shows grandparents raising kids, more unmarried couples" by John Wisely and Kristi Panner-White.

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