Do Married Parents Produce Happier Kids? This Study Says So... 4 years ago

Do Married Parents Produce Happier Kids? This Study Says So...

Children whose parents are married have higher self-esteem than children whose parents co-habit or are separated, according to a new study.

Teen boys with married mums and dads fared the best when it came to how secure they felt, while teen girls whose parents merely co-habit and never married, even if that relationship was long-term and stable, reportedly had the lowest self esteem.

The research, based on British Household Panel Survey data from 3,822 children aged between 11 and 16, was unveiled this week by the Marriage Foundation, a UK organisation set up to "influence the way individuals, couples and society as a whole think about forming, maintaining and ending relationships".

According to founder of the Marriage Foundation, the former High Court judge, Sir Paul Coleridge: “Marriage matters because it is the most important predictor of a child’s future life chances.

"Not only is a married couple more likely to save their child from undergoing the trauma of family breakdown, we now have evidence that parent’s public declaration of commitment to each other significantly alters a child’s self-perception and self-esteem."

Almost eight out of ten married parents stay together until their child's fifteenth birthday compared to three out of ten unmarried parents. Sir Coleridge told The Telegraph:

“Our study adds a whole new facet to this evidence. Being married not only influences the chances of families staying together. It also influences the well-being of their children.”

The research appears to contradict previous studies, which suggest that parental involvement, particularly having a father who is educated and permanently in the picture, has more significance than wedlock when it comes to child development.

Sir Coleridge doesn't agree:

“It is not being moralistic or judgmental to say marriage works best for families – it is a statement of fact." he said.

“The trend away from marriage beginning in the 1980s has coincided with a meteoric rise in family breakdown."

What do you think, are the children of married couples automatically better off than those whose parents live together or are separated? Let us know on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.