Research and data reporting on changes in family demographic behavior and the results of rigorous program evaluations inform and shape the development of marriage, relationship and family policy at national, state and local levels.

The research section of our web site includes documents that summarize and synthesize a vast body of recent statistics and research, list and describe many of the major sources of this data, and provide links to other documents and organizational resources.

The policy section includes documents that report on how these trends are being responded to through changes in law and regulation, and increasingly through funding of programs and services at federal, state and community levels.

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Healthy Marriage/Relationship Research
Marriage and Relationship Factors in Health

The health benefits of marriage have been recognized and commented upon in recent years by scholars, public officials, health and human service practitioners, and the media. Married people, in general, are healthier and live longer. However, the meaning and practical significance of this finding is not clear. More recent studies find that it is the quality of the relationship with the spouse or significant other that matters most, not solely marital status. Studies show that positive and supportive relationships promote health and help healing while negative and destructive relationships are harmful to health.  Download this brief.

Can Government Strengthen Marriage?

Evidence from the Social Sciences

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Why Don’t They Just Get Married? Barriers to Marriage Among the Disadvantaged

One analysis of these data concludes that “at the heart of marital hesitancy is a deep respect for the institution of marriage.”

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Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences

Fundamental Conclusions: Marriage is an important social and public good. The benefits of marriage extend to poor and minority communities.


Building Bridges Between Healthy Marriage, Responsible Fatherhood, and Domestic Violence Programs

Lesson One: These three fields do not know each other.

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