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Research Update

____________________________________________________________ April 8, 2011


A new Child Trends brief finds that relationship quality between parents is consistently and positively associated with better outcomes for children and families. This brief, Parental Relationship Quality and Child Outcomes across Subgroups, notes that the positive association holds across many subgroup comparisons, including income, marital status, parental education, and race/ethnicity. These analyses were completed using data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health.  


Specifically, positive parental relationships are linked to:

  • reduced child behavior problems,
  • better child social competence,
  • greater child school engagement,
  • fewer child internalizing (depression) problems,
  • better parent-child communication, and
  • reduced feelings of aggravation by the parent

"Our research indicates that happy couple relationships are quite consistently related to better outcomes for children and families across all types of groups in the population," lead author Kristin A. Moore said. "Programs and policies that are able to improve relationship quality could have positive implications for children."  

Don't forget to visit Trend Lines, Child Trends' blog 
With Trend Lines, we highlight key findings from child and youth research in a user-friendly format for policy makers, program administrators and service providers, researchers, foundations, and others.  Please stop by and join the conversation. 




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