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How Public vs. Private Schooling Influences Students' Future Family Lives

New Report by the Institute for Family Studies and the American Enterprise Institute

/EIN News/ -- Charlottesville, Sept. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Date: September 16, 2020

(Charlottesville, VA)— Today, the Institute for Family Studies and the American Enterprise Institute release a groundbreaking new report, The Protestant Family Ethic: What Do Protestant, Catholic, Private, and Public Schooling Have to Do with Marriage, Divorce, and Non-marital Childbearing?
Authored by Albert Cheng (University of Arkansas), Patrick Wolf (University of Arkansas), W. Bradford Wilcox (University of Virginia), and Wendy Wang (Institute for Family Studies), the report finds that Americans who attended a private school are more likely to forge strong and stable families.

Compared to those who attended public schools, the report finds:

  • Protestant-school attendees are about twice as likely to be in an intact marriage and about 50% less likely to have ever divorced or had a child outside of wedlock;
  • Catholic-school attendees are about 30% less likely to have had a child out of wedlock;
  • Secular private-school attendees are about 60% less likely to have ever divorced.

"This is the first report of its kind to analyze how attending one kind of school versus another is linked to children’s future family outcomes," said report co-author W. Bradford Wilcox, senior fellow at IFS and a visiting scholar at AEI. "Particularly striking are the ways in which children who attended Protestant schools are more likely as adults to be living in stable, married families."
Wilcox added, “The results here are noteworthy because children are more likely to thrive—both economically and emotionally—if they go on to forge strong and stable marriages as adults.”
Download The Protestant Family Ethic report here.

Michael Toscano
Institute for Family Studies