by Julia Kiewit
February 28, 2013
While there are many societal differences between the U.S. and Canada, the need for strong families to maintain society is one area in which researchers in the two countries can agree. The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada this year has launched a new annual study of family well-being around the world. The World Family Map 2013 looks at the family as the core institution of society and examines four indicators of family well-being: family structure, family socioeconomics, family process, and family culture, as well as how family structures relate to children’s educational attainments. The report includes data on these categories in different countries representing all regions of the globe.
Much of the data revealed in this report supports the research published by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute. For example, data published by MARRI highlights the association between living in an intact, married family and higher GPAs in school.
And this same sort of data is found in the “World Family Map.” An article by the Toronto Sun reports that
A new, international report makes the claim that Canadian children score higher on literacy tests and are less likely to repeat a grade if — wait for it — raised by two parents.
According to the World Family Map Project, released last week, “children living with two parents had higher reading literacy scores and were less likely to repeat a grade compared to those living with either one parent or neither parent in all three North American countries included in the report.”
The researchers go on: “This pattern is found even after accounting for the higher levels of poverty and lower levels of parental education among single-parent families.”
The author of the article goes one step further to point out that government would do well to pay attention to this research:
“Now this is awkward. Governments can pour money into education, but if children are not coming from stable homes, it’s like throwing money into the cold, Canadian wind. There is no quick government fix for family breakdown. But neither should politicians go to great lengths to avoid this research.”
Here at MARRI and the Family Research Council, we couldn’t agree more.