Children whose parents are married have significantly higher self-esteem, according to research unveiled by the Marriage Foundation yesterday. The Marriage Foundation is a think-tank which aims to reduce divorce rates. Its previous research has linked family breakdown to poor academic performance in children and mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
Teenagers of married couples were more confident than those in single-parent families or youngsters whose parents lived together in a stable long-term relationship, it found.
Overall, boys with married parents had the highest self-esteem, while girls with co-habiting parents had the lowest.
A number of studies have shown that self-esteem is closely related to how secure people feel in their relationships.
It appears that children of married parents are responding to something they see in their parents’ relationships that reflects greater security. Their self-esteem benefits accordingly.
Former High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge, said the Government should place more importance on marriage as it sought to tackle ‘a meteoric rise in family breakdown’. He said: ‘Marriage matters because it is the most important predictor of a child’s future life chances.’