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Marriage: The Safest Place

Patrick F. Fagan and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D.

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Children of divorced or never-married mothers are six to 30 times more likely to suffer from serious child abuse than are children raised by both biological parents in marriage.

(The data shows)that rates of serious abuse of children are lowest in the intact married family but six times higher in the step family, 14 times higher in the always-single-mother family, 20 times higher in cohabiting-biological parent families, and 33 times higher when the mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend who is not the father of her children.

When an abused child dies the relationship between family structure and abuse gets stronger: It is lowest in intact always-married families, three times higher in the step family, nine times higher in the always-single-mother family, 18 times higher in the cohabiting-biological parents family, and 73 times higher in families where the mother cohabits with a boyfriend.

For the complete article go to Heritage Foundation the website.



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