Tag Archives: Broken Home

New study: children from broken homes more likely to have mental health issues

Does government provide incentives for people to get married?
Do children do as well when they are raised by single parents or step families?

This was reported in the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Children brought up by single parents and in step families are three times as likely to suffer from mental health problems, a major study has found.

Research on more than 10,000 children found that those brought up by both natural parents are far less likely to suffer severe emotional and behavioural problems.

The major study by University College London shows large differences in the well-being of children, depending on their upbringing.

Experts said the findings added to “a mountain of evidence” about the damage caused by family breakdown, with children left stressed by marital breakdowns, or falling into poverty which could increase their risk of psychiatric distress.

The Millennium Cohort Study examined the mental health of 10,448 11-year-olds living in the UK.

Overall, 6.6 per cent of children living with both natural parents were found to have severe mental health problems, compared with 15 per cent of those living with single parents, and 18.1 per cent of those living in step-families.

[…]Higher levels of mental health problems were found among boys, who were more likely than girls to suffer from conduct problems, hyperactivity and inattention.

[…]Children brought up in low income households were also more likely to suffer mental health problems, with a four-fold difference between the wealthiest and poorest households.

So, from a Christian perspective, here’s what I want to say about the harm caused to children when men and women choose to make babies with people who are not capable of making a commitment.

Chastity

First, the Christian view of dating and courtship is not very popular today, even among conservative Christians. Instead, most people have embraced the “feelings-driven” model of dating and courtship, where relationships are viewed as a vehicle for experiencing fun and thrills. The Christian model stresses self-control, by requiring strict chastity – no sex before marriage. But, if you ask feminists, they will tell you that women should engage in premarital sex for recreational purposes, and that women should not think about the harm that could result from an unplanned pregnancy (abortion or fatherlessness). If a woman thinks that recreational sex is OK, then she will attract a man who thinks that relationships are about personal fulfillment, not about commitment. When you take premarital sex off the table, the focus of relationships becomes about making a match based on commitment, not fun. Men who get into relationships for recreational sex are the exact kind of men who want relationships to be about fun, not commitment. And that’s why women should not choose them, because as the study shows, children suffer.

Stewardship

Second, the Christian model requires the man to provide financially for his family. Christian women are expected to favor men who focus on their studies, choose jobs that pay well, and save their money for their future families. In fact, fathers are supposed to guard their daughters from men who do not work, do not save and are not financially prepared for marriage. Again, this view is not embraced by most people. Most young women believe in feminism, which is the view that men and women are interchangeable, and men have no specific duty to provide for others. So, when women choose men, they are not choosing them according to this requirement to provide. Instead, they choose men who let them rule, or who are fun, or who don’t expect anything out of the woman except sex. A man who makes no demands is valued higher than a man who earns money and requires emotional support for the stress he incurs from working and saving. And naturally, when children arrive, these women find that men who were unemployed or underemployed are not able to take responsibility for their children.

Commitment takes self-denial and self-control

So, there are two reasons why people are not staying together. And both of these are embraced by women today. Women see premarital sex as something they can give to a man to get his attention without having to support him in a feminine / supportive way. And women see a weak man who does not work and save as having no authority over them to lead them. The desire to avoid the judgment and leadership of marriage-minded men causes women to choose losers who are easy to control and manipulate – men they won’t have to listen to or support. The problem with those men is, of course, that they don’t keep commitments. And that’s why we have this problem of broken homes.

Welfare

It would probably help if we were not paying women welfare in order to have babies before they are married, too. After all, you get more of what you subsidize, especially when our new emotional view of morality makes moral judgment of single mothers impossible. Almost every single mother chose to have sex with a man who did not commit, the only exception being rape. But instead of blaming women for their poor choices, we pretend that they can do as they please, and that men must enable their irresponsible choices. When we cut off the funding for women who choose to become single mothers (by choosing to have sex with men who cannot commit) then children will do much better. Children are more important than women or men. We have to shame the grown-ups into restraining their wildness, so that children get what they need from both of their parents.

New study: children of divorce are more likely to be violent, take drugs and have underage sex

Dina tweeted this post from the UK Daily Mail. Let’s take a look at the findings, and then I’ll comment on it below.

Excerpt:

Children who encounter family break-up are far more likely to be violent, unhappy and feel unfulfilled throughout their lives, according to an NHS study.

Researchers found that the turmoil endured by youngsters has a crucial influence on nearly every facet of their later life.

A cross-section of 1,500 people were asked if they had faced a range of 11 circumstances, known as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), covering abuse, family break-up, being raised with domestic violence and drink or drug addiction.

Coupled with details of their current lives, the research revealed the legacy of broken homes appears to weigh more heavily than any other factor, as among the worst affected group – those with four or more ACEs – two thirds had seen their parents go their separate ways, compared with an average of 24 per cent.

The chances of suffering a difficult childhood leapt for those born after 1971, when the law changed to make divorce easier. This generation was found to be significantly more likely to smoke, drink heavily, take drugs, fight, be mentally ill and have sex underage.

Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust, a campaign group which researches the causes and consequences of family breakdown, said: ‘Casting aside traditional patterns of family life carries a high price tag in terms of the health, education and employment prospects of the next generation.

‘The relaxation of divorce laws  – along with the increasing proportion of births outside marriage – has resulted in a growing number of children lacking the benefit of being raised by both their natural parents in a stable unit.’

The report – a joint venture between Liverpool John Moores University and the NHS – found that 47 per cent of those questioned had been on the end of at least one bad childhood experience, and that adult life became tougher with each one added.

It revealed that those with four or more ACEs were – compared to someone with none – twice as likely to have had sex underage, eat next to no fruit and vegetables, have no qualifications, break a bone or have an extended stay in hospital.

So the first thing to note about this article is that it is good because it identifies a factor that causes divorce to be more frequent. That factor is no-fault divorce laws. These laws are supported by egalitarian feminists and by trial lawyer associations – both liberal constituencies. So, the article is indirectly identifying a solution to the problem. Roll back no-fault divorce laws, and you’ll have fewer divorces. People will think more carefully about who they marry. People will think more carefully about preparing for marriage.

So who opposes the repeal of no-fault divorce laws? Well… the same people who passed no-fault divorce laws in the first place – feminists and trial lawyers. So it’s very important that we understand that the solution to the epidemic of divorce is not to turn to men and blame men. The solution is to repeal no-fault divorce laws that make it easy and profitable for one party in a marriage (the woman, in 70% of cases) to initiate unilateral divorce.  If the problem is divorce, then the solution is making divorce unprofitable from the spouses. We should also stop giving assistance to single women who have children, because that is another incentive to women to dispense with their husbands as providers and leaders in the home. Let’s face it. Single mother welfare is an incentive for women to kick men out of the home. They are paid if they do it, and not paid if they don’t. So again, the solution to divorce is not “man up”, it’s stop paying women who divorce their husbands. Leave it to private charities and churches to help those women.

MUST-READ: Jennifer Roback Morse explains why two-parent families matter

Article here in Policy Review, a publication of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

Excerpt:

A free society needs people with consciences. The vast majority of people must obey the law voluntarily. If people don’t conform themselves to the law, someone will either have to compel them to do so or protect the public when they do not. It costs a great deal of money to catch, convict, and incarcerate lawbreakers — not to mention that the surveillance and monitoring of potential criminals tax everybody’s freedom if habitual lawbreakers comprise too large a percentage of the population.

The basic self-control and reciprocity that a free society takes for granted do not develop automatically. Conscience development takes place in childhood. Children need to develop empathy so they will care whether they hurt someone or whether they treat others fairly. They need to develop self-control so they can follow through on these impulses and do the right thing even if it might benefit them to do otherwise.

All this development takes place inside the family. Children attach to the rest of the human race through their first relationships with their parents. They learn reciprocity, trust, and empathy from these primal relationships. Disrupting those foundational relations has a major negative impact on children as well as on the people around them. In particular, children of single parents — or completely absent parents — are more likely to commit crimes.

Without two parents, working together as a team, the child has more difficulty learning the combination of empathy, reciprocity, fairness, and self-command that people ordinarily take for granted. If the child does not learn this at home, society will have to manage his behavior in some other way. He may have to be rehabilitated, incarcerated, or otherwise restrained. In this case, prisons will substitute for parents.

I am reading her book Love and Economics right now, and this argument is in the first couple of chapters, which is how I found this article.

Dr. J’s blog is here.

Drew rants against libertarians, and I agree with him this time

Last time, you may remember, I disagreed with Drew about what was wrong with the church, and Rebekah made a post illustrating our fearful struggle and recommended that we be reconciled. And so we were, because who can resist Rebekah’s will? But this time, there will not be a titanic struggle because I agree with Drew completely on this issue, and his post is worth reading.

His post is here on Pursuing Holiness.

Excerpt:

I worked at the local juvenile DA’s office this summer, and a sizeable portion of the defendant-children came from broken homes. These children usually consumed tax dollars by accepting public defenders or other appointed counsel. Paid lawyers were atypical. Just sitting in court, you could easily recognize that broken homes contributed not just to these wasted tax dollars (and court time), but to the crimes themselves.

This same trend almost certainly holds true in adult court as well, but juveniles bring their parents with them to court, so the pattern in juvenile court is more obvious.

Private immorality leads to gross public immorality, and ultimately to socialism. Most people (including myself) support the court appointment of criminal lawyers because the government must have a check on its power when it hauls people into court. But unfortunately, the public subsidies soon extend far beyond appointed lawyers.

There’s a lot more to this post, I gave you a short snip. Read the whole thing.

Basically, breakdowns in families and society are caused by left-wing social policy, and bigger government is needed to clean up the resulting mess. Bigger government means less liberty – exactly what the libertarians were trying to avoid. Life is more complicated than their purely economic vision. And I don’t think F.A. Hayek and Thomas Sowell would approve of this.

Drew’s viewpoint was echoed in the podcast on family and marriage that I posted recently by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse.

British tax and benefit system favors single parents over married couples

ECM found this article by Carolyn Moynihan on MercatorNet.

Excerpt:

An analysis of 98 couples with different earnings and numbers of children carried out by the charity Care showed that 76 of the couples would be better off if they split up and claimed welfare benefits that average £8007. Increasingly it is middle-income families where both parents work that suffer this “couple penalty”.

[…]Many do stay single — but they have children anyway, which entitles them to tax credits that take account of only one working adult per household.

Last year Labour MP Frank Field calculated that a single mother on the minimum wage with two children under eleven would get a weekly income of £487 if she worked 16 hours a week. A two-parent family with one earner would have to put in 116 hours of work on the same pay to get the same money.

It would be a poor sort of marriage that could break under the “pressure” of the partners receiving less in the way of tax breaks than the solo mum down the road (who has other disadvantages, to be sure) — as the Daily Mail suggests — but the messages being sent out are certainly not supportive of marriage as the best environment for children growing up.

The Conservative Party has promised to give back tax breaks to married couples.

This is how big government discourages marriage. The left-wing parties get elected by promising to help the poor. They help the poor by confiscating the wealth from married couples and giving it to single mothers. People see this wealth redistribution, and they stop marrying in order to get more money for doing less work. The children suffer from being raised without a father. This is called “compassion”.

Christians! Stop being ignorant! If you want to do some good in the world, do it with your own money. Don’t give it to a secular government who will try to solve the problem without any awareness of the moral law or human nature. Secular-left elites can’t solve social problems because they have no wisdom. Solve the problem yourself!