The Pew Research Center released a new report on the ways teenagers make and maintain friendships in the digital age.
For American teens, making friends isn’t just confined to the school yard, playing field or neighborhood – many are making new friends online. Fully 57% of teens ages 13 to 17 have made a new friend online, with 29% of teens indicating that they have made more than five new friends in online venues. Most of these friendships stay in the digital space; only 20% of all teens have met an online friend in person.
See also: 6 takeaways about teen friendships in the digital age and 5 facts about America’s students.
Jaap Dronkers writes a follow-up to Nicholas Wolfinger’s report, Want to Avoid Divorce? Wait to Get Married, But Not Too Long, which compares age at marriage and the risk of divorce in the United States and Europe.
Anna Sutherland, writing for the Family Studies blog, examines a recent article in the American Sociological Review by Dohoon Lee and Sara McLanahan which analyzes longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study.
Family instability is bad for kids. This generalization doesn’t apply to every case—children stand to benefit when their mother kicks out an abusive live-in boyfriend, for example—but as a description of how the phenomenon plays out on average, it is not subject to much dispute.
Researchers are still digging into the specifics behind the generalization, however. By what measures and to what extent does family instability hurt kids? Do the number and kinds of family transitions matter, and how so? Are there gender and racial/ethnic differences in how children are affected? How does the impact of family instability compare with that of other childhood disadvantages, such as poverty?
The Annie E. Casey Foundation released it’s annual Kids Count Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being.
From the website:
The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book focuses on America’s children in the midst of the country’s economic recovery. While data show improvements in child health and education, more families are struggling to make ends meet, and a growing number of kids live in high-poverty neighborhoods. In addition to ranking states in several areas of child well-being, the report also examines the influence of parents’ education, health and other life circumstances on their children.
Go to the Kids Count Data Center to look at state data, as well as county, city and congressional district level data.
David Lapp of the blog Family Studies uses the story of Lance, age 24, to illustrate the lives of the working poor: “Lance got married before having kids, and he and his wife both work—yet they still come up short on rent.”
Despite an improved economy more young adults live with their parents: “In 2010, 69% of 18- to 34-year-olds lived independently. As of the first four months of this year, only 67% of Millennials were living independently.”
Pew Report here.
Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham of Wonkblog use data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count to map the best and worst states for children on a variety of indicators, including poverty, food security, housing, family structure, education, exercise, and incarceration rates.
See also, The growing wealth gap that nobody is talking about.
Christopher Ingraham of Wonkblog writes about a new analysis of family data data by Nicholas Wolfinger:
Conventional wisdom has it that the older you are when you get married, the lower your chances for divorce. But a fascinating new analysis of family data by Nicholas H. Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah, suggests that after a certain point, the risk of divorce starts to rise again as you get older.
See Wolfinger’s report at Family Studies: Want to Avoid Divorce? Wait to Get Married, But Not Too Long.
See also his follow up, Replicating the Goldilocks Theory of Marriage and Divorce.
The National Vital Statistics System released Births: Preliminary Data for 2014. The general fertility rate increased by 1% (the first increase since 2007), though the birth rate for teenagers and women aged 20-24 continued to decrease (both rates are at historic lows). The birth rates for women aged 30-34 and 35-39 seem to be driving the overall fertility increase: the number of births in these age groups increase by 4% and 5% respectively.
The Pew Research Center examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau report “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013” and found that the poverty rate for black children has stayed steady even as the rate for other groups declines.