The married, father-mother family unit is foundational to healthy childrearing.  The healthy childrearing cycle is perpetuated by responsible decisions of the parents and the child.  Although the best outcome is achieved by starting at the beginning and completing the entire healthy cycle, a parent or child may enter at any point and achieve significant improvement in outcome.  Read more here.

Traditional family structure refers to households consisting of two married parents and their biological children. Non-traditional variations in family structure include families with one biological parent and one stepparent, a single parent, cohabiting parents, or other relatives as caretakers.  Research has consistently shown that family structure can facilitate or limit the ways in which parents are able to positively influence the future outcomes of their children.  Across all measures of outcome for parents and their children, the traditional family structure is the most beneficial.

Read more: Family Matters: Family Structure and Child Outcomes by Barbara Schneider, Ph.D., Allison Atteberry, and Ann Owens Alfred; P. Sloan Center on Parents, Children, and Work. The University of Chicago and NORC