Children born to single mother households are 9 times more likely to have at least one family transition before the age of 12

In the report The Cohabitation-Go-Round: Cohabitation and Family Stability Across the Globe, it comes at a time when an ever-increasing number of children find themselves born into families that aren’t legally bound together by marriage. This is a new trend in the western world, and it’s being widely researched: in the US “…between the 1970s and the early 2000s, the percentage of women who got married by the time their first child was born fell by half, according to research by Jonathan Vespa, Ph.D., a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau, and Kimberly Daniels, Ph.D., of the National Center for Health Statistics. The percentage of unmarried pregnant women who lived with their baby’s father by the time of the birth jumped from 8 percent to 28 percent. Says Dr. Vespa, ‘It’s been a record transformation.’ In Australia, one-parent households make up 16% of all households with 2011 ABS data citing 1 in 5 households being headed by a single parent.

Sometimes having an intact family is outside the parents’ control, and we certainly need to look at how to increase the chances for positive outcomes for children with single mothers and unmarried, cohabiting parents.

Adults cite many reasons for delaying or avoiding marriage, from simply not wanting to get married, to avoiding sharing bad financial credit, or not believing that marriage makes a relationship more secure. Women also increasingly feel that marriage isn’t needed to make them financially secure. Cultural acceptance of premarital sex combined with contraception use also means people are more likely to have unmarried sex, which can actually increase birthrates to unmarried couples because no form of contraception prevents conception 100 percent.

While religious groups have long championed marriage as the best framework for adults and their children, secular organisations and researchers have in recent decades been noting the same thing based on the mountain of social science demonstrating it. Children are more likely to be safe from abuse and neglect when they’re born to married parents, and less likely to have problems with stress and trouble in school.

Children born to single mothers experience even more instability than children born to cohabiting couples, with children in single-mother households being 9 times more likely to have at least one transition before the age of 12. This study firmly shows that across the world marriage confers the best chances for stability for children.


Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

    Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith or @

    More tips at

    Take the Couple Checkup

    Take the Couple Checkup

    Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

    Take the Couple Checkup

    The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy. 

    The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

    For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #strongerrelationships


    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s