Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Even Among Very Happy Parents, Marriage Matters to Kids

Child Trends has an interesting new report comparing how well the parents get along with how well the kids are doing.

"Social competence," measures whether kids are respectful of teachers and neighbors, get along well with others, understand other people's feelings, and try to resolve conflicts with others. If the child's parents are very happy, the kids are more socially competent.

The most interesting finding to me, though, is that even in this best-off group - very happy parents, socially competent kids - the kids with married natural parents are still better off.

The social competence rate is about the same for very happy married step-parents (60%), cohabiting biological or adoptive parents (58%), and cohabiting step parents (57%).

For married biological or adoptive parents, though, the proportion of socially competent kids is significantly higher: 70%

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