Adverse Effects of Family Instability: Possible Gender Differences

“When marriage breaks down,” writes sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, “boys are more likely than girls to act up. From delinquency to incarceration and schooling to employment, a mounting body of research suggests boys are affected more by family breakdown than girls. As Richard Reeves, the co-director of the Brookings Center on Children and Families, recently … Read more

The Secret to Danish Happiness: Vulnerable Family Time

A recent article from the Greater Good Science Center looked at research analyzing one of the main sources behind the high levels of happiness among the Danes: hygge. Hygge, the article explains, is essentially drama-free togetherness time…Try to imagine going to a drama-free family gathering. There are no divisive discussions about politics, family issues, or Aunt … Read more

The Historical Context of the Family Proclamation

Over at Worlds Without End, I’ve written a piece on the political and social context in which The Family: A Proclamation to the World was developed. Laura Compton at Rational Faiths has demonstrated that the LDS Church’s entanglements with same-sex marriage date back to the early 1990s and spawned the creation of the Family Proclamation. … Read more

Family Instability and Wages

Marriage historian Stephanie Coontz has an interesting piece in The New York Times on rising family instability. Commenting on male and female wages, she states, Today, job prospects for young men are far less favorable. Real wages for men under age 35 have fallen almost continuously since the late 1970s, and those with only a … Read more

The DR Book Collection: Catch-Up #3

This is part of the DR Book Collection. I’m once again behind on my book reviews, so here’s a list of the books I’ve read recently, their descriptions, and accompanying videos. Stephen Prothero, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–And Doesn’t (HarperCollins, 2007): “The United States is one of the most religious places on earth, … Read more

The Long-Term Outcomes of Divorce

It’s no secret among social scientists that, on average, family breakdown (notably divorce) is associated with multiple negative outcomes for children. But is divorce the causal factor? Recent evidence suggests that it is. Drawing on research that finds “that individuals who have workplaces with a larger fraction of co-workers of the opposite sex are significantly more likely to divorce … Read more

The Long-Term Effects of Disruptive Peers

Class disruptions are known to worsen educational achievement in the short run, but new research demonstrates that being exposed to disruptive peers can even lead to worse adult outcomes: Results indicate that there are persistent effects on both test scores and educational attainment. We estimate that exposure to one disruptive peer in a class of 25 … Read more

“This We Can Do!”

This is part of the General Conference Odyssey. The interview above with Dr. Samantha Callan of the UK’s Centre for Social Justice, which are based on the think tank’s reports Breakdown Britain and Breakthrough Britain, demonstrates the power and importance of family structure and stability. In my view, Elder ElRay Christiansen’s April 1972 address is … Read more

The Inequality Culprit

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal tackles the relation between family breakdown and inequality. The authors write, The two-parent family has declined rapidly in recent decades. In 1960, more than 76% of African-Americans and nearly 97% of whites were born to married couples. Today the percentage is 30% for blacks and 70% for … Read more