ON-Lion Letter
For most of the latter half of the 20th Century -- as explained in numerous clinical, academic, and popular accounts -- divorce posed the greatest threat to family stability and related child well-being.  That is no longer the case, according to new research released in August showing that the rise of cohabiting households with children is linked to increased instability in children's lives and to a range of negative outcomes for children.

Chaired by NMP director W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, the report is co-authored by 18 family scholars from leading institutions.

According to Wilcox, the report's lead author, "In a striking turn of events, the divorce rate for married couples with children has returned almost to the levels we saw before the divorce revolution kicked in during the 1970s.  Nevertheless, family instability is on the rise for American children as a whole.

"This seems in part to be because more couples are having children in cohabiting unions, which are very unstable," he continues.  "This report also indicates that children in cohabiting households are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems -- drug use, depression and dropping out of high school -- compared to children in intact, married families."
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