For dozens of ARTICLES, click here/ For Marriage Reports, Summaries see BELOW

Broadcasts: listen/ watch online


ARCHIVE of 15 years of the Smart Marriages LISTSERV (searchable by topic)

'Medical/Illness/Health' and Marriage Education aritcles

Marriage Reports and Research Summaries:

The low-down from the National Vital Statistics System on U.S. Marriage and Divorce stats
- statistics America has, doesn't have, and a bit about why.

The Marriage Index - 10/2009
An effort to correct the lack of information on marriage. Establishes major indicators by which to track the health of marriage in America.

Healthy Marriage Booklet Series - compilation of research on the health, wealth, mental health benefits healthy marriage holds for men, women, children and the Marriage and the village. Concise, portable, perfect to hand to community leaders, policy makers, journalists. Includes: Healthy Marriages, Healthy Lives / Healthy Marriages, Healthy Society / Healthy Marriages, Healthy Children / Healthy Marriages, Healthy Women and Girls/ Healthy Marriages, Responsible Fatherhood/ Healthy Marriages & Mental Health /Recipient of the 2010 Smart Marriages Impact Award.  California Health Marriage Coaltion

Family FACTS & STATS -
A round-up of social science findings on healthy marriage/healthy family research
gathered from peer-reviewed journals, books and government surveys. Serving policymakers, journalists, scholars and the general public, makes social science research easily accessible to the non-specialist.

Married people (43% very happy) are a good bit happier than unmarrieds (24% very happy) and this has been a consistent finding over the years. It holds up for men as well as for women, and for the old as well as the young.
Pew Research Center, Feb 2006

"ACF spends $46 billion per year operating 65 different social programs. If one goes down the list of these programs… the need for each is either created or exacerbated by the breakup of families and marriages."
Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families (ACF/HHS) 2004

Optimal age to marry:
We are currently recommending marriage, for most people and other things being equal, in the mid-twenties. The research suggests that the drop in the high divorce risk of teen marriage levels off in the early twenties; that is, one does not decrease the risk any further by waiting until the late twenties or thirties. Other research suggests that later marriages (after the late twenties) aren't quite as happy. - David Popenoe and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, National Marriage Project, 10/06

"The findings suggest that most persons have little or nothing to gain in the way of marital success by
postponing marriage beyond their mid-twenties with the finding of the greatest likelihood of being
in an intact marriage of the highest quality being among those who married at ages 22-25."
- Norval Glenn, U of Texas, in a paper Later First Marriage and Marital Success, which examines the
data on age at first marriage and marital success outcomes. Presented at Amer Sociological Assoc, SF, 9/09.

The Case for Waiting (to divorce): - Marriages, like everything else, go through slumps - down times. But, with time, unhappy marriages, just like other problems, often get better on their own. In The Case for Marriage Waite and
Gallagher point out that many who report that their marriages were at the bottom of the scale on marital satisfaction, when asked five years later, reported being at the top on marital happiness. What changed? Many had no idea – often couldn't even remeber that they'd felt things had bottomed out.  It seems that simply keeping our vows – hanging in through the "for worse", even the "for boring" or when we feel we're all out of love can, eventually, be what gets us to the promised land. Get married, stay married – what a concept. Recent follow-up research, Does Divorce Make People Happy?, fleshes out their earlier findings and concludes that, in the long run, the solution seems to be to make every effort to fall back in love with the person with whom you have children, extended families, and a history – someone who will enjoy the grandkids with you and has been there to know what you've done for others. As people go through unhappy periods in their marriage they fantasize about getting out of the marriage and finding happiness by falling in love with someone new. Those folks (in multiple marriages) tend to divorce at a higher rate than first marriages – especially if children are involved. 

The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing - IAV

Why Marriage Matters, Second Edition: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences

Why Marriage Matters - summary flyer from the California Healthy Marriage Coalition

Factors that Increase the Risk of Divorce from EmaxHealth

Evaluating Marriage: Does Marriage Matter to the Nurturing of Children? -Robin Wilson/San Diego Law Review

Marriage & Family Wellness: Corporate America’s Business? - The Marriage CoMission, 2006

Does Divorce Make People Happy?
- Institute for Amercian Values

Marriage and Health - HHS Report, 2007

What is the Relationship of Marriage to Physical Health? - Jana Staton, 2008

Cohabitation, Marriage and Child Wellbeing: A Cross-National Perspective
David Popenoe, The National Marriage Project, June 2008

Fact Sheet for Practitioners: Incarceration and Family Relationships

Family Structure and Expulsion or Suspension from School
- Mapping America Project/2008

Ten Important Research Findings on Marriage and Choosing a Marriage Partner

The National Marriage Project, Nov 2004

A Snapshot of Emerging Research Themes that Influence Marriage Education: 2008
Amato, Fincham, Hawkins, Rhoades - NHMRC 

Tip Sheet for Understanding TANF funding for Marriage Education - NHMRC

State of Our Unions - Annual Reports from the National Marriage Project
David Popenoe & Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Co-Directors

2008 Update

For all earlier State of Our Unions Reports click here:

2007: Featuring "The Future of Marriage"

2006: Featuring "Life Without Children"

2005: Featuring "Marriage & Family: What Does the Scandinavian Experience Tell Us?"

2004: Featuring "The Marrying Kind: Which Men Marry & Why"

2003:Featuring "Marriage & Children: Coming Together Again?"

2002: Featuring "Why Men Won't Commit"- Exploring Young Men's Attitudes About Sex, Dating and Marriage

2001: Featuring "Who Wants to Marry A Soul Mate?"

2000: Featuring "Sex Without Strings Relationships Without Rings"

1999: Featuring "What's Happening to Marriage?"

The Top Ten Myths of Divorce Discussion of the most common misinformation about divorce, with references to social science literature. April 200.1 [PDF] or [HTML]


The Top Ten Myths of MarriageDiscussion of the most common misinformation about marriage, with references to social science literature. March 2002. [PDF] or [HTML]

How to Approach Officials - Judge Jim Sheridan
Why Public Officials Should Support Marriage Initiatives - Judge Jim Sheridan, Adrian, Michigan, 2007

Marriage and Health - Erik Carlton, powerpoint for use in local marriage initiatives

Ten Things Teen Should Know About Marriage
The Dibble Fund for Marriage Education, 2003

The Costly Consequences of Divorce in Utah, June 2003

Growing Up With a Single Parent: What are the Costs?

Fatherless Stats
Children from a fatherless home are five times more likely to commit suicide; 32 times more likely to run away; 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders; 14 times more likely to commit rape; nine times more likely to drop out of school; 10 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. -  2010, According to the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and the U.S. Department of Justice

Reviving Marriage in America - Donor Guidebook: Why and How to Support Marriage
Philanthropy Roundtable

With This Ring.....A National Survey on Marriage in America
- Norval Glenn, NFI, Nov, 2005

The Overwhelming Evidence that Marriage Education Works
Heritage Foundation, Oct 2002

What is unique about a Skills-Based approach to Marriage?

Marriage As a Public Issue - Steve Nock, 2005

The Positive Effects of Marriage: A Book of Charts
Heritage Foundation, April 2002

Strengthening Marriages In Your Community:
101 Ideas to Get You Started

Divorce causes a decrease in wealth that is larger than just splitting a
couple’s assets in half. Divorce is devastating - drops a person's wealth
by an average of 77%. And, contrary to popular belief,
the research shows that the divorce affects the wealth of men and women equally,
divorced women weren't significantly worse off than divorced men, in terms of
real money. If you really want to increase your wealth - man or woman- get
married and stay married. According
to this review of 9,055 baby boomers,
married folks accumulated net worths 93%
higher than single or divorced individuals.
And married individuals tended to
experience average wealth increases of 16
percent annually.
Some of that effect is due to economies of scale ... that is, two people can live more
cheaply than one
. But, the case is clear, married people see an increase in
wealth that is more than just adding the assets of two single people.

- Jay Zagorsky, Ohio State, Journal of Sociology, Jan 2006

Our research estimates that 55-60% of marriages that end in divorce fall into the category of "good enough marriages". These marriages appear to be functioning well only a year or so prior to the divorce. From a child's perspective, these divorce are unexpected, inexplicable, and unwelcome and are thus most likely to harm children. These marriages are significantly more likely to divorce because of infidelity, citing explanations of "drifting apart" or "communication problems". They are unlikely to mention abuse because these were not highly conflicted marriages. - Paul Amato, Smart Marriages keynote

Marriage and the Law: A Statement of Principles
/ A Call from Family and Legal Scholars. 2006

Making a Love Connection: Teen Relationships, Pregnancy, and Marriage (2006) - Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Marline Pearson, National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Family Structure and Children's Educational Outcomes - Supporting marriage will allow a greater number of children to succeed educationally and flourish socially - 2005, Center for Marriage and Families

ACF Healthy Marriage Initiative

Building Strong Families Project

Supporting Healthy Marriage Project

Assessing the Impact of Community Marriage Policies on U.S. County Divorce Rates
Paul Birch, Stan Weed, Joseph Olsen, Executive Summary March 2004

Can Married Parents Prevent Crime? Recent Research on Family Structure and Delinquency 2000-2005
iMAPP - Sept, 2005

Overcoming Barriers to Stable Marriage
Brookings , 9/13/05 panel included Ron Mincy, Kathy Edin, Julie Baumgardner, etc

Trends in Marital Stability - Justin Wolfers & Betsey Stevenson, Oct 2007

The Influence of Divorce Laws on the Divorce Rate - Justin Wolfers

Reducing Domestic Violence: How the Healthy Marriage Initiative Can Help
Robert Rector, Melissa Pardue, March 2004: Heritage Foundation

Healthy Marriages in Low-Income African-American Communities: Part I and II
Robert Franklin, 2004, Explores partnerships between faith communities and the marriage movement
Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2004

Healthy Marriage Programs: Learning What Works: The Future of Children
Sept 2005, Mathematica Policy Research

The New Kid on the Block: What is Marriage Education and Does It Work?
CLASP, July 2005

"Marriage Plus" Sabotaging The President's Efforts
to Promote Healthy Marriage: Aug, 2003 -
Robert Rector, Melissa Pardue, Lauren Noyes: Heritage Foundation

Sex Ed: The Missing Link - Ignoring Teens' Romantic Lives
Marline Pearson, MA - Keynote address, 7th Annual Smart Marriages Conference, June 27, 2003, Reno, Nevada

Fractured Families, Fragile Children: The Sexual Vulnerability
of Girls in the Aftermath of Divorce - Robin Wilson, Child and Family Law Quarterly

Family Facts: Social Science Research on Family, Society and Religion
- Heritage Foundation

Federal Funding for Family Formation

Family Formation and Stabilization: Research and Resources
Administration for Children and Families

Latest Report on trends of Cohabitation, Marriage,
Divorce, and Remarriage in the United States
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
National Center for Health Statistics - estimates the patterns & trends as of 1995.

Marriage in Oklahoma: Survey - July 2002
Oklahoma Survey- "low-income respondents show greatest interest in marriage" Press Release

What Next For the Marriage Movement? A Strategic Discussion -
The American Experiment and the Institute for American Values - Feb, 2002

Marriage Education and Government Policy:
Helping Couples Who Choose Marriage Achieve Success
Scott Stanley, Howard Markman, Natalie Jenkins, Feb 2002

Making a Case for Premarital Education
Scott Stanley, Family Relations, 2001.

THE MARRIAGE MOVEMENT: A Statement of Principles, June, 2000 -
The full document

The Effects of Divorce On America --
The Hertitage Foundation, Pat Fagan and Robert Rector, June 2000
Assembles social science research on the physical, emotional,
and financial effects that divorce is having on the nation's children,
families, and on our whole social fabric.

Marriage: The Safest Place for Women and Children
The Heritage Foundation, Patrick Fagan and Kirk Johnson, April 2002

Marriage and Children: Making Marriage More Child Centered
Special Issue of American Experiment Quarterly, Summer 2001

Encouraging Marriage and Discouraging Divorce
The Heritage Foundation, by Pat Fagan, March 2001
Lawmakers and private groups around the country are working to make
marriages better, more stable, and more frequent, and are working to reduce
the incidence of divorce.

The Family “Rebound” that Wasn’t, and the Census Report that Failed -
Institute for Amercian Values, April 2001

Should We Live Together?: What Young Adults Need To Know
About Cohabitation Before Marriage
Popenoe & Whitehead, National Marriage Project, Jan 1999

The State of Our Unions 1999: The Social Health of Marriage in America
This first edition includes indices of trends in marriage, divorce, unmarried cohabitation,
fragile families with children, and teen attitudes about marriage and family.
Popenoe & Whitehead, National Marriage Project, July 1999

The State of Our Unions 2000: The Social Health of Marriage in America
The National Marriage Project's annual report on the status of marriage in America.
Updated indices and highlights of focus-group discussions around the country.
Popenoe & Whitehead, National Marriage Project, June 2000

The State of Our Unions 2001: The Social Health of Marriage in America
"Who Wants to Marry a Soul Mate?" highlighting the results of a 2001 Gallup poll undertaken for
the National Marriage Project examining attitudes about dating and marriage among Americans in their 20s.
Popenoe & Whitehead, National Marriage Project, June 2000

Can Kids Get Smart About Marriage?
Report on school programs from the National Marriage Project, Marline Pearson

Marriage Handbooks - issued by state marriage license bureaus

The Emerging Field of Marriage Education: Creating Smart
Marriages for the New Millennium (Teaching Couples How to Fish) -
Diane Sollee, 1996

How Broken Families Rob Children of Their Chances for Future Prosperity
Patrick Fagan, June 1999

A Christian Declaration on Marriage
Nov 2000, Washington, DC
240,000 churches are represented in Christian Declaration to reduce the nation's divorce rate.

Marriage Laws: An Overview - Cornell Universtiy Law School

Divorce grounds of every State:
Taken from the American Bar Association's annual tables, and the Martindale-Hubbell
law digests for each state. Even so, it is probably not perfect because
finding out a state's divorce laws can be a very murky business -- states
use the same words to mean very different things, and use half a dozen
different words for the same thing, and sometimes the real answer is only
to be found in case law, in custom, or in the presumptions courts use in
interpreting the statutes. - John Crouch, Americans for Divorce Reform

See Articles Page for additional reports, policy initiatives, research, bibliographies, etc.

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