I'm proud to say I am an unmarried mother successfully raising an incredible 2.5 year old. I am also a masters level social worker and child therapist. This puts me in an unique dynamic as I am an unmarried parent but also shaping the lives of children in a positive way. I am unmarried but also not a "single parent" as I live with my partner, my daughter's father which does help me a great deal. Is the issue really whether the mother is married? Perhaps parents' success and child outcomes has to do with their support systems, job security, housing opportunities, and overall positive parenting skills among many other variables. Why so much emphasis on marriage? As a therapist I may treat a child from unmarried parents and one from married parents, however with similar issues, problems, and economic background. Just a thought.

Dear John,
Thanks for this insightful and informative review of national and local trends on this important topic. I wonder how the complicating economic pressures on married households where formerly 2-parents working are reduced to one (or none)employed are impacting the stability measures normally associated with married households. I imagine data exploring these issues will emerge in the next decade.

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