Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children's well-being and varying degrees of family instability

Date:
September 29, 2010
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
A new study finds that children today are less likely to be born into a "traditional" family structure, defined as two biological married parents.

A forthcoming issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family states that children today are less likely to be born into a "traditional" family structure, defined as two biological married parents. Growing numbers of children in the United States experience multiple family living arrangements during childhood.

Related Articles


How these transitions affect the individual child's well-being needs to be fully addressed by researchers and policymakers alike. This article fully reviews the existing research from the past ten years on these topics in an effort to guide and inform current policy debates about the role of marriage in reducing poverty and improving child outcomes.

Author Susan L. Brown observed that, "Family instability appears to negatively affect a child's well-being in the short- and long-term. But researchers are still exploring why family instability can be detrimental. Is it because of the number of transitions children experience, the types of transitions, duration of time spent in diverse family environments, or some other factors?"

In her article Brown devotes special attention to new scholarship on unmarried, primarily low-income families, also the target of recent federal marriage initiatives, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children & Families Healthy Marriage Initiative. Brown noted that, "Child well-being is of critical importance. What is clear is that living arrangements for children are increasingly varied and complex, and family instability is typically not good for children. Children's family trajectories depend in part on their family structure at birth, as children born to unmarried mothers tend to experience greater family instability during childhood than do children born to married parents."

Moreover, Brown asserts that children born to unmarried parents are unlikely to experience parental marriage, and parental marriage does not necessarily improve child well-being for those born to unmarried mothers. She points out that according to the research these more subtle factors may have modest but enduring consequences for the child in the long-term. Brown concluded, "Marriage is not a panacea. It is possible that the negative outcomes are not due to family structure or family instability, but rather other unmeasured characteristics of the parents."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susan L. Brown. Marriage and Child Well-Being: Research and Policy Perspectives. Journal of Marriage and Family, 2010; 72 (5): 1059 DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00750.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Children's well-being and varying degrees of family instability." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929163423.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, September 29). Children's well-being and varying degrees of family instability. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929163423.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Children's well-being and varying degrees of family instability." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929163423.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) Scientists in Austria have been able to fit patients who&apos;ve lost the use of a hand with bionic prostheses the patients control with their minds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins