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effects_of_out-of-wedlock_births_on_children [2015/08/07 11:17]
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effects_of_out-of-wedlock_births_on_children [2016/10/28 09:29] (current)
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 ==========Effects of Out-of-Wedlock Birth on Children========== ==========Effects of Out-of-Wedlock Birth on Children==========
  
-//Synthesis Paper//[[http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1994/06/​rising-illegitimacy|Rising Illegitimacy:​ America'​s Social Catastrophe]] +The rate of nonmarital births has increased rapidly. In 1970, about 11 percent of all births were to [[demographics_of_non-married_parents|unmarried parents]]; by 1990, that figure rose to 28 percent. By 2013, around 41 percent of all U.S. births—roughly 1.6 million births per a year—were to unmarried parents.((Carmen Solomon-Fears,​ “Nonmarital Births: An Overview,​” ​//Congressional Research Services Report// (2014). Available at [[http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43667.pdf]] Accessed September 42015.)) The largest share of nonmarital births are to women aged 20 through 24 yearsUnlike in past decadesmost out-of-wedlock births ​today—58 percent—are to cohabiting couples.((Carmen Solomon-Fears, “Nonmarital BirthsAn Overview,” //​Congressional Research Services Report// ​(2014). Available at [[http://​fas.org/​sgp/​crs/​misc/​R43667.pdf]] Accessed September 42015\\ Steven L. Nock, “Marriage as a Public Issue,” //The Future of Children// 15, no. 2 (2005): 26\\ Child Trends Data Bank"​Births to Unmarried Women"//​Indicators on Child and Youth// (July 2014).)) Thereforewhile a majority ​of these children have their biological mother and father ​present ​at birth, many spend most of their life in a single-parent family.
- +
-From the very beginningchildren born outside of marriage have life stacked against themWhile many single mothers works wonders and raise their children well despite the obstacles they encounter, for many others the challenge is too great and their children suffer the consequences. +
- +
-The impact on the child is significant and can be permanentFor many, out-of-wedlock births ​and growing up in a single-parent family means the child is more likely to suffer from: +
-  * Poorer health as a newbornand if his mother is very young, from an increased chance of dying;  +
-  * Retarded cognitive ​(especially verbaldevelopment;​ +
-  * Lower educational achievement;​ +
-  * Lower job attainment;​ +
-  * Increased behavior and emotional problems; +
-  * Lower impulse control; +
-  * Retarded social development;​ and +
-  * Increased crime in their community if there is a high level of illegitimacy. +
- +
-The root cause of these ills lies not in poverty but in the lack of married parents. +
- +
-While federal policy has not been the fundamental cause of this catastropheit has reinforced it.((Robert Rector, “Combatting Family Disintegration,​ Crime, and Dependence: Welfare Reform and Beyond,” //Heritage Foundation Backgrounder// No983April 81994.)) Unfortunatelymany Members ​of Congress continue to defend the present ​welfare incentives to childbirths outside ​of marriage. It is instead for lawmakers to do what they can to reverse current trends.+
  
 +From the very beginning, children born outside of marriage have life stacked against them. While many single mothers work wonders and raise their children well despite the obstacles they encounter, for many others the challenge is too great and their children suffer the consequences.
 =====1. Health at Birth===== =====1. Health at Birth=====
  
-//​Illegitimacy ​is related to poor health at birth.// The consequences of illegitimacy start right at birth for some children. A 1991 overview of the professional literature concluded that the main reason for America’s low international standing on infant mortality was the rate of the young mothers giving birth outside of marriage.((David Lester, “Infant Mortality and Illegitimacy,​” //Social Science Medicine//, Vol. 35, No. 5 (1992), pp.739-740.)) Nicholas Eberstadt of the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute makes the same case for Washington, D.C., the infant mortality capital of the country.((See two articles by Nicholas Eberstadt on infant mortality rates in Washington, D.C.: “In the District, Children Without a Chance: The Startling Facts of Life and Death in the Infant Mortality Capital of America” and “Parents and the District’s Endangered Children,​” //The Washington Times//, February 22 and 23, 1994.)) Infants born to younger women are somewhat ​more likely to be born prematurely,​ and to die in the neonatal period.((Christine A. Bachrach, and Karen Carver in the introduction to //Outcomes of Early Childbearing//,​ National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Conference Proceedings,​ May 1992.)) According to researchers from The National Center for Health Statistics: “Both black and white unmarried women had a substantially higher risk of having infants with very low or moderately low birth rates.”((Joel C. Kleinman and Samuel S. Kessel, “Racial Differences in Low Birth Weight,” //New England Journal of Medicine//, ​Vol. 317 (1987), pp. 749-753.)) Very low birth weight babies are at high risk for serious complications and their treatment add significantly to the Medicaid cost of births to welfare mothers. ​ +Out-of-wedlock birth is related to poor health at birth. ​An overview of the professional literature concluded that the main reason for America’s low international standing on infant mortality was the rate of the young mothers giving birth outside of marriage.((David Lester, “Infant Mortality and Illegitimacy,​” //Social Science Medicine// 35, no. 5 (1992)739-740.)) Nicholas Eberstadt of the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute makes the same case for Washington, D.C., the infant mortality capital of the country.((See two articles by Nicholas Eberstadt on infant mortality rates in Washington, D.C.: “In the District, Children Without a Chance: The Startling Facts of Life and Death in the Infant Mortality Capital of America” and “Parents and the District’s Endangered Children,​” //The Washington Times//, February 22 and 23, 1994.)) Infants born to younger women are more likely to be born prematurely,​ and to die in the neonatal period.((V. Sharma, J. Katz, L. C. Mullany, ​ S. K. Khatry, S. C. LeClerq, S. R. Shrestha, and J. M. Tielsch, "Young Maternal Age and the Risk of Neonatal Mortality in Rural Nepal,"​ //Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine// 162, no. 9 (2008): 828–835. doi:​10.1001/​archpedi.162.9.828 \\ Christine A. Bachrach, and Karen Carver in the introduction to //Outcomes of Early Childbearing//,​ National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Conference Proceedings,​ May 1992.)) The 2013 National Vital Statistics Report found that the mortality rate for infants of unmarried mothers was 77 percent higher than the rate for infants of married mothers.((T.J. Mathews and Marian F. MacDorman, “Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2010 Period Linked Birth/ Infant Death Data Set,” //National Statistics Reports// 62, no. 8 (2013): 8.)) According to researchers from The National Center for Health Statistics: “Both black and white unmarried women had a substantially higher risk of having infants with very low or moderately low birth rates.”((Joel C. Kleinman and Samuel S. Kessel, “Racial Differences in Low Birth Weight,” //New England Journal of Medicine// ​317, (1987)749-753. \\ T.J. Mathews and Marian F. MacDorman, “Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2010 Period Linked Birth/ Infant Death Data Set,” //National Statistics Reports// 62, no. 8 (2013): 8.)) Very low birth weight babies are at high risk for serious complications and their treatment add significantly to the Medicaid cost of births to [[effects_of_out-of-wedlock_births_on_society|welfare mothers]]
- +
-The early onset of sexual intercourse,​ which lies behind these statistics, is more likely if the young woman is the daughter of a teenage mother who has a low educational level and if the girl’s school environment is poor.((Arden Handler, “The Correlates of the Initiation of Sexual Intercourse among Young Urban Black Females,” //Journal of Youth and Adolescence//,​ Vol. 19, No. 2 (1990), pp. 159-170.))  +
 =====2. Development===== ​ =====2. Development===== ​
  
-//The absence of married parents is related to retarded ​development in early childhood.// Different risks of associated with illegitimacy ​arise as the child grows older. The professional scientific literature amply documents the relationship to delays in development. For example, ​illegitimate ​children tend to be shorter and have smaller heads.((Jane Wadsworth et al., “Teenage Mothering: Child Development at Five Years,” //Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry//​, Vol. 25, No. 2 (1984), pp. 303-313. )) Their cognitive (especially verbal) development is lessened.((A. Walsh, “Illegitimacy,​ Child-Abuse and Neglect, and Cognitive Development,​” //Journal of Genetic Psychology//, ​Vol. 15 (1990), pp. 279-285; \\ J.J. Card, Long Term Consequences for Children Born to Adolescent Parents,” //Final Report to NICHD, American Institutes for Research//, Palo Alto, California, 1977\\ J.J. Card, “Long ​term consequences ​for children ​of teenage parents,” //​Demography//​, Vol. 18 (1981), pp. 137-156; \\ Jane Wadsworth et al., “Teenage Mothering: Child Development at Five Years,” //Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry//​, Vol. 25, No. 2 (1984), pp. 303-313.)) Many of these children have problems in controlling their activity (popularly called “hyperactivity”). This lack of control is usually an indication of problems in learning that will arise later in the child’s development.((J. Brooks-Gunn and Frank Fustenberg Jr., “The Children of Adolescent Mothers: Physical, Academic and Psychological Outcomes,​” ​ //​Developmental Review//, ​Vol. 6 (1986), pp. 224-225.)) The effect on boys is greater, at least in the early years.((J.J. Card, Long Term Consequences for Children Born to Adolescent Parents,” //Final Report to NICHD, American Institutes for Research//, Palo Alto, California, ​1977; \\ J.J. Card, “Long ​term consequences ​for children ​of teenage parents,” //​Demography//, ​Vol. 18 (1981), pp. 137-156; \\ J. Brooks-Gunn and Frank Fustenberg Jr., “The Children of Adolescent Mothers: Physical, Academic and Psychological Outcomes,​” ​ //​Developmental Review//, Vol. 6 (1986), pp. 224-225.))  ​ +The absence of married parents is related to delayed ​development in early childhood. Different risks associated with out-of-wedlock birth arise as the child grows older. The professional scientific literature amply documents the relationship to delays in development. For example, children ​born out-of-wedlock ​tend to be shorter and have smaller heads.((Jane Wadsworth et al., “Teenage Mothering: Child Development at Five Years,” //Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry//​ 25, no. 2 (1984)303-313.)) Their cognitive (especially verbal) development is lessened.((A. Walsh, “Illegitimacy,​ Child-Abuse and Neglect, and Cognitive Development,​” //Journal of Genetic Psychology// ​15, (1990)279-285; \\ J.J. Card, //Long Term Consequences for Children Born to Adolescent Parents// ​Palo AltoCalifornia: ​American Institutes for Research ​Final Report to NICHD, 1977\\ J.J. Card, “Long ​Term Consequences ​for Children ​of Teenage Parents,” //​Demography//​ 18 (1981)137-156; \\ Jane Wadsworth et al., “Teenage Mothering: Child Development at Five Years,” //Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry//​ 25, no. 2 (1984)303-313.)) Many of these children have problems in controlling their activity (popularly called “hyperactivity”). This lack of control is usually an indication of problems in learning that will arise later in the child’s development.((J. Brooks-Gunn and Frank Fustenberg Jr., “The Children of Adolescent Mothers: Physical, Academic and Psychological Outcomes,​” ​ //​Developmental Review// ​6, (1986)224-225.)) The effect on boys is greater, at least in the early years.((J.J. Card, //Long Term Consequences for Children Born to Adolescent Parents//, Palo Alto, California: ​Final Report to NICHD, American Institutes for Research 1977; \\ J.J. Card, “Long ​Term Consequences ​for Children ​of Teenage Parents,” //​Demography// ​18, (1981)137-156; \\ J. Brooks-Gunn and Frank Fustenberg Jr., “The Children of Adolescent Mothers: Physical, Academic and Psychological Outcomes,​” ​ //​Developmental Review// 6(1986)224-225.))  ​
- +
-Similar findings were enumerated again in the recent 1992 National Institute of Child Health and Development summary, “Outcomes of Early Childbearing:​ An Appraisal of Recent Evidence.”((Christine A. Bachrach, and Karen Carver in the Introduction to //Outcomes of Early Childbearing//,​ National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Conference Proceedings,​ May 1992.)) +
- +
-And such findings are in line with earlier studies. For instance, Project TALENT, a federal survey commissioned in 1960 through 1971, found that children born outside of marriage were likely to have lower cognitive scores, lower educational aspirations and a greater likelihood of becoming teenager parents themselves. Once again, all of these effects were greater for boys.((J.J. Card, “Long Term Consequences for Children Born to Adolescent Parents,” //Final Report to NICHD, American Institutes for Research//, Palo Alto, California, 1977; J.J. Card, “Long term consequences for children of teenage parents,” //​Demography//,​ Vol. 18 (1981), pp. 137-156.))  +
 =====3. Academic Performance===== =====3. Academic Performance=====
  
-//The absence of married parents is related to poor academic performance ​during ​school ​years.// The risks and consequences of illegitimacy continue through the middle years of childhood and express themselves in poor academic performance. This is amply documented in the professional literature. ​ +The absence of married parents is related to poor academic performance ​in school. This is amply documented in the professional literature. ​
- +
-A 1988 University of Illinois study of adults born outside of marriage found that the longer the time spent in a single-parent family the less education attained at all income levels of the parent. This significantly reduces the job and income attainments of these individuals and also reduces the overall performance of the nation’s economy. Those who have lived in single-parent homes as preschoolers (which includes all those born outside of wedlock) are most effected. And once again, the study indicated, boys are more affected than girls.((Sheila F. Krein and Andrea H. Beller, “Educational Attainment of Children From Single-Parent Families: Differences by Exposure, Gender and Race,” //​Demography//,​ Vol. 25 (May 1988), pp. 221-234. )) Explains Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, a researcher at the Manhattan-based Institute for American Values: +
- +
-> According to a study by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, 33 percent of two-parent elementary school students are ranked as high achievers, as compared with 17 percent of single-parent students. The children in single parent families are more likely to be truant or to have disciplinary action taken against them. Even after controlling for race, income and religion, scholars find significant differences in educational attainment between children who grow up in intact families and children who do not.((Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, “Dan Quayle Was Right,” //The Atlantic Monthly//, April 1993, pp. 47-70.)) +
- +
-In sharp contrast with parents of illegitimate children, married parents have higher expectations of their children, even when the children have the same intelligence and performance abilities.((Maxine S. Thompson, Karl L. Alexander, and Doris R. Entwisle, “Household Composition,​ Parental Expectations and School Achievement,​” //Social Forces//, Vol. 67 (1988), pp. 424-451. )) +
  
-These findings are confirmed again and again in studies conducted ​in the United States and abroadThese studies demonstrate that illegitimacy is also associated with lower job and salary attainment.((Eric F. Dubow and Tom Lester, “Adjustment of Children Born to Teenage Mothers: The Constribution ​of Risk and Protective Factors,” //​Journal ​of Marriage and the Family//, Vol52 (1990), pp. 393-404\\ J.J. Card“Long Term Consequences for Children Born to Adolescent Parents,” //Final Report to NICHD, American Institutes for Research//, Palo Alto, California, 1977 \\ J.J. Card, “Long term consequences for children of teenage parents,” //​Demography//,​ Vol. 18 (1981), pp137-156. \\ Robert W. Blanchard ​and Henry BBiller, “Father Availability and Academic Performance among Third-Grade Boys,” //Developmental Psychology//, Vol. 4, No. 3 (1971), pp. 301-305.))     ​+A University of Illinois study of adults who were born outside of marriage found that the longer the time spent in a [[effects_of_divorce_on_children_s_education|single-parent family]] ​the less education attained at all income levels of the parentThis significantly reduces the job and income attainments ​of these individuals ​and also reduces the overall performance ​of the[[effects_of_family_structure_on_the_economy| nation’s economy]]Those who have lived in single-parent homes as preschoolers are most affectedAnd once againthe study indicatedboys are more affected than girls.((Sheila FKrein and Andrea HBeller, “Educational Attainment of Children From Single-Parent Families: Differences by Exposure, Gender and Race,” //Demography// 25, (May 1988): 221-234. )) Explains Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, a researcher at the Manhattan-based Institute for American Values:
  
-With the burden ​of these consequences upon themboys are less likely ​to grow up to be breadwinners,​ and will be less attractive ​to young women seeking a competent husband ​for themselves ​and a capable father for their children. ​+> According to a study by the National Association ​of Elementary School Principals33 percent of two-parent elementary school students are ranked as high achievers, as compared with 17 percent of single-parent students. The children in single-parent families ​are more likely to be truant or to have disciplinary action taken against them. Even after controlling ​for race, income ​and religion, scholars find significant differences in educational attainment between ​children ​who grow up in intact families and children who do not.((Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, “Dan Quayle Was Right,” //The Atlantic Monthly// (April 1993): 47-70.))
  
 +In sharp contrast with parents of children born out-of-wedlock,​ married parents have higher expectations of their children, even when the children have the same intelligence and performance abilities.((Christina M. Gibson-Davis,​ Kathryn Edin, Sara McLanahan, "High Hopes But Even Higher Expectations:​ The Retreat From Marriage Among Low-Income Couples,"​ //Journal of Marriage and Family// 67, no. 5 (Dec 2005): 1301. \\ Maxine S. Thompson, Karl L. Alexander, and Doris R. Entwisle, “Household Composition,​ Parental Expectations and School Achievement,​” //Social Forces// 67 (1988): 424-451.)) ​
 =====4. Emotional and Behavioral Stability===== ​ =====4. Emotional and Behavioral Stability===== ​
  
-//The absence of married parents risks emotional and behavioral problems ​at the end of childhood.// The effects ​of illegitimacy continue to compound through childhood. The scientific literature shows direct relationship between illegitimacy ​and behavioral problemsIn 1990 a major analysis of national survey data confirmed that children from intact families tend to have far fewer mental health ​and developmental health ​problems. Children from mother-only families have about twice as many problems.((Nicholas Zill and Charlotte A. Schoenborn“Developmental,​ Learning, and Emotional Problems,--Health of Our Nation’s Children, United States 1988,” //Advances Data from Vital and Health Statistics of the National Center for Health Statistics//, No. 190, November 1990.)) They have less ability to delay gratification, poorer ​impulse control ​(that is, control over anger and sexual gratification). They have a weaker sense of conscience or sense of right or wrong.((E.M. Hetherington and B. Martin, “Family Interactions,​” in H.C. Quay and J.S. Werry (eds.), //​Psychopathological Disorders of Childhood// (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979), ​pp. 247-302.)) ​+The absence of married parents risks emotional and [[effects.of.divorce.on.children.s.behavior|behavioral problems]] that compound during ​childhood. The impact of out-of-wedlock birth and growing up in single-parent family on the child is significant ​and can be permanentThese children ​are more likely to suffer ​from
 +  * Emotional ​and behavioral ​problems
 +  * Physical abuse;  
 +  * Exposure to cigarettes, alcohol, ​and drugs;  
 +  * Aggression;  
 +  * An increased propensity to engage in violentdelinquent, and criminal behavior;  
 +  * Poor school performance;​  
 +  * Expulsion from school;​((Robert Rector"​Marriage:​ America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty,” Heritage Foundation Special Report #117 on Poverty and Inequality, September 2012. Available at [[http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/​2012/​09/​marriage-americas-greatest-weapon-against-child-poverty]].)) 
 +  * Difficult in delaying ​gratification
 +  * Poor impulse control
 +  * A weaker sense of conscience or sense of right versus ​wrong.((E.M. Hetherington and B. Martin, “Family Interactions,​” in H.C. Quay and J.S. Werry (eds.), //​Psychopathological Disorders of Childhood// (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979), 247-302.)) ​ 
  
-About one-third of children born to unmarried mothers, or whose parents separate, become part of a two-parent family within five years.((Greg J. Duncan and Saul D. Hoffman, “Welfare Benefits, Economic Opportunities and Out-of-Wedlock Births Among Black Teenage Girls,” //​Demography//​, Vol. 27, No. 4 (1990), pp. 519-535.)) However ​this is not an unmixed blessing. Children ​from these “blended” families (families with step siblings in them) tend to have even more difficulties.((Nicholas Zill and Charlotte A. Schoenborn, "​Developmental,​ Learning, and Emotional Problems: Health of Our Nation'​s Children, United States 1988," //Advanced Data from Vital and Health Statistics of the National Center for Health Statistics//​, No. 190, November 1990. \\ Nicholas Zill and Carolyn C. Rogers, “Recent Trends in the Well-Being of Children in the United States and Their Implications for Public Policy” in Andrew J. Cherlin, ed., //The Changing American Family and Public Policy// (Washington,​ D.C.: The Urban Institute, 1988), ​pp. 90-91. )) As Whitehead explains:+About one-third of children born to unmarried mothers, or whose parents separate, become part of a two-parent family within five years.((Greg J. Duncan and Saul D. Hoffman, “Welfare Benefits, Economic Opportunities and Out-of-Wedlock Births Among Black Teenage Girls,” //​Demography//​ 27, no. 4 (1990)519-535.)) However, children ​from these “blended” families (families with step siblings in them) tend to have even more difficulties.((Nicholas Zill and Charlotte A. Schoenborn, "​Developmental,​ Learning, and Emotional Problems: Health of Our Nation'​s Children, United States 1988," //Advanced Data from Vital and Health Statistics of the National Center for Health Statistics// ​no. 190, (November 1990). \\ Nicholas Zill and Carolyn C. Rogers, “Recent Trends in the Well-Being of Children in the United States and Their Implications for Public Policy” in Andrew J. Cherlin, ed., //The Changing American Family and Public Policy// (Washington,​ D.C.: The Urban Institute, 1988), 90-91. )) As Whitehead explains:
  
-> In general the evidence suggests that remarriage neither reproduces nor restores the intact family structure, even when it brings in more income and a second adult into the household…Other difficulties seem to offset the advantages of extra income and an extra pair of hands…Step-families disrupt established loyalties, create new uncertainties,​ provoke deep anxieties, and sometimes threaten a child’s physical as well as emotional security.((Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, “Dan Quayle Was Right,” //The Atlantic Monthly//, April 1993, pp. 47-70.))+> In general the evidence suggests that remarriage neither reproduces nor restores the intact family structure, even when it brings in more income and a second adult into the household…Other difficulties seem to offset the advantages of extra income and an extra pair of hands…Step-families disrupt established loyalties, create new uncertainties,​ provoke deep anxieties, and sometimes threaten a child’s physical as well as emotional security.((Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, “Dan Quayle Was Right,” //The Atlantic Monthly//, April 1993, 47-70.))
  
-Adding to all this is the sad fact that the incidence ​of child abuse and neglect is higher among single-parent families.((A. Walsh, “Illegitimacy, Child-Abuse and Neglect, and Cognitive Development,” //Journal of Genetic Psychology//, Vol15 (1990), pp279-285.)) +Many of these problems exist even after controlling for family income and education. Hence, ​the decline ​of intact married families generates social ​and [[effects_of_out-of-wedlock_births_on_poverty|monetary poverty]] for future generations. The root cause of these ills lies in the lack of married parents. Therefore, the [[effects_of_marriage_on_society|effect of a married mother and father]] are quite pronounced.((Robert Rector"​Marriage:​ America’s Greatest Weapon Against ​Child Poverty,” Heritage Foundation Special Report #117 on Poverty ​and InequalitySeptember 2012. Available at [[http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/​2012/​09/​marriage-americas-greatest-weapon-against-child-poverty]]. 
 +\\ 
 +\\ 
 +\\ 
 +This entry draws heavily from [[http://​www.heritage.org/​research/​reports/​1994/​06/​rising-illegitimacy|Rising Illegitimacy:​ America'​s Social Catastrophe]].))