A new study released by Pennsylvania Family Institute in conjunction with Family Research Council finds that children have fewer problems at school and home when they live with both biological parents and frequently attend religious services. Drs. Nicholas Zill and Philip Fletcher co-authored the new study which analyzes data from the National Survey of Children’s Health.

Among their remarkable findings: children in this group are five times less likely to repeat a grade, less likely to have behavior problems at home and school, and are more likely to be cooperative and understanding of others’ feelings. Parents of these children report less stress, healthier parent-child relationships, and fewer concerns about their children’s achievement. These differences hold up even after controlling for family income and poverty, low parent education levels, and race and ethnicity.

Pennsylvania ranks only slightly above the national average with respect to the percentage of children living in an intact married family, and slightly below the national average in the frequency of worship category.

Michael Geer, President of Pennsylvania Family Institute, made the following statement regarding the study’s findings:

"This study once again shows that children in an intact, married family that worships together regularly are much less likely to experience behavioral problems, stress, unhealthy relationships and impaired educational achievement.

"Social science data consistently demonstrates that the intact, married family that worships weekly is a great benefit to society and the nation. Lawmakers must take this fact into consideration when creating public policy."

Visit PAFamily.org for more info.

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