As social science research data and government surveys increasingly show, the decline in marriagesince the 1960s has been accompanied by a rise in a number of serious social problems. Childrenborn out of wedlock or whose parents divorce are much more likely to experience poverty,abuse, and behavioral and emotional problems, have lower academic achievement, and use drugsmore often. Single mothers are much more likely to be victims of domestic violence. With the rise inthese problems comes high program costs to deal with the effects of the breakdown of marriage.For children whose parents remain married, however, the benefits are real. Adolescents fromthese families have been found to have better health and are less likely to be depressed, are less likelyto repeat a grade in school, and have fewer developmental problems. The implications of suchmounting evidence for social policy are immense. Too many welfare programs continue to underminemarriage among the poor and must be reevaluated.The following charts, based on the government surveys and independent studies listed inAppendix A, are offered to policymakers and decisionmakers to aid in their discussions of promarriage policies. (Author abstract).
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The Positive Effects of Marriage : A Book of Charts.