(ORLANDO, FL) – A new study released today by the Florida Family Policy 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 [1][1] and Philip Fletcher [1][2] 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.

“With the economic crisis that we find ourselves in, it is time to stop pretending that the breakdown of the family does not have detrimental effects on every area of society from generation to generation,” said John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council. “Our public policy in Florida needs to be focused on keeping families together and strengthening the position of parents to do their difficult but rewarding job of raising their children.”

“This study reveals the powerful impact that faith and family have on a child’s life,” Stemberger said. “Marriage and family are not simply private and religious in nature.  They serve as a foundation for our society and when that foundation gives way, we see the tragic results for children in terms of increased behavioral problems, stress in the home, strained family relationships and decreased educational achievement.”

A copy of the study can be downloaded at www.FLfamily.org.

The Florida Family Policy Council is a pro-family public policy organization that is associated with Focus on the Family. The organization’s mission is to strengthen Florida’s families through public policy education, issue research and grassroots advocacy

[1][1] Dr. Nicholas Zill is the founding president of Child Trends and the former vice president of Westat, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

[1][2] Dr. Philip Fletcher is a research psychologist at Westat.

For More Information Contact:

Michelle McKinnie at 407-251-5130.

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