Alert! Family stability in the United States is shaky!
Few relationships are as important as that between parents and their children. But family ties have been weakening over the past several decades. So we need to ask this question: How would children fare if there was less family disruption, such as absent fathers or divorce?
From some of my research on the state of family stability in the U.S. (see below), you can see why I feel so strongly that children raised by parents in a healthy marriage relationship have the best opportunity to succeed in life.
I know this is obvious — but we really need to make this commitment to our kids. Kids shouldn’t suffer because their parents have yet to become the dependable, reliable, loving parents that every child deserves. Family stability based on Jesus gives kids the firm foundation to go out into the world and flourish.
Until the whole world feels the love of Jesus!
PS: Did you know I have YouTube videos for parents here?
“…cohabiting with the father of their child at the time of the child’s birth, cohabiting relationships are far less stable than marriages. In a 2007 study researchers found that 50 percent of children born to cohabiting parents experienced a maternal partnership transition by their third birthday, compared to just 13 percent of children in married-parent families.
(Cynthia Osborn and Sara McLanahan,“Partnership Instability and Child Well-Being,” Journal of Marriage and Family 69, no. 4 (November 2007): 1065-1083.)
Thus, children born into households where the parents are not married are much more likely to see their parents break up.
“The combination of unwed births and divorce has led to a marked rise in the share of children living with a single parent.
Fifty years ago, in 1970, 85 percent of children lived with two parents, four percent of children lived with a divorced single parent, while another one percent lived with a never-married parent. (The rest lived with only one married parent present, had a widowed parent, or lived with neither parent.)
In 2019, just 70 percent lived with two parents. (The Current Population Survey changed in 2007 to better identify both parents in a household, creating a noticeable discontinuity in Figure 7. Because families were simpler in 1970, comparing the 1970 and 2019 estimates is probably unproblematic. But the steepness of the increase between 1970 and 2007 shown in the chart probably overstates the increase in the share of children living without a parent by a small amount, because families became more complicated and it became more difficult over time to identify parents.) Roughly 10 percent lived with a divorced single parent, and close to 15 percent lived with a never-married parent.” (The most recent published figures are for 2014 and indicate that 9 percent of children are living with a divorced single parent and 13 percent are living with a never-married parent.)
(Social Capital Project analyses of Census Bureau data. “Historical Living Arrangements of Children,” Tables CH-1, CH-5, and CH-6, accessed January 23, 2020)
“…nearly half of children have spent part of their childhood without at least one biological parent, up from around one-third of children born in the 1960’s.”
(Sen. Mike Lee, Joint Economic Committee – Republicans, “The Demise of the Happy Two-Parent Home”, JEC Senate, July 23, 2020)