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OnePlusOne Research and Policy Digest – January 2014

By OnePlusOne, 31 January 2014 Strengthening relationships

OnePlusOne’s monthly roundup of the key research and policy news to emerge from the field of relationships, including the latest journal articles of interest to family and relationships practitioners and researchers.

Research and statistics

Final results of enduring love study reveal gender gap

The final report of The Enduring Love? Study of over 5,000 couples has been published by researchers at the Open University. The study showed that simple acts of kindness are the things that keep people together.

The in-depth survey also revealed wide differences in men and women in middle age; with women over 55 scoring lowest on relationship satisfaction, and men three times more likely than women to mention sexual intimacy as something which makes them feel appreciated.

Parenting Alone: Work and welfare in single parent households

With welfare reform is at the forefront of the current government’s agenda as it looks to reduce spending and help more people to enter work. And with more than a quarter of all households where there are dependent children being lone parent households, any successful reforms need to include this important group. This report from the Think Tank Policy Exchange focuses on the significant challenges facing lone parents who would like to work.

An Examination of Poverty and Sexual Orientation in the UK

Is there a link between sexuality and poverty? If so, has this relationship changed over time? What anti-poverty policies might be relevant to address issues related to sexuality and poverty? This report from the ISER working series synthesises literature and adds top-line findings from the UK Household Longitudinal Study. It finds that gay men, and bisexual men and women experience some degree of material disadvantage as compared to heterosexuals. Lesbian disadvantage may be more related to their status as women than their sexuality. Recommendations concern alleviating sexuality related homelessness, school bullying, health inequalities, earnings disparities and social care needs in old age.

Policy and practice

Children of separating parents should get say in where they live, court rules

Children whose parents separate and go abroad should be allowed to express a choice about whether they want to accompany them to another country, the supreme court has ruled.

In a case likely to have a significant impact on international care cases, five justices unanimously decided that a 13-year-old girl – caught in a tug-of-love between her British father and Spanish mother – should be considered to be a party to the domestic dispute.

The youngster’s “assertions about her state of mind” were relevant to any final decision about where she might live, the country’s highest court concluded.

Civil Partnership Review (England and Wales): a consultation

The British Government has launched a public consultation into the future of civil partnerships.

The 12-week consultation by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) closes on 17 April 2014, and allows any member of the public to complete and return a form online or as a hard copy to be considered.

Government must do more to strengthen families say MPs

This week MPs called on the Government to do more to address some of the problems of family breakdown.

Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate, MPs highlighted the misery which family breakdown –which now costs £46 billion a year – can cause for children.

Should England allow divorce without judges like France?

Should England allow divorces by consent to go through without the need for a judge as long as all the paperwork is in order?

France is putting together a plan to allow divorces by mutual consent to proceed without a judge, simplifying a process that some critics say is already too easy.

Social Affairs Minister Dominique Bertinotti confirmed the plan on Friday, telling BFM-TV that “simplification is a good thing.”

Under the proposal, a court clerk could approve divorces when both spouses agree. According to the Le Figaro newspaper, divorcing couples in agreement spend an average of only eight minutes before a judge now. Bertinotti said court clerks are highly trained in the law and could handle those cases, freeing up judges for trickier breakups.

Journal articles

Cohabitation Expectations Among Young Adults in the United States: Do They Match Behavior?

Wendy D. Manning, Pamela J. Smock, Cassandra Dorius and Elizabeth Cooksey. Population Research and Policy Review, January 2014, doi 10.1007/s11113-013-9316-3.

Evaluative and hedonic wellbeing among those with and without children at home

Angus Deaton and Arthur A. Stone. PNAS 2014, 111 (4) 1328-1333; published ahead of print January 13, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1311600111

Marital quality and health: A meta-analytic review

Theodore F. Robles, Richard B Slatcher, Joseph M. Trombello and Meghan McGinn. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 140(1), Jan 2014, 140-187.

Sexual Hookups and Adverse Health Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study of First-Year College Women

Robyn L. Fielderab, Jennifer L. Walsh, Kate B. Carey & Michael P. Carey. The Journal of Sex Research, Volume 51, Issue 2, 2014.

Historical Trends in the Marital Intentions of One-Time and Serial Cohabitors

Jonathan Vespa. Journal of Marriage and Family, Volume 76, Issue 1, pages 207–217, February 2014


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