Study Shows Family Instability Has Negative Effect on Children’s Behavior

Family make-up –whether raised in a two-parent or a single parent environment — is also linked to behavioral problems A new sociology study from John Hopkins University [Maryland] confirms what pro-family groups have been saying for decades – family instability has a direct correlation to bad behavior in children. According to a Hopkins press release about the new study, “children who go through frequent transitions are more likely to have behavioral problems than children raised in stable two-parent families and maybe even more than those in stable single-parent families.” Entitled “Family Instability and Child Well-Being”, the study was authored by Hopkins sociologists Paula Fomby and Andrew Cherlin and will be published in the April issue of the American Sociological Review. The data used for the Fomby and Cherlin paper was gathered from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data which is comprised of a 21-year project focusing on women and their children. The children studied in the test were between 5 and 14 years old in 2000. Data researchers utilized a cognitive achievement test, a mother-reported log of behavioral problems and, in the older age group of 10 to 14 years, a self-reported log of behavioral problems. Fomby and Cherlin took the NLSY data and correspondently applied the number of marital and co-habitational alterations the children had respectively undergone. Using a scoring process similar to that used for a standard IQ test, the study authors determined that a child who endured three family living alterations would be likely to have a behavioral problem score approximately 6 points higher than a child who had experienced no such alterations. Multiple...