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Marriage, Family, & Stepfamily Statistics

 

Updated April 2014

Compiled by Ron L. Deal, M.MFT.

 

 

 

Spotlight Statistics

(See References at the end of this page for details)

 

How Prevalent are Stepfamilies?

  • 40% of married couples with children (i.e., families) in the US are stepcouples (at least one partner had a child from a previous relationship before marriage; this includes full and part-time residential stepfamilies and those with children under and/or over the age of 18). The percentage of all married couple households is 35%. (Karney, Garvan, & Thomas, 2003)
  • Approximately one-third of all weddings in America today form stepfamilies (demographic estimate, Deal). In 2001, 38% of all US marriages were remarriages for one or both partners (15% for both; 23% for one) (Wendy Manning, personal communication Jan 2010, National Center for Family and Marriage Research).

 

Pew Research Report on Stepfamilies:

A new national report (Parker, 2011) by the Pew Research Center on adults in America updates our national statistics on stepfamilies for the first time in a decade. NOTE: these statistics are on adults and do not include children.

  • 42% of adults have a steprelationship--either a stepparent, a step or half sibling, or a stepchild. This translates to 95.5 million adults.
  • 13% of adults are stepparents (29-30 million); 15% of men are stepdads (16.5 million) and 12% of women are stepmoms (14 million). NOTE: This is only of stepmothers (married or cohabiting) of children under the age of 18 and does not include stepmothers of adult stepchildren. Adding those women could double the estimate to 22-36 million. The same could be said of stepdads.
  • Read Smart Stepfamilies' response: A Call to Action
  • Read the full report which includes race, education, and regional demographic details and information about family versus stepfamily obligation. Read here

 

Other Notable Statistics:

  • There are 35 million Americans in the US today who are remarried. There are an additional 36 million Americans who are divorced or widowed (possibly finding themselves in a remarriage at some point) (US Census, 2007).
  • One-third of individuals who got divorced in 2008 were redivorcing, that is, divorcing again (Wendy Manning, personal communication Jan 2010, National Center for Family and Marriage Research).
  • Serial transitions in and out of marriage/divorce/cohabitation is now typical of family life in the US but has significant consequences for children (Cherlin, 2009).

1.    Americans marry, divorce, and cohabit more than any Western society. They also start and stop relationships more quickly.

2.    Children living with two married parents in the US have a higher risk of experiencing a family breakup than do children living with two unmarried parents in Sweden.

3.    10% of women in the US have had three or more marriages, divorces, or cohabiting partners...by age 35 (the next highest industrialized nation is Sweden at 4.5%).

4.    16% of persons born after 1970 will marry, divorce, remarry, and redivorce.

5.    By age 15, 29% of US children experience two or more mother partnerships (either marriage or cohabitation).

6.    The more parental partnerships (transitions in and out of couple relationships) that children experience, the lower their over-all emotional, psychological, and academic well-being.

 

See reference details below.

 

 

Special thanks goes to friends David H. Olson, PhD. and Amy Olson-Sigg for compiling many of these statistics.  Visit www.prepare-enrich.com.

 

Statistics are divided into these topics:

  1. Marriage
  2. Preparation for Marriage
  3. Benefits of Marriage
  4. Family Structure is Becoming More Complex
  5. Cohabitation
  6. Divorce
  7. Strong Marriages and Families
  8. Remarriage & Stepfamilies

Endnotes

References

 

MARRIAGE

  • 85% of the U.S. population will marry at least once.  (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
  • Approximately one-third of all weddings in America today form stepfamilies.  (Deal, 2005)
  • Of the 2.3 million marriages in 2006, about half (53%) took place in a religious setting.  (PREPARE/ENRICH E-Newsletter, 2007)
  • While the average cost of a wedding is $27,500, less than a third of first marriage couples seek premarital preparation and less than 25% of pre-stepfamily couples do (see the section on Preparation for Marriage).
  • Age at first marriage has been on the increase for more than four decades.  In 1960, the median age for a first marriage was 22.8 years for men and 20.3 for women.  In 2005 the median age for first marriage was 27 years for men and 26 years for women.  (Popenoe & Whitehead, 2005) 
  • Over the past forty years, marriage has become less common and more fragile.  Between 1970 and 2005, the proportion of children living with two married parents dropped from 85% to 68% (US Census Bureau, 2005).  Also, the percentage of two-parent families varies by ethnic/cultural group: 87% of Asian children live in two-parent homes; 76% of Caucasians; 70% of Hispanics; and 42% of African American. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
  • Almost 20 million Americans—about 9.9%  of the U.S. population—are currently divorced ( U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006); 25% of all Americans have been divorced at some point (Barna, 2008. Used with permission.).
  • About 75% of those who divorce will eventually remarry.  (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
  • Closeness with either a biological or step-father is associated with a decrease in the likelihood that an adolescent boy will expect someday to divorce.  (Risch, Jodi & Eccles, 2004)
  • Religious attendance is positively correlated with higher G.P.A.’s for teens. (Fagen, 2006)
  • Couples who agree on spiritual beliefs report significantly higher marital satisfaction and couple closeness than couples who are low on spiritual agreement.  (Larson & Olson, 2004). 
  • For adults, a stable, happy marriage is the best protector against illness and premature death, and for children, such a marriage is the best source of emotional stability and good physical health.  Decades of research have clearly established these links (Burman & Margolin, 1992; Dawson, 1991; Verbrugge, 1979).
  • Marriage education is effective in promoting marital quality and stability.  Well-researched marriage education programs have demonstrated that brief, skills-based educational programs for couples increase couple satisfaction, improve communication skills, reduce negative conflict behaviors including violence, and may prevent separation and divorce (Markman et al., 1993; Wampler, 1990).
  • Single-parent families rose to an all-time high in 2005 to 37% of families.  (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)  

 

PREPARATION FOR MARRIAGE

  • Premarital preparation can reduce the risk of divorce by 30%. (Stanley, Amato, Johnson & Markman,2006)
  • A recent meta-analysis of 11 experimental studies found significant differences favoring couples who received premarital education.  The overall effect size was very large (.80), representing a 79% improvement in all marital outcomes compared to couples who did not receive premarital education.  (Carroll & Doherty, 2003) 
  • Couples who participate in a premarital program (PREPARE) significantly increased their couple satisfaction.  In a recent outcome study, couples improved in 10 out of 13 relationship categories.  (Knutson & Olson, 2003)  NOTE: The PREPARE profile can now we taken online as the Couple Checkup. 
  • Most couples in stepfamilies don’t seek premarital preparation.  Less than 25% of couples in a series of studies sought relationship or educational opportunities to discuss their upcoming marriage.  Less than half read a book or magazine article about remarriage or stepparenting.  (Ganong & Colman, 2004).
  • People remarry quickly.  On average people remarry within four years of their divorce and 30% remarry within a year.  In addition, since two-thirds of couples cohabit before remarriage, the time between divorce, cohabitation, and remarriage is indeed short.  (Ganong & Colman, 2004).

 

BENEFITS OF MARRIAGE

  • Children from homes where the biological parents are married tend to be more academically successful, more emotionally stable, and more often assume leadership roles.  (Waite & Gallagher, 2000; Manning & Lamb, 2003)   
  • Adolescents living with their biological parents are less likely to have sexual intercourse.  (Pearson, Frisco, 2006; Sieving, Eisenberg, Pettingell, & Skay, 2006) 
  • Two-parent households protect children from the negative effects of poverty.  In the U.S., nearly 60% of the children from single-parent households live in poverty, as compared to only 11% of children from two-parent families. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
  • Adolescents living with both biological parents exhibit lower levels of problem behavior than peers from any other family type.  (Carlson, 2006) 
  • Males whose parents never married are significantly less likely to marry and more likely to cheat on their romantic partners.  (Colman & Widon, 2004)

 

FAMILY STRUCTURE IS BECOMING MORE COMPLEX

  • Single-parent families rose to an all-time high in 2005 to 37% of families.  (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
  • Around 40% of all US children are now born outside of wedlock, including 25% of non-Hispanic white babies, 46% of Hispanic babies, and 69% of African-American babies.  (US Census Bureau, 2005 American Community Survey)
  • The percentage of two-parent families varies by ethnic/cultural group:  87% of Asian children live in two-parent homes; 76% of Caucasians; 70% of Hispanics; and 42% of African American. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
  • Family fragmentation (divorce and nonmarital births) costs U.S. taxpayers at least $112 billion each year, or over $1 trillion dollars per decade.  This estimate includes the costs of federal, state, and local government programs and foregone tax revenues at all levels of government.  (Full report available here: The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing)

 

COHABITATION

  • More than half of all couples cohabit before marriage. The number of cohabiting couples has increased 800% since the 1960’s, when fewer than 500,000 couples were cohabiting. In 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, 6.8 million couples were cohabiting.
  • Cohabiting before marriage is related to more frequent arguments during marriage as well as a greater perceived risk of separation and divorce when compared to couples who did not live together prior to marriage.  (Hill & Evans, 2006)
  • Couples who cohabit before remarriage report lower levels of happiness in their marriage than remarried couples who did not cohabit. (Xu, Hudspeth & Bartkowsk, 2006)
  • More than two thirds of remarrying women under age 45 in the US cohabited with a partner between their first and second marriage. (Teachman, 2008) 
  • 40% of all children will live in a cohabiting home at some point.  (Parke, 2007)

 

DIVORCE

NOTE: It has been reported here and in other places that “60% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce”. This was said to be based on a U.S. Bureau of the Census report (2006). However, in her book The Good News About Marriage researcher Shaunti Feldhahn revealed that this statistic never existed. Someone mistakenly shared these numbers that are not supported by Census data. This has been confirmed by the Census itself. We here at Smart Stepfamilies are correcting our misreporting of the facts and ask that if you hear someone repeat the 60%/73% divorce stats that you inform them of the mistaken report.


  • Divorce rates depend on your perspective. The projected divorce rate will be higher because it takes into consideration mortality rates, that is, a couple’s chance of divorce over the couple’s lifetime. The current divorce rate is the actual rate of divorce at any one point in time. For years demographers have predicted a divorce rate of around 50%, but the current rate never actually reached that level. For a thorough discussion of divorce rates see Shaunti Feldhahn and Tally Whitehead’s book The Good News About Marriage (2014) in which they report:
    • An estimated current rate of divorce for first marriages in the US is 20-25%; 31% for all marriages; 34% for remarriages
    • Because not all remarriages are stepcouples, the current rate of divorce for stepfamilies is very difficult to determine. We have fewer studies and more inconsistent data on stepfamily divorce than any other population so an exact number is very difficult to calculate. However, based on the information provided in the book The Good News About Marriage and the research of Dr. Mavis Hetherington (2002), I am adjusting my numbers to the following: An estimated current divorce rate of stepfamily couples is roughly 45-50% and a projected divorce rate is roughly 50-60% (Deal, 2014).
    • It should be noted that many reputable scholars still project that the overall divorce rate for all marriages to be between 40-50%.  [This is a legitimate prediction based on certain assumptions about divorce trends and life-table analyses. Some scholars, pastors, teachers, etc. will prefer to use these numbers.
  • Christians who are active in their faith (attend church regularly, engage life as a disciple, pray together, etc.) have a much lower divorce rate (as opposed to those who claim to be Christians or “religious” but don’t have behavior demonstrating that conviction). See Feldhahn and Whitehead for details.
    • A number of studies show that it is common for active disciples of Christ to have a divorce rate 35-50% lower than the general population (if the divorce rate is 31% than this translates into a current rate of 15-20%).
    • Christian couples active in their faith also have higher happiness rates and experience more closeness than those who do not (twice the rate).
    • But what about the Barna research that says Christian divorce at the same rate as non-Christians? It turns out the 2001 research did not distinguish between faith-based beliefs and faith-based practices. George Barna himself regretted the media misrepresenting their data. At Shaunti’s request the Barna Group looked again at their data and included recent church attendance (a faith-based practice) in their statistical compilations and found a 10% drop in the current divorce rate (27% for those had attended church in the last week and 37% for everyone else).

  • Canadian couples have a 43% divorce rate. (Statistics Canada, 2011, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/) 
  • About 75% of those who divorce will eventually remarry.  (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
  • The “seven year itch” is often scratched.  Couples separate on average seven years after marriage and divorce after eight.  (PREPARE/ENRICH E-Newsletter, 2007)
  • Divorce is a major health risk for American adults and children.  In addition to well-established links between divorce and mental health problems, adults who experience divorce more than double their risk of earlier mortality.  On the average, adults who divorce and children who experience a parental divorce have their life expectancy shortened by an average of four years, according to a fifty-year longitudinal study (Dawson, 1991; Cherlin et al., 1991; Doherty & Needle, 1991; Tucker et al., 1996; Schwartz et al., 1995).
  • Most divorces involve children, and more than 1 million children are affected by divorce each year (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006).  40% of children will witness their parents divorce before reaching adulthood (Amato, 2000).
  • Of all Americans who have ever been married one-third have divorced at least once.  (Barna, 2008. Used with permission.)
  • George Barna commented on his study of “Christians”: "There no longer seems to be much of a stigma attached to divorce; it is now seen as an unavoidable rite of passage."  "Interviews with young adults suggest that they want their initial marriage to last, but are not particularly optimistic about that possibility. There is also evidence that many young people are moving toward embracing the idea of serial marriage, in which a person gets married two or three times, seeking a different partner for each phase of their adult life."  (Barna, 2008. Used with permission.)

 

STRONG MARRIAGES AND FAMILIES

  • A large national sample (n=50,000) of married couples who completed a couple inventory (ENRICH) found the top five categories most predictive of marital happiness were:  Communication, Flexibility, Couple Closeness, Personality Compatibility and Conflict Skills.  (see The Couple Checkup: Finding Your Strengths, by David H. Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg, and Peter J. Larson, Thomas Nelson, release date June, 2008.)  A similar study of over 50,000 couples creating stepfamilies (marriage with children from previous relationships) found the top five categories most predictive of marital happiness were: Personality Compatibility, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Shared Leisure, and Couple Flexibility.  (see The Remarriage Checkup: Tools to Make Your Marriage Last a Lifetime, by Ron L. Deal and David H. Olson, January, 2010).
  • Closeness with either a biological or step-father is associated with a decrease in the likelihood that an adolescent boy will expect someday to divorce.  (Risch, Jodi & Eccles, 2004)
  • Religious attendance is positively correlated with higher G.P.A.’s for teens. (Fagen, 2006)
  • Couples who agree on spiritual beliefs report significantly higher marital satisfaction and couple closeness than couples who are low on spiritual agreement.  (Larson & Olson, 2004). 

 

REMARRIAGE & STEPFAMILIES    

Why are many statistics provided here from the 1980’s? See Endnote 2 below.

 

  • 40% of married couples with children (i.e., families) in the US are stepcouples (at least one partner had a child from a previous relationship before marriage; this includes full and part-time residential stepfamilies and those with children under and/or over the age of 18). The percentage of all married couples households is 35%. (Karney, Garvan, & Thomas, 2003)  

1. 39% of white couples with children are stepcouples

2. 55% of black couples with children are stepcouples

3. 36% of hispanic couples with children are stepcouples

4. 87% of cohabiting couples with children are stepcouples (45% of all cohabiting couples are stepcouples)

  • There are 35 million Americans in the US today who are remarried (US Census, 2007).

1.      There were 224,939,628 people in the US in 2004 (224.9 million).

2.      At that time 12% of men & 13% of women (15 years old and over) were remarried twice.

3.      An additional 3% of men and 3% of women were remarried three times.

4.      Thus, 15% of men and 16% of women were remarried at least twice.

5.      Therefore, of all men and women (age 15 and above) 15.5% were remarried at least twice which equals 34.9 million people (34,865,642 to be exact).

 

  • There are an additional 36 million Americans who are divorced or widowed (possibly finding themselves in a remarriage at some point) (US Census, 2007).

1.      9% of men and 11% of women (age 15 and older) were divorced in 2004.

2.      2% of men and 10% of women were widowed.

3.      A total of 10% of all people, then, were divorced and 6% of all people were widowed.

4.      Together, 16% of Americans age 15 or older could potentially remarry (35.9 million people).

5.      All together 70.8 million Americans are remarried or potentially remarried).

 

  • Approximately one-third of all weddings in America today form stepfamilies.  (Deal, 2005)
  • More than a quarter of the people who remarry are over 50 years of age.
  • Serial transitions in and out of marriage/divorce/cohabitation is now typical of family life in the US (Cherlin, 2009).

1.      Americans marry, divorce, and cohabit more than any Western society. They also start and stop relationships more quickly.

2.      Children living with two married parents in the US have a higher risk of experiencing a family breakup than do children living with two unmarried parents in Sweden.

3.      10% of women in the US have had three or more marriages, divorces, or cohabiting partners...by age 35 (the next highest industrialized nation is Sweden at 4.5%).

4.      16% of persons born after 1970 will marry, divorce, remarry, and redivorce (also see Cherlin, A.J. Marriage, divorce, remarriage. Rev. ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992).

5.      By age 15, 29% of US children experience two or more mother partnerships (either marriage or cohabitation).

6.      The more parental partnerships (transitions in and out of couple relationships) that children experience, the lower their over-all emotional, psychological, and academic well-being.

 

  • In 1996, close to 10% of children lived in stepfamily homes (7% married homes; 3% cohabiting).  (Parke, 2007)
  • An estimated one-third of children will live in a stepparent home before the age of 18 (Parke, 2007) and 50% will have a stepparent at some point in their lifetime.  (Stewart, 2007, p.21)
  • An estimated 40% of women will live in a married or cohabiting stepfamily home at some point.  (Stewart, 2007)
  • One of three Americans currently has a steprelationship of some kind and it is estimated that 50% will during their lifetime.  (Larson, 1992).
  • Nearly 40% of families in the US have a stepgrandparent (Szinovacz, 1998) and by 2030 Americans will have one stepgrandchild for every 1.7 biological grandchild (Wachter, 1997).
  • Not all stepfamilies begin with divorce.  For those that do, it’s very important that you break the cycle of divorce and not divorce again.  Consider these truths:
    • Children whose biological parents have divorced are roughly twice as likely to have their marriage end in divorce compared to their peers from intact families.
    • When a host of variables are taken in to consideration (including genetics, socioeconomic, & psychological factors) as to why children of divorce later themselves divorce, the actual divorce of their parents still accounts for 66% of the increased risk (Brian D’Onofrio, Indiana University Bloomington).
    • When a parent(s) later marry (forming a stepfamily) and divorce again, the negative effects of parents’ marital transitions are cumulative. The well-being of children goes down as the number of marital transitions goes up (see Kurdek & Fine, 1993, Journal of Family Issues).
    • Commentary (Ron L. Deal): What results is a generational weakening of marriage and an increase is the likelihood of divorce. The good news is that breaking the cycle of divorce increases a child’s likelihood of a stable marriage when they marry. 
  • Marriage in a stepfamily can be stressful!
    • In our national survey of couples creating stepfamilies we found that the top three anticipated stumbling blocks for couples related to children and stepfamily stress.  78% of couples expected difficulties dealing with stepfamily issues, 75% expected children to put a strain on their marriage, and 72% believed creating a stepfamily would stress their marriage (Deal & Olson, The Remarriage Couple Checkup, Thomas Nelson, release date Jan 2009).
    • They were right!  On average, couples in stepfamilies have three times the amount of stress of couples in first marriages during the first few years (see Hetherington, For Better for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered, 2002, p. 165). 
    • Is there any good news?  Yes. With time stress levels for couples in stepfamilies can fall to normal levels found in first marriages.
  • Many stepfamilies are not formed from divorce.
    • While 90% of stepfamilies are formed after one or both partners have experienced a divorce, a significant number of stepfamilies are preceded by an out-of-wedlock birth and a subsequent marriage (note: not a “remarriage”). 
    • One-third of children entering stepfamilies did so after birth to an unmarried mother rather than after parental divorce (Bumpass, Raley, & Sweet, 1995).  Keep in mind that this data is from the early 1980’s.
    • A 2009 report (based on 2002 data) by the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that 40% of babies in America were born to an unwed mother; 70% of African-American children are born out of wedlock (Wu & Wolfe, 2001).
    • In an effort to minimize their past, stepfamilies created from nonmarital childbearing may be tempted to not identify themselves as a stepfamily, instead presenting themselves as a “regular family.”  Sometimes children are not even told that their stepparent is not their biological parent. Smart Stepfamilies does not recommend this form of family denial.  Rather, be honest with who you are and use your past as a teaching tool for your children.
  • African-American stepfamilies may adjust to stepfamily living more easily than White or Hispanic families.  In general, family boundaries in African-American families are less rigid and more fluid than those of Whites.  Throughout US history, black families have included fictive kin, i.e., people with no biological or legal tie to the family who are nevertheless considered family members.  Given this cultural history, welcoming and bonding with new stepfamily members may be less intrusive and easier than in White families (Stewart, 2007, p. 148).

  

Additional research and statistics:    The Stepcouple Divorce Rate

 

---------------------------------

 

ENDNOTE 1:

Why are so many statistics on divorce and remarriage dated to the 1980-1990’s—why don’t we have more recent data?

  • The US government (Vital Statistics) no longer tracks the trends of marriage, divorce, remarriage, and stepfamilies as they did in the past. Around 1996 they changed the marriage and family information they seek from individuals so many statistics cannot be updated. For example, marriage licenses no longer ask if one or both partners have been previously married. It seems this data is no longer of interest to the US government.

 

---------------------------------

 

References: 

 

Amato, P. (2000).  The consequences of divorce for adults and children.  Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62 (4), 1269-1287.

Barna, George (March, 2008).  New Marriage and Divorce Statistics. Report released by The Barna Group, Ltd., www.barna.org.  Used with permission.

Bumpass, L. L., Raley, R.K., & Sweet, J.A. (1995). The changing character of stepfamilies: Implications of cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing. Demography, 32, 425-436.). 

Carlson,, M.J. (2006).  Family structure, father involvement and adolescent behavioral outcomes.  Journal of Marriage and the Family, 68 (1), 137-154. 

Carroll, J.S. & Doherty, W.J. (2003).  Evaluating the effectiveness of premarital prevention programs:  A meta-analytic review of outcome research.  Family Relations, 52, 105-118. 

Cherlin, A.J. (2009). The marriage-go-round: The state of marriage and the family in America today. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, p. 18-24.

Colman, R.A., & Widon, C.S. (2004).  Childhood abuse and adult intimate relationships:  A prospective study.  Child Abuse and Neglect, 28 (11), 1133-1151. 

Deal, Ron L. (2005). Composite approximation considering the remarriage rate (38% of all weddings) and the number of post-divorce remarriages that include children from previous relationships (75%); when widows who remarry; and the out-of-wedlock rate (40% of all children are born out of wedlock) resulting in first marriages that form stepfamilies if the mother marries someone other than the biological father.  

Deal, Ron L. (2014). The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family, Revised & Expanded Edition. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publisher.

Fagen, P. (2006).  A portrait of family and religion in America:  Key outcomes for the common good.  Washington, DC:  The Heritage Foundation.

Fagen, P. (2006).  A portrait of family and religion in America:  Key outcomes for the common good.  Washington, DC:  The Heritage Foundation.

Feldhahn, S. and Whitehead, T. (2014). The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books.

Ganong, L. & Colman, M. (2004). Stepfamily Relationships: Development, Dynamics, and Interventions. New York: Kluwer Academic, p. 68.

Glenn, N. D. (1996).  Values, attitudes, and the state of marriage.  In D. Popenoe, J.B. Elshtain & D. Blankenhorm (Eds.), Promises to keep (pp. 15-33).  Lanham, MD:  Rowman and Littlefield. 

Hetherington, E.M. and Kelly, J. (2002). For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, p. 178. Hetherington and Kelly found that stepcouples had a divorce rate 50% higher than remarried couples without children.

Hill, J. & Evans, S.G. (2006).  Effects of cohabitation length on personal and relational well-being.  Alabama Policy Institute, Vol. API Study, 1-13. 

Karney, B.R., Garvan, C.W., & Thomas, M.S. (2003). Published report by the University of Florida: Family Formation in Florida: 2003 Baseline Survey of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Demographics Relating to Marriage and Family Formation. These findings were replicated in two other state representative samples.

Kurdek, L. A., & Fine, M. A. (1993). The relation between family structure and young adolescents appraisals of family climate and parenting behavior. Journal of Family Issues, 14, 279-290.

Larson, J. (1992).  Understanding stepfamilies.  American Demographics, 14, 360.

Larson, P.J. & Olson, D.H. (2004).  Spiritual beliefs and marriage:  A national survey based on ENRICH.  The Family Psychologist, 20 (2), 4-8. 

Larson, P.J. & Olson, D.H. (2004).  Spiritual beliefs and marriage:  A national survey based on ENRICH.  The Family Psychologist, 20 (2), 4-8. 

Manning, Wendy, personal communication Jan 2010, National Center for Family and Marriage Research, Bowling Green State University, based on the 2008 American Communities Survey. Visit http://ncfmr.bgsu.edu/index.html 

Manning, W.D. & Lamb, K.A. (2003).  Adolescent well-being in cohabiting, married, and single-parent families.  Journal of marriage and family, 65 (4), 876-893. 

Parker, K. (Jan 13, 2011). A Portrait of Stepfamilies. Pew Research Center report, http://pewsocialtrends.org/2011/01/13/a-portrait-of-stepfamilies/ 

Parke, M. (2007).  Are married parents really better for children?  What research says about the effects of family structure on child well-being.  Couples and married research and Policy brief: Center for Law and Social Policy (May).

Pearson, J., Muller, C. & Frisco, M.L. (2006).  Parental involvement, family structure, and adolescent decision-making, Sociological Perspectives, 49 (1), 67-90.

Popenoe, D. & Whitehead, B.D. (1999b).  The state of our unions.  New Brunswick, NJ:  National Marriage Project, Rutgers University. 

Popenoe, D. & Whitehead, R.D. (2005).  The state of our unions 2005.  Piscataway, NJ:  National Marriage Project, Rutgers University. 

Risch, S.C., Jodi, K.M. & Eccles, J.S. (2004).  Role of the father-adolescent relationship in shaping adolescents’ attitudes.  Journal of Marriage and the Family, 66 (1), 46-58. 

Sieving, R.E., Eisenberg, M.E., Pettingell, S., Skay, C. (2006).  Friends’ influence on adolescents’ first sexual intercourse.  Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Vol. 38, 1, pp. 13-19. 

Stanley, S.M., Amato, P.R., Johnson, C.A., & Markman, H.J. (2006).  Premarital education, marital quality, an marital stability:  Findings from a large, random household survey.  Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 1, 117-126. 

Stewart, Susan D. (2007). Brave new stepfamilies: diverse paths toward stepfamily living. Sage Publications.

Szinovacz, M. (1998). Grandparents today: A demographic profile. Gerontologist, 38, 37-52.

Teachman, J. (2008). Complex life course patterns and the risk of divorce in second marriages. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70, 294-305.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2006). Statistical adstract of the United States (122nd ed).  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

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