by Kerby Anderson
A new study verifies what many of us have known for some time. Children who grow up in an intact family and attend religious services do better than children who do not. Dr. Patrick Fagan at the Family Research Council documents this in Mapping America. He uses the data collected by Drs. Nicholas Zill and Philip Fletcher from the National Survey of Children’s Health.
They found a significant discrepancy between children who grew up in intact families (with both biological parents) and those who came from broken homes. They also found a similar discrepancy between those who attend religious services weekly and those who worship less frequently. They found that children in the former groups were five times less likely to repeat a grade, less likely to have behavior problems at home and school, and more likely to be cooperative and understanding of others’ feelings.
The benefits not only accrued to the children, but also had an impact on the parents. For example, parents of kids from intact families who worship regularly were much less likely (21 percent) to be contacted by the child’s school about behavior or achievement problems compared to parents (53 percent) whose kids were not living with both parents and not attending church services regularly. Parents of the children in the first group also report less stress, healthier parent-child relationships, and few concerns about their children’s achievement…
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