Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Patt Morrison for

Patt Morrison for August 24, 2011

From This Episode


Unmarried parents more common now than divorced parents: are unmarried, cohabitating parents detrimental to children?

It used to be divorce that everyone was worried about. But divorce rates are down: now, according to a new report, children are more likely to have unmarried parents than divorced ones. Are unmarried parents who live together the new risk to children? The University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values say yes; their recent report states that the number of American parents who are cohabitating but not married has increased twelvefold since the 1970s. The report’s data, which comes from the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth, states that 42% of children had unmarried, cohabitating parents by age 12 while only 24% had divorced parents. The report went further to cite studies that assert that children with unmarried, cohabitating parents perform worse in school and have more psychological problems (Journal of Marriage and Family and Sociology of Education). Even further, it cites a 2010 report on child abuse that found that 57.2 of 1,000 children with an unmarried partner were abused while only 6.8 of 1,000 children with married parents were abused (federal Department of Health and Human Services). Where are we seeing cohabitating parents? W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, explains that the number of cohabitating parents began to quickly increase in poor communities in the late 1960s. Now, the phenomenon has moved to lower-middle-class families, with out-of-wedlock births among high-school-educated women up from 5% in 1982 to 34% in the 2000s. But Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, does not agree that marriage will help keep these parents together or that parents cohabitating without marrying hurts children. Coontz has researched families of the 1960s and found unhappy married couples who married because it was expected and ultimately did more damage to their children than unmarried couples do today. Does marriage help keep a couple together? Is there a reason—economic, philosophical or otherwise—to not get married? Does it make a difference to the child if her parents are married?


Recent Episodes from Patt Morrison

Patt Morrison for September 7, 2012

Broadcasting live from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, we check up on how President Obama's speech checks out. And Hollywood's been at the DNC – actors Richard Schiff and Beau Bridges riff on that enduring connection. Also, Comedy Congress’ big wrapup in Charlotte – Diane Sawyer talks about her age and Mike Dukakis talks about what ifs.

Patt Morrison for September 6, 2012

It’s old home day at the Democratic Convention... that is, if your home is California. The Golden State’s Attorney General Kamala Harris, southern California Congresswoman Judy Chu, and actor Richard Schiff, he is of "The West Wing" and a new political show called "Chasing the Hill." Plus, a post game analysis of former President Bill Clinton’s address to the Democratic troops.

Patt Morrison for September 5, 2012

We’ll hear the First Lady’s speech but what does her body language say? We’ll be reading it. And, what party muckety mucks are keeping away from President Obama and staying home from the Democrats’ big dance? We’ll do the Charlotte two step.

Patt Morrison for September 4, 2012

How do the conventions look to the rest of the world? And how well do foreigners understand the electoral college? We’re polyglot with the foreign press in Charlotte. And, what did Nancy Pelosi tell Comedy Congress about Clint Eastwood and his chair?

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