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.

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 September 22, 2014 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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