FAMILY: New Study Finds Covid Quarantining Has Mixed Effects On American Teens

A new study produced some unexpected results in assessing the effects of the national lockdown on American teenagers beginning in March in response to the Covid crisis, including the fact teens did less gaming.

The study by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) and the Wheatley Institution was authored by was authored by Jean Twenge (San Diego State University), Sarah Coyne (Brigham Young University), Jason Carroll (Brigham Young University and Wheatley), and W. Bradford Wilcox of IFS.

Among the findings were these: Continue reading “FAMILY: New Study Finds Covid Quarantining Has Mixed Effects On American Teens”

FAMILY: Data-Driven Studies Show Fathers Are Massively VIP To Kids

When federal policymakers named one of the most important social welfare efforts aimed at helping feed children in poverty, they dubbed it the “Women, Infants and Children” (WIC) program.

Fathers somehow were left out.

Father and daughter. Priceless. (Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

At one level, that title simply reflected the depressing reality that millions of fathers sire children, then fail to support them financially, much less emotionally or in any of the multiple other ways revealed by data-driven studies highlighted earlier this week by Dr. Patrick Fagan on Marripedia.

For congressional staffers in positions to influence federal policymaking on families, these studies offer strong evidence of why the greatest failing of present government social welfare initiatives may well be the glaring lack of coherently integrated efforts to support fathers and encourage them to be there for their families. Continue reading “FAMILY: Data-Driven Studies Show Fathers Are Massively VIP To Kids”

FAMILY: At-Risk Kids Get Life-Changing Help At Christian Schools, Study Finds

Most conversations, especially on Capitol Hill, about public versus private education focus, unfortunately, on the relative merits of the two systems in terms of test scores and job preparation, according to a new joint study by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Screenshot from IFS.

Not that doing well on the SAT or getting a leg-up on the latest technologies and procedures in the industry of your choice are bad things, but the authors of the study point to other factors that ought to be considered in the comparison because they are at least important, if not more so, in assessing the comparative societal value of public and private schools.

“For instance, there is the opportunity to be formed into a woman or man of good character, a good citizen, or a good partner and parent. The effects of schooling extend to these other important domains of life,” the study said. Continue reading “FAMILY: At-Risk Kids Get Life-Changing Help At Christian Schools, Study Finds”

Had An Epiphany Lately?

Epiphanies are those moments in life when something suddenly and without warning becomes clear in our lives and we begin to see things with new insight — and perhaps begin to think and do differently as well.

Screen shot from Reflections blog.

For my part, probably the most important such moment in my life came at 9:15 am in the morning of March 1, 1991, when I awakened from my last drinking spree and looked around at the wreckage I’d made of my life and those of others near and dear to me.

It was at the precise moment that the Lord opened my eyes to see that wreckage honestly and to realize that I had to make up my mind, do I really believe what I profess about being a Christian and, if I do, why don’t I start acting like one instead of being a hypocrite?

It hasn’t been all sweetness and light since then, but the Lord has changed me in countless ways and turned my life into an incredible adventure of learning, loving and living. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t thank Him for that epiphany.

But that’s enough out of me. Philosopher Kenneth Samples writes of his own epiphanic experiences in an interesting post on his blog, Reflections.  He writes movingly about his discovery of a Dutch theologian who knew his father, an American GI, fighting in World War II.

Go here for the full Samples.


More Americans Of Marriage Age Are Remaining Single

Wendy Wang of the Institute for Family Studies points to two seemingly contradictory trends in the American family:

Institute for Family Studies (Screenshot)

“America is in the middle of two simultaneous trends related to marriage. Marriages today are more stable, thanks to the steady decline of divorce rates since the 1980s.

“At the same time, however, a declining share of Americans marry. In 2018, a record 35% of Americans ages 25 to 50, or 39 million, had never been married, according to a new Institute for Family Studies (IFS) analysis of U.S. Census data. The share was only 9% in 1970.”

This is important data for congressional staff in positions to help shape the federal government’s many ways of influencing on the family and everything and everybody related to it.

Go here for the rest of the story.


MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: Polyamory, The Next Step Down The Slippery Slope

Hundreds of congressional staffers are in positions of influence regarding family and social policy in the U.S., so developments like the growing acceptance of polyamory in elite media like the New York Times should be of interest.

Glenn Stanton (Photo courtesy of Focus on the Family).

Not sure what polyamory is? What it’s not is polygamy  — one husband, many wives — nor is it polyandry — one wife, many husbands.

What polyamory is is pretty much what any group of two or more sexually involved individuals say it is. Continue reading “MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: Polyamory, The Next Step Down The Slippery Slope”

Joint Economic Committee Offers Another View On Family Instability In The U.S. That May Surprise You

A new report compiled and published by the congressional Joint Economic Committee takes a fresh look at the many factors involved in the decline of the nuclear family in the United States in recent decades.

The Institute for Family Studies’ Robert VerBruggen writes that the report “provides a good overview of numerous factors that have undermined the family over the past half-century, and it pushes back — interestingly, but not always convincingly — against some major parts of the usual narrative about these topics, including the impact of father absence on children.”

There is hardly any federal social or economic policy that doesn’t have at least some impact on families in the U.S., so this report should be of particular interest to congressional staffers across the board.

Why does HillFaith care so much about family issues? Because God ordained the family, for the good of Dads, Moms, Kids and Societies. Maybe that’s why as the family goes, so goes a nation.


Massive Ground-Breaking Data Analysis Identifies Relationship Satisfaction Predictors

How important would it be to you to know that your spouse was as committed to your marriage as you are? A huge new analysis of 43 discrete datasets says that factor may well be the most important predictor of whether the two of you will be happy together.

Screenshot from Institute for Family Studies.

Writing for the Institute for Family Studies, Scott Stanley reports on how scholars Samantha Joel and Paul Eastwick used the datasets and “a procedure called Random Forests that relies on machine learning and massive amounts of computing time to test the strength of each predictor and then build thousands of decision trees (a forest), which reveal how much each of the predictors could explain in relationship satisfaction.”

Without giving away the whole store, I will simply say that your perception of your partner’s commitment is absolutely vital to the future success of your relationship. Go here for Stanley’s superb description of this ground-breaking data analysis.


Harvard Scholars Say Faith And Marriage Are Two Pillars For An Enduring Economic Prosperity

Dr. Patrick Fagan of Marripedia offers concise summaries of two important recent works — one from two scholars at Harvard and one from Cal State Long Beach — who marshal mountains of data that demonstrate the solid connection between strong religious faith, strong marriages, and strong economic prosperty.

I had the privilege of working with Pat for six years at the Heritage Foundation when I was teaching journalists how to do computer-assisted reporting. I know him to be a scholar of the first rank and a man unalterably committed to the truth

These are important works for Hill staffers involved in shaping government policies toward families, economics and societal expectations:

Faith, Families and Prosperity Are Inter-related

A 2019 book entitled “The Wealth of Religions: The Political Economy of Believing and Belonging” by Harvard’s Rachel M. McCleary and Robert J. Barro asserts the economic value of religion by exploring the extent to which religious beliefs motivate people to be economically productive. Continue reading “Harvard Scholars Say Faith And Marriage Are Two Pillars For An Enduring Economic Prosperity”

Massive New Data Analysis Finds Counties With More Families Show Less Coronavirus

There is huge news in a just-published statistical analysis that found a negative relationship between the strength of a county’s social capital — including especially stable families — and coronavirus infections.

Screenshot from Institute for Family Studies.

That’s a good thing! Correlation is NOT causation, but the data showed there is a distinct correlation between more of one and less of the other, according to Professor Christos Makridis, a non-resident fellow of Baylor University’s Institute for Family Studies (IFS). Continue reading “Massive New Data Analysis Finds Counties With More Families Show Less Coronavirus”