An overwhelming majority of Americans still aspire to be happily married, yet more than three decades of high divorce rates, changes in social norms, and changes in the structure and organization of families make this goal seem difficult for many to achieve. In the wake of these changes, a new consensus is emerging among academic researchers, policymakers and advocates. This consensus finds that children fare best when raised in a stable marriage by their two biological parents. Furthermore, marriage benefits not only children, but adults and communities as well. Recognizing not only changing social forces but also the enduring benefits of marriage, state and local governments, faith-based institutions, non-profit organizations and businesses are developing innovative approaches to promoting safe and stable marriages. These approaches range from changing welfare rules to developing marriage education programs to community organizing and media and education campaigns. This document provides a brief overview of some of these approaches and is intended to serve as a resource guide for people interested in promoting healthy marriages and vibrant families. (Author abstract)
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Strengthening Healthy Marriages: A Compendium of Approaches. DRAFT August 2002.