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Cohabitation number one enemy of children’s welfare

WASHINGTON DC ( The United States of America has seen an explosion in the number of couples living together and raising children without the benefit of marriage. A new study shows that the number of couples has increased by 1,200 per cent since 1970.

The results of the study entitled, Why Marriage Matters, were released on August 17. They show that children living with unmarried parents are more likely to suffer from abuse and neglect, and far more likely to see their parents break up before they are teenagers.

Carried out by the National Marriage Project, the study finds that cohabitation by unmarried parents is “the largest unrecognised threat to the quality and stability of children’s family lives.”

The results reveal that cohabitation, rather than divorce has become the most common reason why children are not living with their parents. In the past 20 years, the number of 16-year-old Americans living with both parents has dropped from 66 per cent to 55 per cent, with the numbers much higher in some socio-economic groups, especially among the poor.

“The educated and affluent enjoy relatively strong, stable families,” observes Bradfox Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project. “Everyone else is more likely to be consigned to unstable, unworkable ones.”

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