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ERIC Number: EJ1079403
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1054-8289
The Family Is Here to Stay--or Not
Haskins, Ron
Future of Children, v25 n2 p129-153 Fall 2015
The past four decades have seen a rapid decline in marriage rates and a rapid increase in nonmarital births. These changes have had at least three worrisome effects on children. Scholars disagree about the magnitude of these effects, but surveys and other research evidence appear to definitively establish that the nation has more poverty, more income inequality, and less salutary child development, especially as a result of the rise in nonmarital births and single-parent families. Ron Haskins examines whether and how government policies could do something to reverse these trends, or deal with their consequences if they can't be reversed. He finds evidence that some policies could produce enough impacts to be worth pursuing further, at the very least by developing and testing pilot programs. First, writes Haskins, we might encourage marriage by reducing marriage penalties in means-tested benefits programs and expanding programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit to supplement the incomes of poorly educated men. Second, we have strong evidence that offering long-acting, reversible contraception and other forms of birth control to low-income women can reduce nonmarital births. Third, although the couples relationship programs piloted by the Bush administration in an effort to encourage marriage produced few positive results, there are some bright spots that could form the basis for designing and testing a new generation of such programs. Fourth, we could create more opportunities for disadvantaged young men to prepare for employment, and we could reduce their rates of incarceration. And, finally, we could do more to help single mothers raise their children, for example, by expanding child care subsidies.
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution. 267 Wallace Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. Tel: 609-258-6979; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Oklahoma
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Earned Income Tax Credit
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A