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Family Matters No. 53 - June 1999

Strong families and satisfying marriages

Ilene Wolcott

Abstract

Strong and stable families are acknowledged to provide the optimum framework for children's well being and the foundation for becoming responsible adults. Evidence continues to accumulate that marriage contributes to men's and women's improved physical and psychological health, longevity and material wealth and better outcomes for children's well being. As a background to a major new study of Positive Marriage and Family Relationships, conducted by the Institute, this article presents a review of the literature describing positive marital and family characteristics and functioning, and the strategies espoused for strengthening marriage and family life. These themes are discussed in relation to trends in contemporary society that appear to influence the stability and quality of family life.

Strong and stable families are acknowledged to provide the optimum framework for children's well being and the foundation for becoming responsible adults. Evidence continues to accumulate that marriage contributes to men's and women's improved physical and psychological health, longevity and material wealth and better outcomes for children's well being. As a background to a major new study of Positive Marriage and Family Relationships, conducted by the Institute, this article presents a review of the literature describing positive marital and family characteristics and functioning, and the strategies espoused for strengthening marriage and family life. These themes are discussed in relation to trends in contemporary society that appear to influence the stability and quality of family life.

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