Spanish and Arabic translation available | 

How Past Divorces Are Affecting Families Today

Even though the fact that nearly half of all divorces currently end in divorce is thrown around all of the time, divorce actually is less common today than it has been in the past. But that doesn’t mean that the past divorces are not making their mark on today’s families.

A recent NPR piece reveals the findings of a study compiled by the National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values. The study reports that many children today are growing up in households led by unmarried parents. But what does this have to do with divorce?

Sources suggest that the partners who decide to start families without marriage today do so because of their parents’ relationships. For example, if their parents’ marriages didn’t work, then why would theirs work today? Another reason why more parents might be choosing not to marry is because they thought that having their parents divorce was tough on them as kids. They don’t want to put their kids through that stress.

Those behind the family study are concerned about the American family. The study reportedly shows that kids who live with unwed parents are more likely to suffer from emotional and psychological problems, abuse and even financial hardship. Researchers use that evidence to support their idea that marriage is what’s best for kids.

It is difficult to verify the credibility of the study since those behind it have an agenda to promote marriage. The report does provide some food for thought, however, for those who might avoid marriage as a result of their parents’ past divorces.

There is never a given that marriage will end in divorce, and even if one does, that doesn’t mean divorce will definitely be unhealthy for the kids. As it turns out, equal if not further damage could be done if parents who love each other and have a healthy relationship don’t tie the knot.

What do you think of the study?


NPR: “Study: Are Cohabitating Parents Bad For Kids?” Jennifer Ludden, Aug. 16, 2011