Research shows why marriage matters

Research shows why marriage matters…
Archived Article: Trust Newsletter 12/09

602_1.jpg   In October 2009 The National Marriage Coalition NZ released a study drawing on over 100 comparative studies conducted internationally on ‘21 Reasons Why Marriage Matters‘. For the Sake of Our Children believe government policy should be drafted and driven by social science research that demonstrates the best outcomes for children.

Research in the report strongly suggests organisations who have an interest in the best outcomes for families, parents and children advocate and encourage policy development and community interventions
that strengthen marriage, and encourage and support families to stay together. Below we have provided a brief snapshot of 5 reasons.

1. Family: Research completed in both Australia and the USA show cohabitation is NOT the functional equivalent of marriage. ̳Adults who live together are more similar to singles than to married couples in terms of physical health, emotional well-being and mental health, as well as in assets and earnings’.

2. Economics: Re- search between 1990 and 2000 consistently demonstrates family structure as a powerful factor effecting poverty in families. Further, family breakdown and declining rates of marriage in New Zealand have an estimate cost to the Kiwi-taxpayer of $1 billion between 2008/09 year alone.

3. Physical Health and Longevity: Children who live with their own two married parents enjoy better physical health, on average, than children in other family forms‘. More over, divorce and unmarried childbearing appear to have a negative effect on children‘s physical health and life expectancy‘.

4. Mental Health and Emotional Well-being: Divorce typically causes considerable emotional distress not only to the adults of the relationship but the children also. Children typically suffer considerable emotional distress to the equivalent (or worse than) the death of one parent, and can increase risk of serious mental illness.

5. Crime and Domes- tic Violence: Children living with singles mothers, stepfathers or mother‘s boyfriends are more likely to become victims of child abuse than children living with their own two married parents. An Australian study found 900 coronial inquiries into child deaths found that children were far safer with their bio- logical parents than with step -parents or no biological parents‘.

For more info go to