ERIC Number: ED468275
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Aug-2
The Effects of Marriage and Maternal Education in Reducing Child Poverty. A Report of the Heritage Center for Data Analysis.
Rector, Robert; Johnson, Kirk A.
This paper examines whether marriage is effective in reducing child poverty and notes the comparative effects of marriage and maternal education on combatting child poverty. Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth indicate that marriage plays a powerful role in lifting children out of poverty. While both marriage and maternal education play a positive role in alleviating child poverty, stable marriage has a far stronger effect than does maternal schooling. Maternal education without marriage is generally ineffective in reducing child poverty. Children raised by never-married mothers are nine times more likely to live in poverty than are children born and raised by two parents in an intact marriage. Marriage has a significant effect on reducing child poverty, even if the marriage does not last throughout the child's entire childhood. Being raised in a married two-parent family for just half of one's childhood reduces poverty as much as adding 4 years to a mother's education. The paper concludes that the most effective public policy to reduce child poverty would encourage young women both to complete high school and enter into a healthy marriage before they have children. (Contains 27 footnotes.)(SM)
Descriptors: Child Welfare, Children, Educational Attainment, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Marital Status, Mothers, One Parent Family, Poverty
Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4999. Tel: 800-544-4843 (Toll Free). For full text: http://www.heritage.org/Research/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC.