Tag Archives: love

What Do the “Haves” Have, That the “Have-Not’s” Have Not?

Inequality is on the rise in the Western world. It is often measured by a number of factors such as: inequality in wealth, income and employment opportunities, in education, in health, and in access to health care and other resources, in human capital, in intergenerational mobility, etc…

Yet one important factor is less-often considered: family inequality. Yet family inequality is entwined with inequalities of class, both feeding them and being fed by them.

The Social Trends Institute invited professors and scholars of law, sociology, economics, public policy, demography and political economy to an experts meeting in Rome to present new research on these intersections.

The findings were interesting, with study after study revealing family instability to be detrimental to children’s welfare. Many demonstrate that family structure polarization, perpetuates and even exaggerates the cycles on both ends of the scale. For example:

  • University of Virginia’s Brad WilcoxJoseph Price from Brigham Young addressed how family structure impacts economic growth, highlighting that countries with higher levels of two-parent families and marriage enjoy higher levels of economic growth.
  • Brienna Perrelli-Harris’ research highlighted some differences in the American and European cases. While her findings were the same as others that, for example, cohabitating unions are less stable than marriages, she noted that these differences were significantly greater in the US and the UK than in other countries. She also noted that country context matters more for partnership patterns than does education.

Source: www.socialtrendsinstitute.org/

Read more: www.socialtrendsinstitute.org/news/v/en/news/n1835/what-do-the-haves-have-that-the-have-not-s-have-not 

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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: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

UK: couples who are married are far more likely to stay together than those who marry later or remain unmarried.

A marriage is an intentional, public act of commitment, but cohabiting couples often drift into cohabitation and drift into shared financial responsibilities. They are much more likely to separate because the failure to marry is often the decision of only one partner, and their unwillingness fully to commit destabilises the relationship from the outset (Rhoades, Stanley, and Markman: 2006).

The trend away from traditional marriage is driving the increase in family breakdown. The fastest growing family type in the UK is the cohabiting family which has grown by 30% since 2004 but is the least stable.

In Australia the rates of living together without marrying appears to have increased by one to three percentage points across each Census year since 1971, reaching 16% in 2011.

Family stability is vital for children and as the marriage Foundations Harry Benson claims in “The myth of long-term stable relationships outside marriage”, the key factor for family stability is marital status at birth: couples who are married are far more likely to stay together than those who marry later or remain unmarried.

Cohabitation is less likely to deliver such family stability to children, compared to marriage and as the American expert on family and marriage Professor Brad Wilcox said: “We know that children thrive on stable routines with stable caregivers.

References:

  • Ashcroft, J. (2015) Counting the Cost of Family Failure, 2015 Update. Relationships Foundation, Cambridge.
  • Benson, H 2013: The myth of “long-term stable relationships outside marriage”, The Marriage Foundation, May, extrapolated from Census and ONS data.
  • Rhoades, G. K., Stanley, S. M., Markman, H. J. 2006: Pre-engagement cohabitation and gender asymmetry in marital commitment. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(4), 553-560

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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.

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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: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Unhappiness in a marriage is often just a short-term and fixable problem: UK Study findings

With rates of family breakdown at an all-time high in the UK, Marriage Foundation’s new research shows unhappiness in a marriage is often just a short-term and fixable problem.

The study conducted in cooperation with Professor Steve McKay from the University of Lincoln reveals the majority of couples who are unhappy when their first child is born are happy ten years later if they stay together. Of parents who are unhappy at the time of the birth of their first child, seven in ten stay together and of these the majority (68%) are happy ten years later.

Sir Paul Coleridge commented: “This study shows that because a couple is having a tough time adjusting to the demands of children, does not mean they will not come through it and end up with a really high quality, high satisfaction relationship in the long term”.

Source: Benson, H and McKay, S. 2017: Couples on the brink, Cambridge: Marriage Foundation.

Read more: http://www.marriagefoundation.org.uk/publication_doc/couples-on-the-brink/.

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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.

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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: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

The financial disadvantages impacting children born outside of marriage is associated with more family instability for children: a UK study has found

In recent decades, much of the globe has witnessed a retreat from marriage. This means more children are being born outside of marriage, either to single parents or cohabiting couples, in countries around the world. This social change raises a few questions:

  1. Are such children less likely to enjoy stable family lives?
  2. Is the growth of non-marital childbearing, including the growth of childbearing within a cohabiting union, associated with more family instability for children? 
  3. Are there financial disadvantages impacting children born outside of marriage?

To answer question 3, the Cohabitation-Go-Round study provides fresh evidence that financial disadvantages impacting children born outside of marriage and that cohabitation is less likely to deliver family stability for children, compared to marriage. As the American expert on family and marriage Professor Brad Wilcox said: “We know that children thrive on stable routines with stable caregivers.

For single parents disadvantage associated with lower income compared to coupled parents is a simple example. The risk is heighted because of the increase in cohabitation in general and the associated instability of these relationships. The study highlights the potential financial vulnerability to which people in longer term cohabitation may be exposed and some of the difficulties faced by parents in settling property and parenting matters.

In Australia, studies show that family instability is associated with a host of negative outcomes for children even among children in higher income households. Recent research from AIFS revealed that while mothers have increasingly moved into paid work (both full and part-time work, increasing from 43% in 1981 to 63% in 2009), the reliance on formal childcare for preschool age children has also increased (from 29% in 1987 to 45% in 2002). And the costs of childcare in Australia is one of the highest in the OECD but with one of the lowest participation rates (according to the Australian and ABC Fact checker). 

These amongst others are issues have contributed to the Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Act 2008, which came into operation on 1 March 2009 (and 1 July 2010 for South Australia) which highlight issues faced by parents in settling property. 

Under the so-called “de facto property regime” established through this legislation, cohabiting couples who meet certain criteria (e.g., they have lived together for at least two years, or have a child of the relationship) are treated in the same way as married couples. Before its passage, the new legislation’s treatment of cohabitation of at least two years in the same way as marriage sparked a great deal of controversy, highlighting the tension between respecting people’s private decisions to live together outside marriage and protecting their potential vulnerability in nationally consistent ways should the relationship break down (see Parkinson, 2008). However, little is known about cohabiting couples’ understanding of the legal consequences of their staying together for at least two years, should they have begun their relationship after the “de facto property regime” was established.

There is no doubt that financial vulnerability poses many negative impacts on families and children however unique challenges such as the cost of childcare and property settlement and parenting matters, appear to present children with more challenges than merely being reared by couples parents. 

Source:

  • DeRose, L. Lyons-Amos, M.; Wilcox, W.B.; and Huarcaya, G. 2017: The Cohabitation-Go-Round: Cohabitation and Family Stability Across the Globe, Social Trends Institute, World Family Map 2017.
  • Families then and now: 1980-2010: Alan Hayes, Ruth Weston, Lixia Qu and Matthew Gray
  • Weston, R., & Qu, L. (2013). Working out relationships (Australian Family Trends No. 3). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Bita, Natascha 2015: Australian childcare system among world’s most expensive: OECD, The Australian, November 25, 2015.

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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: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

The growth of non-marital childbearing, including the growth of childbearing within a cohabiting union is associated with more family instability for children: a UK study claims

In recent decades, much of the globe has witnessed a retreat from marriage. This means more children are being born outside of marriage, either to single parents or cohabiting couples, in countries around the world. This social change raises a few questions:

  1. Are such children less likely to enjoy stable family lives?
  2. Is the growth of non-marital childbearing, including the growth of childbearing within a cohabiting union, associated with more family instability for children? 
  3. Are there financial disadvantages impacting children born outside of marriage?

To answer question 2, the Cohabitation-go-round study provides fresh evidence that cohabitation is less likely to deliver such family stability to children, compared to marriage and as the American expert on family and marriage Professor Brad Wilcox said: “We know that children thrive on stable routines with stable caregivers.

Similar comparisons can be made to Australian families because family instability is associated with a host of negative outcomes for children.

While in Australia the rates of living together without marrying are increasing, cohabitation is nevertheless the normative pathway to marriage. While it remains the case that the vast majority of couples in a living-together union are married to each other, cohabitation without marriage appears to have increased by one to three percentage points across each Census year since 1971, reaching 16% in 2011.

Prior to 1997, there was a substantial increase in the proportion of families with children that were headed by a lone parent (father or mother). These proportions were:

  • 12% in 1980
  • 15% in 1990
  • 20% in 1997 and
  • 21% in 2008.

Given the increase in cohabitation rates, changes have also occurred in the marital status of parents. For example, while most lone parents living with dependent children have been married previously, lone parents today are less likely than in the past to have ever been married.

About one in five lone parents living with dependent children in 1986 was never married, compared with around one in three in 2006.

The increase in the proportion of lone parents who have never married does not mean that these parents became lone parents when their children were born. Many of today’s lone parents have separated from a de facto relationship.

For example, recent research in Australia reveals that part of the disadvantage associated with being born to a single mother may be the heighted risk of subsequent union transitions faced by children of single mothers… and union transitions appear to present children with more challenges than merely being reared by a lone parent.

If comparisons can be made to the UK study, and that children are more likely to flounder in unstable families, the spike in children born outside of marriage eludes to the fact that children from cohabiting relationships are more likely to experience parental separation than those living with married parents.

There is also a growing consensus that the number of parental union transitions matters for children above and beyond family structure,  with children being more likely to thrive in stable families and more likely to flounder in unstable ones.

Source:

  • DeRose, L. Lyons-Amos, M.; Wilcox, W.B.; and Huarcaya, G. 2017: The Cohabitation-go-round: Cohabitation and Family Stability Across the Globe, Social Trends Institute, World Family Map 2017.
  • Families then and now: 1980-2010: Alan Hayes, Ruth Weston, Lixia Qu and Matthew Gray
  • Weston, R., & Qu, L. (2013). Working out relationships (Australian Family Trends No. 3). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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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: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Children thrive on stable routines with stable caregivers… and cohabitation is less likely to deliver such family stability to children, compared to marriage: a UK study has found

In recent decades, much of the globe has witnessed a retreat from marriage. This means more children are being born outside of marriage, either to single parents or cohabiting couples, in countries around the world. This social change raises a few questions:

  1. Are such children less likely to enjoy stable family lives?
  2. Is the growth of non-marital childbearing, including the growth of childbearing within a cohabiting union, associated with more family instability for children? 
  3. Are there financial disadvantages impacting children born outside of marriage?

A new study has found that the United Kingdom has among the highest rates of family instability in the developed world. Commenting on the study, distinguished American expert on family and marriage Professor Brad Wilcox said: “We know that children thrive on stable routines with stable caregivers. 

Research undertaken by the Social Trends Institute highlights the growing consensus that the number of parental union transitions matters for children above and beyond family structure, with children being more likely to thrive in stable families and more likely to flounder in unstable ones.

Similar comparisons can be made to Australian families because family instability is associated with a host of negative outcomes for children. According to Australian research, households consisting of lone-parent families is increasing (from less than 7% in 1976 to 11% by 2006). The research also found that there was a significant increase in the rate of ex-nuptial births from 1980 (only 12.4% of babies born outside of marriage) to more than one-third of all babies born in 2008 (34.4%).

Whilst  the proportion of all divorces that involve children has declined since the early 1970s – from 68% in 1971 to 61% in 1980, 56% in 1990, 53% in 2000, and 48% in 2012, the trends do not capture the extent to which cohabiting relationships break down. In any case, over the last decade, at least 47,000 to 55,000 children under 18 years will have experienced the divorce of their parents each year.

Analysis of data from “Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)”, indicates that children living with cohabiting parents are more likely than those living with married parents to experience parental separation.

In another report (Weston, R. and Qu, L. 2013) the authors suggest that trends in the formation and stability of relationships and in childbearing and family formation have changed in striking ways over past decade.

If comparisons can be made to the UK study, and that children are more likely to flounder in unstable families, the spike in children born outside of marriage eludes to the fact that children from cohabiting relationships are more likely to experience parental separation than those living with married parents.

Source:

  • DeRose, L. Lyons-Amos, M.; Wilcox, W.B.; and Huarcaya, G. 2017: The Cohabitation-go-round: Cohabitation and Family Stability Across the Globe, Social Trends Institute, World Family Map 2017.
  • Families then and now: 1980-2010: Alan Hayes, Ruth Weston, Lixia Qu and Matthew Gray
  • Weston, R., & Qu, L. (2013). Working out relationships (Australian Family Trends No. 3). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Read more: The Cohabitation Go Round: Cohabitation and Family Instability across the Globe.

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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: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Across the globe, children are more likely to thrive in stable families and more likely to flounder in unstable ones: a UK study has found

There is a growing consensus that the number of parental union transitions matters for children above and beyond family structure, with children being more likely to thrive in stable families and more likely to flounder in unstable ones.

Sociologist Andrew Cherlin noted in ‘The Marriage-Go-Round’, family instability is a cause for concern “because it may increase children’s behavioral and emotional problems. Simply put, some children seem to have difficulty adjusting to a series of parents and parents’ partners moving in and out of their home.”

With cohabitation on the rise, ‘the Cohabitation-go-round’ study found that in Europe and the United State that children born to cohabiting and especially single parents experience higher levels of family instability in the first 12 years of their lives. Using data from 100 countries around the globe, this study also found that family instability is higher in countries where more children are born to single mothers and cohabiting couples.

National-level data from 68 countries shows that the growth of cohabitation is associated with increases in family instability. In other words, marriage seems to be associated with more family stability for children across much of the globe, whereas cohabitation is typically associated with more instability.

References:

  • Cherlin, Andrew 2010: The Marriage-go-round:  The State of  Marriage and the Family in America  Today  (New  York:  Random House LLC):  p.5.
  • DeRose, L. Lyons-Amos, M.; Wilcox, W.B.; and Huarcaya, G. 2017: the Cohabitation-go-round: Cohabitation and Family Stability Across the Globe, Social Trends Institute, World Family Map 2017.

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

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: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship