- Children and the Law: An Introduction
- The Regulation of Reproduction and Best Interests Analysis
- When Does a Right to Life Arise?
- “Of Sound Mind and Body”: A Call for Universal Drug Screening for All Newborns
- Legislation In Search of “Good-Enough” Care Arrangements for the Child: A Quest for Continuity of Care
- Screening Potential Parents
- Procreation and Parenting
- The ART of Parentage
- Adoption Versus Alternative Forms of Care
- Children in Fragile Families
- Protection of the Health of Newborns: Whatever Happened to Baby Doe?
- Corporal Punishment and the Law in Global Perspective
- Addressing Childhood Trauma: Phenomena as a Roadmap to Response
- Disputes over Medical Treatment for Children
- Children’s Right to Privacy
- The Child Protection System
- Contested Child Protection Policies
- How Federal Laws Pertaining to Foster Care Financing Shape Child Welfare Services
- Equal Parenting Time: The Case for a Legal Presumption
- Relational Parents: When Adults Receive Rights in Children Because of Their Relationship with a Parent
- The Changing Landscape of Funding Public Elementary and Secondary Education in the United States
- School Accountability
- Race and Education: School Desegregation and Resegregation since <i>Brown</i> and Promising Avenues toward Integration
- Children’s Religious Freedom in State Schools: Exemptions, Participation, and Education
- The Supreme Court Has Spoken: The Potential Impact of Decisions Interpreting US Federal Statutes on the Education of Students with Disabilities
- Proposed Policies to Reduce Weapons in Schools: Based on Research from an Ecological Conceptual Model
- The Intersection between Schools and the Criminal Justice System
- Private School Regulation: Individual Rights and Educational Responsibilities
- Legislation and Religious Exemptions from Laws Protecting Children
- Considerations for Policymaking Affecting Adolescents in the Liberal Democracy
- Children and Juvenile Justice Law: The Possibilities of a Relational-Rights Approach
- Gender, Justice, and Youth Development
- Children’s Participation in Decisions about Parenting Arrangements
- Reforming Child Welfare
- The Promises and Pitfalls of Constitutionalizing Children’s Rights
Abstract and Keywords
Families formed by unmarried parents increased dramatically in the United States during the latter half of the 20th century. To learn more about these families, a team of researchers at Princeton University and Columbia University designed and implemented a large birth cohort study—The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. This chapter highlights several findings from the study. First, most unmarried parents have “high hopes” for a future together at the time of their child’s birth; but their resources are low and most relationships do not last. Second, unmarried mothers experience high levels of partnership instability and family complexity, both of which are associated with lower-quality parenting and poorer child well-being. Finally, welfare state, child support and criminal justice policies play a large role in the lives of fragile families.
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