Marriage is on the decline, and a growing proportion of children are born to unmarried parents, many of them in unstable cohabiting unions. Research increasingly shows that family instability affects children’s cognitive and social-emotional development in ways that constrain their life chances. With an eye on these trends, the Future of Children first examined marriage and its effects on children in 2005. In the decade since, new developments and research findings have made it worthwhile to revisit the topic. These developments and findings fall into four categories.
- New insights into the relationship between marriage child wellbeing
- New kinds of families
- Increasing disparities in marriage by social class and by race and ethnicity
- New research on policies designed to promote marriage
The Future of Children is a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. For more information on The Future of Children please visit: www.futureofchildren.org.