Saturday, June 20, 2009

Staying Together 'For The Sake Of The Kids' Doesn't Necessarily Help Them, Says Study

ScienceDaily: Staying Together for the Sake of the Kids Doesn't Necessarily Help Them, Says Study, by Susan Lang:

The research is clear: Adolescents tend to fare better -- academically and behaviorally -- when they live with both biological parents. But when their parents frequently argue, young adults are significantly more likely to binge drink than other teenagers. They also tend to smoke, and their poor school grades are similar to those of their peers who don't have both biological parents at home.

"Our findings suggest that exposure to parental conflict in adolescence is associated with poorer academic achievement, increased substance use and early family formation and dissolution, often in ways indistinguishable from living in a stepfather or single-mother family," said Kelly Musick, Cornell associate professor of policy analysis and management.

Musick is the lead author of a study that looked at how teenagers in 1,963 households in the National Survey of Families and Households fared from their teens to early 30s. She compared those who lived with married parents who often fought with those living in stepfather or single-mother households. Musick and co-author Ann Meier of the University of Minnesota looked at such outcomes as school success, substance abuse and childbearing out of wedlock. 

Julie Graves Krishnaswami

Parenthood, Scholarship and Research, Teenagers and Children | Permalink

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