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Science & Additional Commentary 

PARAGRAPH 7

 

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

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The family is ordained of God. 

 

  • “The difficult reality is that the natural family and sexual liberation are mutually exclusive.  The more there is of the one, the less there will be of the other.”   –John A. Howard, Senior Fellow, The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society.


Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. 

 

  • Singleness was one of a number of important “psychosocial predictors of premature mortality.” Carlos Iribarren, David Jacobs, Catarina Kiefe, Cora Lewis, Karen Matthews, Jeffrey Roseman and Stephen Hullley, “Causes and Demographic, Medical, Lifestyle and Psychosocial Predictors of Premature Mortality: The CARDIA Study,” Social Science & Medicine 60 (2005): 471-482.

 

  • A study found “that marriage continues to be beneficial for mental health.”  Canadian men and women in a stable marriage experienced “significantly lower levels of distress relative to those who remain single, separated; or divorced.”  In the short term, the psychological distress brought about by change in marital status impacted men and women equally.  Lisa Stronschein, Peggy McDonough, Georges Monette and Qing Shao, “Marital Transitions and Mental Health:  Are There Gender Differences in the Short-Term Effects of Marital Status Change?" Social Science & Medicine 61 (2005): 2293-2303.)

  • The statistical relationship between suicide and singleness was a global phenomenon, showing striking regularities across studies and across national and cultural boundaries. Arne Mastekaasa, "Age Variations in the Suicide Rates and Self-Reported Subjective Well-Being of Married and Never-Married Persons," Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology 5(1995): 21-39. 

  • Compared to single peers, married college students were approximately 30 percent less likely to seriously contemplate suicide. “The single most protective factor [from seriously attempting suicide] was being married.”  Jeremy Kisch, Victor Leino and Morton Silverman, “Aspects of Suicidal Behavior, Depression and Treatment in College Students: Results from the Spring 2000 National College Health Assessment Survey,” Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 35.1 (2005): 3-13.

  • Married parents were significantly less likely to be poor. According to a study by economist Robert Lerman, poverty rates for married couples were half those of cohabiting couple parents and one-third that of noncohabiting single parents in households with other adults.  Robert Lerman, “How Do Marriage, Cohabitation and Single Parenthood Affect the Material Hardships of Families With Children?,” U. S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation under HHS Grant Number 00ASPE359A, July 2002. Robert Lerman, “Married and Unmarried Parenthood and Economic Well-Being: A Dynamic Analysis of a Recent Cohort,"  U. S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation under HHS Grant Number 00ASPE359A, July 2002. 

 

  • The poverty rate for all children in married-couple families was 8.2 percent. By contrast, the poverty rate for all children in single-parent families was four times higher at 35.2 percent. Robert Rector, Kirk Johnson and Patrick Fagan, The Effect of Marriage on Child Poverty, The Heritage Foundation, April 15, 2002.   

 

  • Poor parents who married gained economic advantage from marriage. Though marriage itself may not lift a family out of poverty, it may reduce economic hardship. This effect occurs because marriage, especially if it is long-lasting, allows couples to pool earnings, to recruit support from a larger social network of family, friends and community members, to share risks, and to mitigate the disruptions of job loss, loss of job benefits or loss of earnings due to absenteeism, illness, reduced hours on the job or lay-offs. Testimony of Barbara Dafoe Whitehead Before The Committee On Health, Education, Labor And Pensions Subcommittee On Children And Families, U.S. Senate, April 28, 2004. 

 

  • Marriage was associated with better health across all major health domains and across all types of conditions within health domains. Of the non-married groups, divorcees had the worst overall health profiles. Divorce had even more deleterious health consequences for women than for men. Amy Mehraban Pienta, Mark Hayward and Kristi Rahrig Jenkins, "Health Consequences of Marriage for the Retirement Years," Journal of Family Issues 21, 5 (July, 2000): 569. 

 

  • “The size of the health gain from marriage is remarkable. It may be as large as the benefit from giving up smoking.” Chris Wilson and Andrew Oswald, “How Does Marriage Affect Physical and Psychological Health? A Survey of the Longitudinal Evidence,” Institute for the Study of Labor,” Discussion Paper No. 1619 (2005).  

 

  • Unmarried individuals had higher rates of mortality than married people -- about 50 percent higher for women and 250 percent higher for men. Married people had better physical health and psychological well-being than divorced, separated, never-married, or widowed people. The Benefits of Marriage, January 4, 2006. National Center for Policy Analysis, Daily Policy Alert. 

 

  • Marriage was associated with better health across all major health domains and across all types of conditions within health domains. Of the non-married groups, divorcees had the worst overall health profiles. Divorce had even more deleterious health consequences for women than for men. Amy Mehraban Pienta, Mark Hayward and Kristi Rahrig Jenkins, "Health Consequences of Marriage for the Retirement Years," Journal of Family Issues 21, 5 (July, 2000): 569. 

 

  • Unmarried individuals had higher rates of mortality than married people -- about 50 percent higher for women and 250 percent higher for men. Married people had better physical health and psychological well-being than divorced, separated, never-married, or widowed people.  The Benefits of Marriage, January 4, 2006. National Center for Policy Analysis, Daily Policy Alert. 

 

  • Formerly married women reported the worst health, with never-married women falling between these two groups. Compared with unmarried women, married women had less job stress, environment stress, child stress, financial stress and relationship stress.  Peggy McDonough, Vivienne Walters, and Lisa Strohschein, "Chronic Stress and the Social Patterning of Women's Health in Canada," Social Science and Medicine 54(2002): 767-782.  
     

  • Divorced and separated adults are more than two and a half times more likely to attempt suicide than are currently married adults.  Ronald C. Kessler, et.al., “Prevalence and Risk Factors for Lifetime Suicide Attempts in the National Comorbidity Study,” Arichives of General Psychiatry, 56 (1999): 617-626.

 

  • Continuously married people experienced better emotional health and less depression than never-married, remarried, divorced or widowed people. Getting married for the first time significantly increased a person’s emotional well-being.  Nadine Marks and James David Lambert, “Marital Status Continuity and Change Among Young and Midlife Adults,” Journal of Family Issues 19(November 1998):  652-686.

 

  • A study of mental health as a syndrome of symptoms of positive feelings and positive functioning in life revealed that married adults were more likely to be mentally healthy, while suffering fewer limitations in daily activities and missing fewer days of work than unmarrieds.  Corey L. M. Keyes, "The Mental Health Continuum: From Languishing to Flourishing in Life," Journal of Health and Social Behavior 43(2002):  207-222. 

 

  • After adjusting for socioeconomic and demographic variables, higher risks of suicide were found in divorced than in married persons. Divorced and separated persons were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as married persons. Marital status, especially divorce, had strong net effect on mortality from suicide, but only among men. Divorced men were nearly 2.5 times more likely to die from suicide than married men. The effect of divorce on suicide risk may be attributable to absence of social integration and increased psychological distress.  Augustine Kposowa, (2000, April), Marital status and suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study, Journal of Epidemiologic Community Health 54:254-261. 

 

  • The married full-time mother was at less risk of mental disorders than lone mothers, both working and not working. Marriage reduced the risk of mental disorders, compared to lone mothers. When a range of types of mental disorders were considered, marriage reduced the risk of mental disorders for both men and women.  David De Vaus, “Marriage and Mental Health,” Family Matters 62 (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2002): 31, 32.  

Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. 

 

  • “Nearly three decades of research evaluating the impact of family structure on the health and well-being of children demonstrates that children living with their married, biological parents consistently have better physical, emotional, and academic well-being. Pediatricians and society should promote the family structure that has the best chance of producing healthy children. The best scientific literature to date suggests that, with the exception of parents faced with unresolvable marital violence, children fare better when parents work at maintaining the marriage. “  Jane Anderson, “The impact of family structure on the health of children: Effects of divorce,” The Linacre Quarterly, 81 (4) 2014: 378–387.

 

  • “No other institution reliably connects two parents, and their money, talent, and time, to their children in the way that marriage does.” Bradford Wilcox, Institute for Family Studies

  • Children living in a home with mom and an unrelated male boyfriend - 10 times more likely to be abused than peers with their married mother and father.  Children living with biological cohabiting parents - 4 times as likely to be physically, sexually, and emotionally abused as those living with their own married parents.  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS–4): Report to Congress, 2010.
     

  • “A large body of social science research indicates that healthy, married-parent families are an optimal environment for promoting the well-being of children. Children raised by both biological parents are less likely than children raised in single- or step-parent families to be poor, to drop out of school, to have difficulty finding a job, to become teen parents or to experience emotional or behavioral problems.”  National Council on Family Relations, the nation’s largest organization of family therapists    

 

  • Children residing in single-parent families comprise 27 percent of American children.  However, children in single-parent families are 62 percent of all poor children.   U.S. Bureau of Census, Current Population Survey, March 2000.

  • The instability of cohabiting families is revealed in the statistics showing that “nearly half of cohabiting mothers have ended their relationship with their child’s father by the time their children are three years old.” Sara McLanahan, “Diverging Destinies: How Children Are Faring Under the Second Demographic Transition,” Demography 41 (2004): 607-627. 

 

  • Adolescents from intact two-parent (mother/father) families were less likely to be suspended or expelled from school, less likely to commit delinquent crimes, less likely to be reported for problem behaviors at school, less likely to receive low grades in two or more subjects and more likely to score well on standard tests of cognitive development.  Wendy Manning and Kathleen Lamb, “Adolescent Well-Being in Cohabiting, Married, and single-Parent Families,” Journal of Marriage and Family 65(2003): 876-893.  

 

  • Children in single-mother homes are less like to complete high school attend or graduate from college than either children in intact married families or children in widowed families even when controlling for race, gender, and maternal education.  Timothy J. Biblarz and G. Gottainer, “Family Structure and Children’s Success:  A Comparison of Widowed and Divorced Single-Mother families,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 62, 2 (2000):  533-548.

 

  • Students who were living with both parents in an intact family had consistently higher reading and math scores than their peers from other living arrangements. Socioeconomic factors reduced, but did not account for this correlation. Gary Marks, "Family Size, Family Type, and Student Achievement:  Cross National Differences and the Role of Socioeconomic and School Factors," Journal of Comparative Family Studies 37 (2006): 1-24.

 

  • “[A]dolescents living with their continuously married biological parents have significantly lower behavioral problem scores compared to all other family types, even controlling for maternal and adolescent background characteristics.”  Marcia Carlson, “Family Structure, Father Involvement, and Adolescent Outcomes,” Journal of Marriage and Family 68 (2006): 137-154.

 

  • A major population-based study from Sweden concluded that children living in one-parent homes had more than double the risk of psychiatric disease such as severe depression or schizophrenia, suicide or attempted suicide, and alcohol-related disease. Girls were three times more likely to have drug problems and boys four times more likely, compared to children living in two-parent homes. These findings remained after the scholars controlled for a wide range of demographic and socioeconomic variables. Because Sweden has a comprehensive system that eliminates the economic and material consequences of growing up in one-parent homes, these problems cannot be attributed to poverty.  Gunilla Ringback Weitoft, Anders Hjern, Bengt Haglund and.Mans Rosen, “Mortality, Severe Morbidity, and Injury in Children Living with Single Parents in Sweden:  A Population-Based Study,” The Lancet 361 (January 2003): 289-295.
      

  • Young adults of divorced parents reported significantly more distress in their childhoods than counterparts with married parents. They were more than three times more likely to report having “harder childhoods than most people” and tended to wish their father had spent more time with them. One in three in this group said they wondered if their fathers really loved them, a rate three times higher than that of students with married parents. Young people were disturbed even many years after a divorce. Lisa Laumann-Billings and Robert Emery, "Distress among Young Adults from Divorced Families," Journal of Family Psychology 14, 4 (December, 2000): 671-687. 

 

  • Compared to their peers living with both parents, children living in single-parent homes faced:

•    77 percent  greater risk of being physically abused;
•    87 percent  greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect;
•    165 percent  greater risk of experiencing notable physical neglect;
•    74 percent  greater risk of suffering from emotional neglect;
•    80 percent  greater risk of suffering from serious injury or harm as a result of abuse or neglect;
•    Overall, 120 percent greater risk of being endangered by some type of child abuse or neglect. 
Andrea Sedlak and Diane Broadhurst, The National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. (1996):  xviii, 5-19. 
 

  • Children raised in single-parent homes were much more likely to be depressed and to have developmental, behavioral and emotional problems; such children are more likely to fail in school, use drugs and engage in early sexual activity. They were also more likely to become involved in crime and to end up in jail as adults.  Patrick Fagan, Robert Rector, Kirk Johnson, and America Peterson, The Positive Effects of Marriage: A Book of Charts, The Heritage Foundation, April 2002.  

 

  • In Sweden and Finland, the breaking-up of a family and a single-parent background had negative effects on mental and general health of the children and was associated with deaths in young adults.  O. Lundberg, “The Impact of Childhood Living Conditions on Illness and Mortality in Adulthood. Social Science Medicine 36 (1993):  1047–52. H. Hansagi, L. Brandt, S. Andreásson, “Parental Divorce: Psychosocial Well-Being, Mental Health and Mortality During Youth and Young Adulthood: A Longitudinal Study of Swedish Conscripts. European Journal of Public Health 10 (2000):  86–92. T. Mäkikyrö, A. Sauvola,, J. Moring, et al. “Hospital-Treated Psychiatric Disorders in Adults With a Single-Parent and Two-Parent Family Background: A 28-year Follow-Up of the 1966 Northern Finland Cohort, Family Process 37 (1998): 335–344. A. Sauvola, P. Räsänen, M. Joukamaa, J. Jokelainen, M. Järvelin, M.K. Isohanni, “Mortality of Young Adults in Relation to Single-Parent Family Background,” European Journal of Public Health 11 (2001): 284-286.

 

  • Girls who live apart from their biological father develop sexually at earlier ages than girls who live with their biological father. Girls exposed to the presence of the mother’s boyfriend or a stepfather reach puberty at earlier ages than the daughters of unpartnered single mothers.  Bruce Ellis, “Of Fathers and Pheromones: Implications of Cohabitation for Daughters’ Puberty Training,” In A.Booth and A.Crouter (Eds.) “Just Living Together: Implications of Cohabitation on Families, Children and Social Policy,” (Mahwah, New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates).

 

  •  Biological children of cohabiting parents consistently received smaller investments from their fathers than biological children of married parents. After controlling for ways that married and unmarried fathers differed, as well as demographic factors, statistically significant correlations showed that unmarried fathers spent about four hours less per week with their children than their married peers. Robin Fretwell Wilson, “Evaluating Marriage: Does Marriage Matter to the Nurturing of Children?”  San Diego Law Review 42 (2005): 848-881.

  • Fear of abandonment, suggestive of sensitivity to loss, has been shown to be strongly related to anxiety or adjustment problems in children of divorce. Young adults from non-intact homes lack a "protective bias" and manifest attentional vigilance toward threatening cues that is not manifest in children from intact homes, nor in children who have lost a parent to death.  Linda Luecken and Bradley Appelhans, "Information-Processing Biases in Young Adults from Bereaved and Divorced Families," Journal of Abnormal Psychology 114 (2005).

 

  • In 1970, only 12 percent of families with children were headed by a single mother. By 2006, that share had more than tripled, to 40 percent. From 1970 to 2003, the number of single-father households increased six-fold.  U.S. Census Bureau, “Households and Families 2010.”  
     

  • Teens from two-parent homes were significantly more involved in constructive use of time through groups, sports and religious organizations than teens from single-parent homes.  Michelle Crozier Kegler, Roy Oman, Sara Vesely, Kenneth McLeroy, Cheryl Aspy, Sharon Rodine and LaDonna Marshall, “Relationships Among Youth Assets and Neighborhood and Community Resources,” Health Education & Behavior 32 (2005): 380-397.  
     

  • Infants of married mothers were more likely to be securely attached than those of cohabiting or single mothers, even after controlling for age, ethnicity, and education.  Stacy Aronson and Aletha Huston, “The Mother-Infant Relationship in Single, Cohabiting, and Married Families: A Case of Marriage?”Journal of Family Psychology 18, 1 (2004): 5-18.
     

  • A national study on drug abuse found that adolescents ages 12-17 who lived with their married biological parents were the least likely to use illicit drugs. Adolescents who lived with their father only or with their father and step-mother were the most likely to use marijuana or other illicit drugs. John Hoffmann and Robert Johnson, “A National Portrait of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 60 (August 1998): 633-645.

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

  • A literature review of 99 studies found “some positive association…between religious involvement and greater happiness, life satisfaction, morale, positive affect, or some other measure of well-being” 81 percent of the time. This analysis included a wide diversity among ages, races, and denominations.  Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society, Objective Hope—Assessing the Effectiveness of Faith-Based Organizations: A Systematic Review of the Literature, by Byron R. Johnson, Ralph Brett Tompkins, and Derek Webb (2002).

  • The more frequently husbands attended religious services, the happier their wives said they were with the level of affection and understanding they received and the amount of time their husbands spent with them.  W. Bradford Wilcox, Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 186.

 

  • According to a 2016 Pew Research Center Report, *highly religious Americans  are most likely to attend gatherings with their extended family at least once a month, and, correspondingly, are most likely to report being “very satisfied” with their family life.  Religiously “unaffiliated” Americans are less likely than those of Christians or non-Christian faiths to be “very satisfied” with their family life.  *Highly religious” is defined as praying daily and attending church services weekly.  Pew Research Center, “Religion in Everyday Life” (April 2016).

  • The National Survey of Families and Households shows that adults who attended frequent religious services as children reported more frequent contact with and higher quality relationships with their mother and father.  Valarie King, et.al,, “Religion and Ties Between Adult Children and Their Parents,” Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 68, no. 5 (2013): 825-836. 

 

  • Mothers who attended religious services less often over time reported a lower quality relationship with their adult child.  Lisa D. Pearce and William G. Axinn, “The Impact of Family Religious Life on the Quality of Mother-Child Relations,” American Sociological Review 63, no. 6 (December 1998): 810-828.

 

  • Parents who attend religious services are more likely to be involved with their children’s education.  W. Bradford Wilcox, “Religion, Convention, and Paternal Involvement,” Journal of Marriage and Family 64, no. 3 (August 2002): 780–792.

 

Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. 

 

  • Consistent family meals were associated with a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using marijuana; with a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts; and with better grades.  Marla E. Eisenberg, Rachel E. Olson, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Mary Story and Linda H. Bearinger, “Correlations between Family Meals and Psychosocial Well-being Among Adolescents,” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 158 (2004):  792-796.  

 

  • Teens that have less than three family meals per week are 1.5 times more likely to have friends who smoke marijuana and drink.  They are about 1.5 times more likely to have friends who abuse prescription drugs, and 1.25 times more likely to have friends abusing cocaine, meth, heroin, and ecstasy.  Seventy-two percent of teens think that eating dinner or other meals with their parents regularly is important.  The Importance of Family Dinners VI,” The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), Columbia University, 2010.   

 

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. 

 

 

  • Higher levels of father involvement in activities with their children, such as eating meals together, helping with homework, and going on family outings, has been found to be associated with fewer child behavior problems, higher levels of sociability, and higher levels of academic performance in children and adolescents.  J. Mosley and E. Thomson, “Fathering Behavior and Child Outcomes:  The Role of Race and Poverty.”  Fatherhood:  Contemporary Theory, Research, and Social Policy  (Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publications 1995): 148-165.

 

  • The research is absolutely clear . . . the one human being most capable of curbing the antisocial aggression of a boy is his biological father.  Shawn Johnston, California-based Forensic Psychologist, Pittsburg Tribune Review, March 29, 1998.

 

  • Despite the difficulty of proving causation in the social sciences, the weight of evidence increasingly supports the conclusion that fatherlessness is a primary generator of violence among young men.  David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America  (New York:  BasicBooks, 1995):  31.

 

  • Living in a father-absent home is a major contributing factor to school dropout rates.  Suet-Ling Pong and Dong-Beom Jr.,  ”The Effects of Change in Family Structure and Income on Dropping Out of Middle or High School,”  Journal of Family Issues 21 (March 2000): 147-169.  Ralph B. McNeal, Jr., “Extracurricular Activities and High School Dropouts,” Sociology of Education 68 (1995): 62-81.

 

  • Girls who identified their biological father as their primary father figure reported fewer depressive symptoms than peers who identified alternative father figures (men who stepped into "father-like roles" for youths who were not the fathers' biological children).  Rebekah Levine Coley, "Daughter-Father Relationships and Adolescent Psychosocial Functioning in Low-Income African American Families" Journal of Marriage and Family 65, 4 (2003):  867-875.

 

  • Rates of teenage pregnancy were seven to eight times higher among father-absent girls than among father-present girls.  “Father presence was a major protective factor against early sexual outcomes, even if other risk factors were present.”  Bruce J. Ellis et al., “Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy?” Child Development 74 (2003):  801-821. 

 

  • Black males who identified their fathers as their role model maintained a significantly higher grade point average and reported significantly less truancy than peers who identified a member of the extended family as a role model or did not have a role model.  Alison L. Bryant, “Role Models and Psychosocial Outcomes Among African-American Adolescents" Journal of Adolescent Research 18,1 (2003):  36-87

 

  • Fathers who are “both emotionally close and highly involved in joint activities” play a major role in a child’s maturation.  Adolescents who experience “increasing closeness” with their fathers are protected from “delinquency and psychological distress.”  Kathleen Mullan Harris, Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., and Jeremy K. Marmer, “Paternal Involvement with Adolescents in Intact Families:  The Influence of Fathers Over the Life Course,” Demography 35 (1998): 201-216.  

 

  • Children who had lost their fathers were nearly twice as likely as those from intact families to manifest symptoms of psychological disorder. Children who had experienced more than 12 months of lone-mother upbringing were twice as likely to exhibit psychological disorders as children who did not spend more than 12 months in a mother-only home.  A. Bifulco, “Childhood Adversity, Parental Vulnerability and Disorder: Examining Intergenerational Transmission of Risk," Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 43 (2002):  1075-1086. 


Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.

 

  • The divide between male and female characteristics is great. “We believe we made it clear that the true extent of sex differences in human personality has been consistently underestimated.”  Women scored higher in sensitivity, warmth and anxiety while men score higher in emotional stability, dominance, rule-consciousness and vigilance.  There is also a significant difference in levels of aggressions and life interests.  Marco Del Giudice Tom Booth and Paul Irwing, “The Distance Between Mars and Venus: Measuring Global Sex Differences in Personality,” (2012) PLoSONE 7(1):  e29265.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029265

 

  • “[A child’s] recollection of the mother as available and devoted predicted less loneliness, less depression, less anxiety, higher self esteem, and more resiliency in dealing with life’s events.”  Mohammedreza Hojat, “Satisfaction With Early Relationships with Parents and Psychological Attributes in Adulthood,” The Journal of Genetic Psychology 159 (1998): 203-220.

 

  • Infants of married mothers were more likely to be securely attached than those of cohabiting or single mothers, even after controlling for age, ethnicity, and education.  Stacy R. Aronson and Aletha C. Huston, “The Mother-Infant Relationship in Single, Cohabiting, and Married Families:  A Case of Marriage?” Journal of Family Psychology 18, 1 (2004):  5-18.

 

  • Children's positive attitude, compliance, social competence, and low-levels of problem behavior were all associated, moderately but consistently, with a secure mother-child attachment from 0-3 years of age.  “Child-Care and Family Predictors of Preschool Attachment and Stability from Infancy,” National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Early Child Care Research Network, Developmental Psychology 37, 6(2001):  847-862.

 

  • The comprehensive evaluation of day care quality found that extensive hours in day care early in life predicted negative behavioral outcomes throughout childhood and in to adolescence, even after controlling for day care quality, socioeconomic background, and parenting quality.  Deborah Lowe Vandell, et.al., “Do Effects of Early Child Care Extend to Age 15 Years? Results From the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development,” Society for Research in Child Development, 81 (3) 2010: 737-756.

 

  • The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care showed clearly that high levels of nonmaternal care—regardless of its observed quality—predicted the emergence of “insecure attachments” between children and their mothers and the development of various kinds of “problem behavior.”  The most severe manifestations of these problems occurred in children who had averaged 30 or more hours per week of nonmaternal care during their first four and a half years of life.  Jay Belsky, Quantity Counts:  Amount of Child Care and Children’s Socioemotional Development,” Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 23.3 (2002):  167-170.

 

  • Children in child-care have higher levels of the immune-suppressing hormone, Cortisol.  Researchers cite animal studies and conclude that “early experience” (increased Cortisol in blood stream) helps create “the neural substrate of vulnerability of anxiety and depressive disorders.”  Sarah E. Watamurra et al., “Morning to Afternoon Increases in Cortisol Concentrations for Infants and Toddlers at Child Care:  Age Differences and Behavioral Correlates,” Child Development 74 (2003):  1006-1020.

 

  • “…researchers, though unaware of one another’s work, had unanimously found the same symptoms in children who’d been deprived of their mothers—the superficial relationships, the poverty of feeling for others, the inaccessibility, the lack of emotional response, the often pointless deceitfulness and theft, and the inability to concentrate in school.” Robert Karen, “Investing in Children and Society:  What We’ve Learned from Seven Decades of Attachment Research,” Commission on Children at Risk, Working Paper 7 (New York:  Institute for American Values, 2002): 8.

 

  • Children whose parents did Norway’s Cash for Care program — moms staying at home and raising their children — got better test scores and better GPA averages than those who didn’t.  Xiaole Chen, “Cash for Care Reform in Norway:  A Natural Experiment for the Effectiveness of Pro Natalist Policies,” Amherst College, Massachusetts, 2008.
      

  • Maternal employment during the child’s adolescent years significantly reduces academic grades for both boys and girls.  Charles L. Baum, “The Long-Term Effects of Early and Recent Maternal Employment on the Child’s Academic Achievement,” Journal of Family Issues 25 (2004):  29-60.

 

  • Using multi-variable statistical models, researchers established that, compared to peers cared for by their mothers in their early years, “children with more experience in center settings continued to manifest somewhat more problem behaviors through sixth grade.” In other words, “this seemingly adverse consequence of center-based care did not dissipate” by the time the children had finished sixth grade.  Jay Belsky et al., “Are There Long-Term Effects of Early Child Care?” Child Development 78 (2007): 681–701.

 

  • During kindergarten, whatever advantages daycare or preschool children may enjoy in math and reading become statistically insignificant in tests with and without background controls. During the first grade, the daycare/ preschool children have significantly lower math scores (p<.05). In both grades, these children scored significantly lower in the "approaches to learning" measure, which measured teacher perception of student attentiveness and persistence, a reversal of what was found in the cross-sectional test.  Lisa N. Hickman, "Who Should Care for Our Children? The Effects of Home Versus Center Care on Child Cognition and Social Adjustment," Journal of Family Issues 27 (May 2006): 652-684.

 

  • Moderate exposure to preschool helps youngsters develop their cognitive abilities in pre-reading and math. But extended absence from their parents (more than six hours a day) also appears to heighten behavioral problems, such as a lack of cooperation, sharing and engagement in classroom tasks, most notably among kids from more affluent families.  Loeb, Susanna, Margaret Bridges, Daphna Bassok, Bruce Fuller and Russell W. Rumbergerd. "How much is too much? The influence of preschool centers on children's social and cognitive development." Economics of Education Review 26, 1 (February 2007): 52-66.   

 

  • Daycare/ preschool children exhibit poorer social skills throughout kindergarten. Such children have worse self-control, have worse interpersonal skills, and externalize problems more than their peers under parental care (p<.001 for each coefficient in tests with and without background controls). The only social measure (internalizing problem behaviors) where these children outperformed their parental-care peers in the first model is now insignificant.  Lisa N. Hickman, "Who Should Care for Our Children? The Effects of Home Versus Center Care on Child Cognition and Social Adjustment," Journal of Family Issues 27 (May 2006): 652-684.

  • Children in a Canadian daycare program had “worse health, lower life satisfaction and higher crime rates later in life. “The negative impact of the Quebec program on the non-cognitive outcomes of young children appears to persist and grow as they reach school ages.”  Non-cognitive behaviors include such things as aggression, hyperactivity and anxiety.  Michael Baker and Jonathan Gruber, “Non-Cognitive Deficits and Young Adult Outcomes:  The Long-Run Impacts of a Universal Child Care Program,” Kevin Milligan, University of British Columbia and NBE, September 2015.   

  • Increased hours in day care is “predictive of more aggression and disobedience” and is predictive of “at-risk (though not clinical) levels of problem behavior.”  Children grow more aggressive and disobedient even in high-quality day care.  National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/Early Child Care Research Network, “Does Amount of Time Spent in Child Care Predict Socioemotional Adjustment During the Transition to Kindergarten?”  Child Development 74 (2003):  976-1005.  Nora S. Newcombe, “Some Controls Control too Much,” Child Development 72 (2003):  969-1226.

  • A 10-year study found that children (age four-and-a-half) who experienced an average of more than 30 hours per week in day care exhibited more behavior problems than did those who spent under 10 hours per week in day care, even after controlling for the quality of day care.  Deborah L. Vandell “Early Child Care and Children’s Development Prior to School Entry.” NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, National Institutes of Health, Washington, D.C., 2001.

  • “Day care attendance not only increased the number of antibiotic treatments at each of the studied ages, but it also had a negative effect on the number of antibiotic treatments between birth and five years.”  The researchers suggest that “the more-at-risk children could be protected by breast-feeding and by being taken care of in a familial setting, especially before 2.5 years of age.”  Lisa Dubois and Manon Girard, “Breast-feeding, Day-care Attendance and the Frequency of Antibiotic Treatments for 1.5 to 5 years:  A Population-based Longitudinal Study in Canada,” Social Science & Medicine 60 (2005):  2035:2044.

 

  • “Infants spending their days in daycare centers are more than two-and-a-half times more likely to have been colonized by NTHI [a germ doctors regard as “an important cause of respiratory illness”] than are children not in day care (30% vs. 11).”  Sandra K. Shumacher et al., “Prevalence and Genetic Diversity of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in the Respiratory Tract of Infants and Primary Caregivers,” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 31.2 [2012]: 145-149.


In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. 

 

  • Men who are married to women who function in a more traditional role (homemaker) were more likely to spend “quality time” with their wives. These traditional wives also expressed greater satisfaction with their husbands’ emotional interaction with them.  W. Bradford Wilcox and Steven Nock, “What’s Love Got to Do With It? Equality, Equity, Commitment, and Women’s Marital Equality,” Social Forces 84 (March 2006).  

  • The more a wife worked outside the home, the less the husband earned.  This effect was manifest for a wife working full-time, whereas part-work actually increased the husband’s earnings.  Carla Shirley and Michael Wallace, “Domestic Work, Family Characteristics and Earnings:  Reexamining Gender and Class Differences,” The Sociological Quarterly 45 (2004):  663-690. 

  • A wife’s income was found to have a large effect on whether or not a husband will quit his job.  “The average husband’s quit rate increases by about 45 percent when the wife’s income rises from zero to two-thirds that of the husband’s.”  Kathryn L. Shaw, “The Quit Propensity of Married Men,” Journal of Labor Economics 5 (1987): 533-560.  
     

  • Married mothers showed greater psychological well-being and reported less ambivalence and conflict, and greater love and intimacy in their relationships with their partners than cohabiting or single mothers. They also believed in more progressive child rearing ideas, and were less likely to believe in benefits for child development from maternal employment.  Stacy Aronson and Aletha Huston, “The Mother-Infant Relationship in Single, Cohabiting, and Married Families: A Case of Marriage?”Journal of Family Psychology 18, 1 (2004): 5-18.

  • “[A]dults whose mothers worked for pay during all or most of their childhood reported a lower level of maternal support during childhood compared with those whose mothers stayed home.”  These adults also “reported a lower level of support from their fathers, compared with those whose mothers stayed at home.”  These adults also reported lower levels of discipline that was not replaced by the father.  The researchers concluded, “the absence of a homemaker may also lead fathers to be less effective in parenting.”  Kei M. Nomaguchi and Melissa A. Milkie, “Maternal Employment in Childhood and Adults’ Retrospective Reports of Parenting Practices,” Journal of Marriage and Family 68 (2006):   573-594.

 

  • Research into the attitudes of 1,500 women with an average age of 29 found that 61 per cent believe "domestic goddess" role models who juggle top jobs with motherhood and jet-set social lives are "unhelpful" and "irritating".  More than two-thirds agree that the man should be the main provider in a family, while 70 per cent do not want to work as hard as their mother's generation. On average, the women questioned want to "settle down" with their partner by 30 and have their first child a year later. (2005)   

  • Men who have been stay-at-home dads most of their adult lives have an 82 percent higher risk of death from heart disease than men who work outside the home.  Mothers who labor in high-authority jobs are almost 300% more likely to have heart disease compared to women in low-authority jobs.  Elaine D. Eaker, Framingham Massachusetts, for National Institute of Health, (2002)

  • “Children in two-earner homes will likely do worse in school than peers from traditional families...   Secondly, the activities missing from the lives of children in employed mother homes appear to be the very ones which foster tractable and cooperative behavior.”  Sandra L. Hoffereth and John F. Sandberg, “How American Children Spend Their Time,” Journal of marriage and the Family, 63 (2001): 295-308.

  • “[A]dults whose mothers worked for pay during all or most of their childhood reported a lower level of maternal support during childhood compared with those whose mothers stayed home.”  These adults also “reported a lower level of support from their fathers, compared with those whose mothers stayed at home.”  These adults also reported lower levels of discipline that was not replaced by the father.  The researchers concluded, “the absence of a homemaker may also lead fathers to be less effective in parenting.”  Kei M. Nomaguchi and Melissa A. Milkie, “Maternal Employment in Childhood and Adults’ Retrospective Reports of Parenting Practices,” Journal of Marriage and Family 68 (2006):   573-594.

  • “Mothering involves more double activity, more physical labor, a more rigid timetable and more overall responsibility than fathering.”  This study revealed that motherhood involves far more than simple “care giving” and differs in nature from fatherhood.  Lyn Craig, “Does Father Care Mean Fathers Share?  A Comparison of How Mothers and Fathers in Intact Families spend Time with Children,” Gender and Society 20 (2006):  259-281.
     

  • Regardless of marital status, women spend more time on housework than do men.  Janeen Baxter, “To Marry or Not to Marry:  Marital Status and the Household Division of Labor,” Journal of Family Issues 26 (April 2005): 300-321.


Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.  Extended families should lend support when needed.

 

  • Grandparental involvement increases the well-being of children. A study of more than 1,500 children showed that those with a high level of grandparental involvement had fewer emotional and behavioral problems.   Grandparent involvement is strongly associated with reduced adjustment difficulties in all family types, buffering the effects of adverse life events.  Ann Buchanan and Anna Rotkirch, “Twenty-first century grandparents: global perspectives on changing roles and consequences,” Contemporary Social Science, 13 (2) 2018: 131-144.

 

  • Extended family impact children’s educational attainment. “In addition to siblings resembling each other, first cousins also resemble each other with regard to how much education they complete.”  Aunts, uncles, and grandparents may help children to be more resilient, by compensating for resources that may be lacking in their immediate family.   Mads Meier Jaeger, “The Extended Family and Children’s Educational Success,” American Sociological Review, 77 (6) 2012. 

 

  • Grandparents have a positive influence on their grandchildren that is distinct from parent-child relationships.  The lead researcher noted, when grandparents stayed connected and involved with their grandkids, the children in both single parent and two-parent families “were kinder to others outside their immediate family and friends — and, in some cases, smarter.” Jeremy B. Yorgason, et.al., “Nonresidental Grandparents’ Emotion and Financial Involvement in Relation to Early Adolescent Grandchild Outcomes,” Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21 (3) 2011: 552-558.

 

  • Adolescents who know more of their family stories show higher well-being on multiple measures, including better family functioning, greater family cohesiveness, lower levels of anxiety, higher self-esteem, higher academic competence, higher social competence, and fewer behavior problems.  Marshal P. Duke, et.al, “Knowledge of family history as a clinically useful index of psychological well-being and prognosis: A brief report,” Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45 (2008):  268-272.  Marshall P. Duke, et.al., “The power of family history in adolescent identity and well-being,”  Feb. 23, 2010.  

 

  • Grandmothers’ religious practice illustrates an intergenerational influence. The more religious a mother’s mother is, the more likely the mother has a good relationship with her own child.  Lisa D. Pearce and William G. Axinn, “The Impact of Family Religious Life on the Quality of Mother–Child Relations,” American Sociological Review 63, no. 6 (December 1998): 810–828.

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