Why Freedom? Why Family? Part 2
All nations are founded upon the basic unit of all societies - the family. And if we want a strong nation, our defense for freedom inevitably must include a purposeful resolve to defend the family.
Research in history, sociology and psychology in recent decades show overwhelming evidence supporting the irreplaceable role of the family in individual health, well-being and happiness, as well as significantly impacting social and economic outcomes. Here are just a few considerations on why family counts:
Suicide: The risk of suicide among males and females who are separated/divorced/widowed or never married, is more than twice that of legally married individuals.
(Source: Stephanie Burrows et al., “Influence of Social and Material Individual and Area Deprivation on Suicide Mortality among 2.7 Million Canadians: A Prospective Study,” BMC Public Health11 [July 19, 2011]: 577.)
Loneliness: Singles or couples without children are significantly more likely to experience loneliness than couples and parents. And loneliness is linked to many negative mental health outcome including depression, suicidality, reduced positive emotions, poor sleep quality and general health. Physical health problems associated with loneliness include defective immune function and increased blood pressure.
(Source: Manfred E. Beutel et al., “Loneliness in the General Population: Prevalence, Determinants and Relations to Mental Health,” BMC Psychiatry 17 : 97, Web.)
Abuse: Family structure and living arrangement is the strongest predictor of child maltreatment (neglect and abuse or possible endangerment). Children living with their married biological parents universally have the lowest rate, whereas those living with a single parent who have a cohabiting partner have the highest rate in all categories, including 10 times the rate of abuse and nearly 8 times the rate of neglect.
(Source: Andrew J. Sedlak et al., Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect [NIS-4]: Report to Congress,Washington: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, 2010.)
Sleep: Longer sleep durations are associated with being married, with married women enjoying better sleep than unmarried peers.
(Source: Alisa B. Kachis and Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, “Predictors of Sleep Characteristics among Women in Southeast Texas,” Women’s Health Issues 22.1 : e99-e109.)
Criminal/Anti-Social Behaviors: Compared to their unmarried peers, married individuals experience significant reduction in a variety of criminal offenses by 22%, a reduction in frequent binge drinking by 71%, and a reduction in their frequency of marijuana use by 32%.
(Source:Sonja E. Siennick et al., “Partnership Transitions and Antisocial Behavior in Young Adulthood: A Within-Person, Multi-Cohort Analysis,”Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 51.6 : 735-58.)
Disintegration of the family in our communities is real. Alarmingly, brazen efforts to negate the importance of family in our communities and even debase those who are advocating for strong, traditional families is becoming increasingly apparent throughout this country.
So, what can you do?
First, understand that research and centuries of human observation is on your side. You’re absolutely right to defend and uphold family values. Despite the opposition - family not only counts, but has been a foundational building block upon which the opposition - and the rest of us - enjoy liberty.
Second, know millions of others believe in family, too. Find a local, state or national organization to join that focuses on supporting the family. You’ll find education, resources and a supportive group of people who want to promote strong families. And they just may be needing someone exactly like you to help move their work along.
Third, continue strengthening your own family. Communicate. Connect. Play and pray together.
This link offers tips on simple action you can take to build relationships toward a strong, healthy family.
Keep up the good fight. Your family is worth it.
Shine On, Kimberly
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