I quote :
"The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy or views of UNICEF."
It's written by breast-beating leftie Peter Adamson, founder of the New Internationalist, a chap who 'divides his time between Oxford and Tuscany' - as one does.
The only useful thing about it is that he (correctly IMHO) treats not having both biological parents as a negative point. There's a mountain of evidence to support that view. For a leftie liberal, he's surprisingly honest about this - although you can feel his pain.
The use of data on the proportion of children living in single-parent families and stepfamilies as an indicator of wellbeing may seem unfair and insensitive. Plenty of children in two-parent families are damaged by their parents relationships; plenty of children in single-parent and stepfamilies are growing up secure and happy. Nor can the terms 'single-parent families' and 'stepfamilies' do justice to the many different kinds of family unit that have become common in recent decades. But at the statistical level there is evidence to associate growing up in single-parent families and stepfamilies with greater risk to well-being – including a greater risk of dropping out of school, of leaving home early, of poorer health, of low skills, and of low pay. Furthermore such risks appear to persist even when the substantial effect of increased poverty levels in single-parent and stepfamilies have been taken into account (although it might be noted that the research establishing these links has largely been conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom and it is not certain that the same patterns prevail across the OECD).
I'm sorry to see senior Tories who should know better (well, George Osborne, anyway - although his more detailed comments seem surprisingly sensible) using this report as a pooey stick to beat the Government with.
The report also contained data from Professor Jonathan Bradshaw from York, that nest of well-funded poverty specialists. You can download it in /Excel from his site. I'm sure he's a nice chap - but isn't it amazing what a nice little earner the poor can be ?
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