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Among the poster sessions and papers presented were some that dispute the popular or academic wisdom about important aspects of family life.
Conference presentations are typically works-in-progress, to be revised as more information becomes available or challenges to their methodology are resolved. They are not the final word on these topics, and should not be taken as the new conventional wisdom.
But they raise valuable questions about substantive issues. Family Meals Take family meals, for example. Everybody knows that children turn out better if they grow up in a home where the family gathers around the dinner table each night, right?
Not so fast, according to a poster presented by researchers from Boston University and Columbia University. They used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study to ask whether academic performance and behavior of children from kindergarten through eighth grade could be linked to how often they ate breakfast or dinner with their families.
Miller and Wen-Jui Han. The two acknowledge that their research did not look at older teenagers; earlier research has suggested that adolescents who often have family meals are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol or to have behavior problems.
A recent Pew Research Center report on family issues includes some data on frequency of family meals, taken from a survey of adults last October.
Cohabitation On the topic of cohabitation, everybody knows that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce than couples who do not, because that is what much research has found.
But some recent work disputes that conclusion. Now that most couples move in together before they marry, cohabitation may not be as linked to divorce as it was when live-in couples were less common. The report also notes a trend toward rising public acceptance of cohabiting couples over the years.
A paper by Bowling Green State University researchersusing data from the National Survey of Family Growthconcluded that among women who married since the mids, cohabitation is not tied to heightened risk of divorce.
Manning and Jessica A. Cohen in the paper they presented at the population meeting. Divorce An abundance of research about divorce links it to increased risk of problems for children both in the immediate aftermath of the split and later on in life.
Gager and Miriam R. Linver compared the relationship paths of adult children who grew up in different types of households. They focused especially on children whose parents often argued.The Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS), is a large-scale, multipurpose, nationally representative longitudinal survey of the health and socioeconomic status of individuals and their families in Mexico In the baseline survey, conducted in , all adult members of more than households in communities were interviewed.
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