When Staying Together For The Kids Is A Bad Idea
Kids who grow up in two-parent homes have a number of advantages going for them. They're less likely to live in poverty, more likely to do well in school and may even experience fewer health problems. Although parents are rarely aware of these specifics, many couples facing a divorce understandably hesitate "for the sake of the kids."
A new study on adolescents and divorce has aimed to find out when this logic makes sense and when it doesn't.
To do so, Cornell University associate professor of policy analysis and management Kelly Musick examined 15 years of data on nearly 2000 households to see how well adolescents from various family backgrounds transitioned into adulthood. She compared adolescents who lived with two biological parents who rarely fought, those who lived with two biological parents who often fought and those who grew up with single mothers or a mother and stepfather.
Musick's findings showed that children from intact families were hardly a homogenous group. Those whose parents often fought were more likely to do poorly in school, drop out, try drugs and become unmarried parents. For many of the findings, individuals from these families rated similarly to those raised by single mothers or mothers and stepfathers. Compared to these groups, however, subjects from intact fighting families were more likely to binge drink, but also more likely to go to college and less likely to drop out of high school and have early sex.
Beyond implications for individual families, Musick also notes the effect the implication on public policy that promotes marriage as a cure-all, stating that "recent policy initiatives to promote marriage need to take account of how variation within marriage relates to child well-being."
Posted by FindCounseling.com Staff on June 03, 2009 at 09:31 PM | Permalink
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