More Research Needed to Put Marriage Policies on Track.

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National Center for Children in Poverty.
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Marriage has become a major component of the TANF reauthorization debates, as proposals in the Senate, House, and White House have allocated significant resources to marriage promotion activities and related research. Although there is an existing body of research on marriage from fields such as psychology, demography, and child development, research on marriage policy is sparse. In September 2003, the National Poverty Center hosted a conference to synthesize what is known from existing research about marriage policies and family formation issues.

This issue of the forum describes two recent conferences at which research on marriage was the subject for discussion. While it should be noted that the agendas for the conferences were not all encompassing--research from other fields such as child development has been covered in-depth elsewhere and is available to inform policies--the level of activity is clearly growing, and the issues raised are of particular relevance at this time. This newsletter is not intend to provide an exhaustive review of all prior research efforts from all relevant research fields, but rather to present information from the conference that may stimulate thinking on future research and methodological issues. (Author abstract modified)

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