Monday, November 1, 2010

Family Stability and Outcomes for Children

The newest edition of The Future of Children, a collaboration between Princeton and the Brookings Institution, is titled Fragile Families. The work defines fragile families as: couples who are unmarried at the time that their children are born. The findings presented in this edition are based on the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) conducted by Princeton and Columbia Universities. The articles in this edition all address three broad research areas:

  • The capabilities of the parents, their relationships with each other and with their children, and how both change over time.
  • How being raised in fragile families affects the well-being of children.
  • Whether the ongoing trend toward forming fragile families should be of concern to researchers and policy makers, and if so, what the role of policy should be in solving any problems posed.

Whether or not a family is considered “fragile” and what the definition and consequences of that are, is something that might elicit debate. However, when making policy decisions that impact children and families, it is always important to consider the research being done and the suggested solutions that come from that work.

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