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Staying Together Just for the Kids Doesn’t Help Them

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 31-07-2009

Many dads believe that staying together in a bad marriage for the sake of their kids actually helps them in the long run. However, a recent study found that adolescents tend to smoke, drink, and perform poorly in school when they live with parents who fight and argue all the time.

Lead author and Cornell associate professor of policy analysis and management, Kelly Musick conducted a study of teens from 1,963 households in the National Survey of Families and Households. The study tracked the teens’ academic and behavioral performance and compared it with the performance of children raised in single-parent households.   

Musick said, “Our results clearly illustrate that the advantages of living with two continuously married parents are not shared equally by all children. Compared with children in low-conflict families, children from high-conflict families are more likely to drop out of school, have poor grades, smoke, binge drink, use marijuana, have early sex, be young and unmarried when they have a child, and then experience the breakup of that relationship.”

The study found that the comparison between teens who lived with married parents who often fought and those with parents without partners were statistically indistinguishable.

In the end, a stable two-couple household is apt for a child to thrive in but it is up to the moms and dads to control and manage their anger for the well-being of their child.