Fwd: News from the FRPN: Grant Funding Awarded

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From: Fatherhood Research & Practice Network <info@frpn.org>
Date: Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 9:32 AM
Subject: News from the FRPN: Grant Funding Awarded
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com

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News from the Fatherhood Research & Practice Network
News from the Fatherhood Research & Practice Network
The FRPN seeks to:
  • Promote rigorous evaluation of fatherhood programs.
  • Expand the number of researchers and practitioners collaborating to evaluate these programs.
  • Disseminate information that leads to effective fatherhood practice and evaluation research.

FRPN Funding Awarded
We are excited to announce that the FRPN has selected our first group of funded projects, which will receive a total of $350,000. All four projects involve randomized controlled trials (RCTs); are led by researcher/practitioner teams; and involve the collection of data from program participants and/or staff at pre- and post-program time points to assess changes in father-child relationships and co-parenting. The teams and their funded projects include:
  1. Dr. Bright Sarfo and Mr. Joseph Jones (Center for Urban Families, Baltimore, MD). An RCT of the Developing All Dads for Manhood and Parenting (DAD MAP) fatherhood curriculum, a facilitated 16-session program.

  2. Dr. Paul Lanier (University of North Carolina) and Ms. Patricia Beier (Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency, WAGES, Goldsboro, NC). An RCT of Circle of Parents, a mutual-aid program that uses a peer-support group format.

  3. Dr. Jennifer Bellamy (University of Denver, School of Social Work) with Metropolitan Family Services, Chicago, IL. An augmentation of a larger RCT of Dads Matter, a fatherhood intervention in home visiting settings, with a focus on the role of the home visitor.

  4. Dr. Young Il-Kim (Baylor University, Institute for Studies of Religion) and Dr. Brenda Oyer (The Ridge Project, Inc., Bowling Green, OH). An RCT of TYRO Dads, a facilitated, five-week, fatherhood program operated at 11 sites in Ohio.

The FRPN will solicit proposals for a new round of funding to conduct rigorous evaluations of fatherhood programs in spring 2015. Visit www.FRPN.org to view a full description of the funded projects.
FRPN Website Updates

The FRPN website provides a wealth of resources to assist fatherhood practitioners and researchers in evaluating fatherhood programs. We have recently made numerous updates to the FRPN website that we want to draw your attention to.

FRPN Research Video Series
The FRPN has created an online video series with corresponding measures for use in fatherhood programs. Our first two videos and measures focus on measuring father-child contact and challenges that may impact paternal engagement. Click here to view the research videos.

Public Use Data Sets
As the responsible fatherhood field grows, more large-scale studies are including data on fathers. Many of these data have yet to be analyzed and because they are classified as public use, are free to download and use. The FRPN has compiled a list of relevant public use data sets that contain fatherhood statistics/information and posted brief descriptions of each on this page of our website.

Upcoming Events
Interested in attending a fatherhood or family-focused conference or training event? The new Upcoming Events page on the FRPN website provides a full list of these types of events that may be of interest to both fatherhood practitioners and researchers. Visit this link to view the latest events.

Contact Us to Learn More
FRPN Co-Director Jay Fagan, PhD | Professor, Temple University School of Social Work

FRPN Co-Director Jessica Pearson, PhD | Director, Center for Policy Research

FRPN Coordinator Rebecca Kaufman, MSW | Temple University

© 2014 Fatherhood Research & Practice Network. All rights reserved
The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network is supported by grant #90PR0006 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network, Temple University and the Center for Policy Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Fwd: Your Scoop.it Daily Summary - Compassion fatigue: the cost some workers pay for caring and 1 other Top Story

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Subject: Your Scoop.it Daily Summary - Compassion fatigue: the cost some workers pay for caring and 1 other Top Story
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com

Scoop.it Facebook Twitter G+
Hi billcoffin!
Great work! You attracted 63 views to Healthy Marriage ... and 2 other topics. Keep it up!
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Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
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Fwd: A Marriage Moment:

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From: Better Marriages <phunt@bettermarriages.org>
Date: Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 1:06 AM
Subject: A Marriage Moment: #17
To: Bill Coffin <billcoffin68@gmail.com>

Better Marriages Member MP3 of the Month

A Marriage Moment: #17

Each week you will receive a conversation starter - a simple weekly dialogue
which will make it easy for you to share with each other.
Let these dialogues help you grow your relationship to a new level of intimacy.

Any couple married longer than 24 hours can probably find grounds for divorce.  The challenge is to find grounds for marriage. (David & Vera Mace, founders of Better Marriages)  Think of one way that you’ve changed this past year.  Has this enriched or stressed your marriage?

by Susan Vogt, Certified Better Marriages Leader, www.SusanVogt.net

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Fwd: Institute for Family Studies Newsletter, 11/28/14: Thanksgiving, safe campuses, and more

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From: Family Studies <editor@family-studies.org>
Date: Fri, Nov 28, 2014 at 1:15 PM
Subject: Institute for Family Studies Newsletter, 11/28/14: Thanksgiving, safe campuses, and more
To: Bill <billcoffin68@gmail.com>

View this email in your browser.

This Week on Family-Studies.org

We hope you and your family had a happy Thanksgiving! On the blog this week, Naomi Schaefer Riley reflected on what we lose when our families shrink, and David Lapp delved into why young adults struggle to fulfill their aspirations for family stability. W. Bradford Wilcox explained how to reduce the incidence of campus rape. Finally, since today is Black Friday, you might enjoy this piece from our archives: The Holidays Are Not About Shopping.

The Downside of Small Families

by Naomi Schaefer Riley

Having smaller families was supposed to simplify things, to make life less expensive and less complicated. But having smaller extended families and living further away from them have actually made matters harder.

Campus Rape 

by W. Bradford Wilcox

In the face of stories about rape and sexual assault on college campuses, the reflexive response of many on the right has been way too dismissive. Instead, we should take the problem seriously and take these four steps to address it.

Forming Stable Families

by David Lapp

If working-class young adults are so eager to get married and have stable families, what’s stopping them? The challenges they face fall into four categories: family-of-origin, philosophical, psychological, and financial.
View more Family-Studies blog posts.
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Fwd: Performance Measure, OFA Forecasts, Marriage Just for Rich People? and More

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From: Nat'l Assoc. for Relationship & Marriage Education (NARME) <julie@narme.org>
Date: Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 8:01 AM
Subject: Performance Measure, OFA Forecasts, Marriage Just for Rich People? and More
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com

In This Issue

Is Marriage Just For Rich People?

The Spectator contained an interesting piece this weekend, suggesting that over the last thirteen years a 'marriage gap' between rich and poor has grown huge. Read More 

Marriage Is Pro-Growth - The Economy Can't Do Without It
The greatest economic challenge of our time is how to restore economic growth. Over the past dozen years, average real growth has slowed to 1.8 percent annually, under both Republican and Democratic presidents and congresses. Read More

Census Data Reveals Re-Marriage Rate on the Rise

 If the last wedding you went to felt like deja vu, it may not be just the trendy buffets and cocktails. A growing number of Americans are saying 'I do' more than once. Read More
Wishing Everyone A Special Thanksgiving Holiday!
A New Set of Performance Measurements for the Next Round of Federal Grants

A new set of performance measures for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grantees have been proposed. An additional set of instruments for a cross-site evaluation with a subset of grantees have been proposed as well. 


Please see a short overview, This notice has information on how to request a document containing all proposed measures, as well as information on how to comment on the proposal.
OFA Grant Forecasts Are Out!

 Health and Human Services Office of Family Assistance has released their forecast for a new round of grants in early 2015!  See the links below!  


 Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Grant Forecast    


 Responsible Fatherhood  


Healthy Marriage Resource Center




 Leading the way for healthy relationship development, family formation, poverty prevention and child well-being.


 Stay Tuned!  More Information Coming Soon!

Teens Struggle With Self-Esteem and Body Image In The Cyber-Age

Teens' online behaviors may create real-life problems like relationship abuse and negative thoughts on body image, according to two new studies. Read More   

In recent years the number of teenagers having cosmetic and plastic surgery has increased significantly. They do it to fit in, to stop being bullied, to look like celebrities, and, a trend gaining popularity: To have a better selfie. Read More  

The Dibble Institute's most popular curricula, activity books and lessons are now available digitally.  The advantages are tremendous.

  • Lesson plans can be quickly searched for specific content
  • Enjoy unlimited access to materials you choose with your subscriptions
  • Free, on-going upgrades with refreshed content are also included--and more.

You are invited to explore new Dibble Digital pages on our website. Take a look at the free sample lesson in each program.   

Stay Connected

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Nat'l Assoc. for Relationship & Marriage Education (NARME) |info@narme.org  | http://www.narme.org
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Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Fwd: Weekly Update of UK Marriage News - No 14.46

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From: Dave Percival <dave@2-in-2-1.co.uk>
Date: Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM
Subject: Weekly Update of UK Marriage News - No 14.46
To: info@2-in-2-1.co.uk

Welcome to this week’s UK Marriage News – a double edition this week after our Internet problems last week – so a big cup of coffee needed – it’s a long one!



·         Bleak prospects for teens who never marry, finds The Marriage Foundation

·         For a Lasting Marriage, Try Marrying Someone Your Own Age

·         The next 35 years!


Government and Political

·         Bleak prospects for teens who never marry, finds The Marriage Foundation

A report from the think tank dedicated to building stronger families, The Marriage Foundation, has found a stark division between teenagers predicted to marry and those who will never tie the knot. Overall, two thirds of women who get married and have children remain with the father for life. Among women who never marry, just one in ten will avoid splitting from their partner.


The huge variance in odds of family breakdown between married and unmarried is even clearer with the younger generation. Far fewer 20 year olds are predicted to marry than the previous generation. Only 52 per cent of 20 year olds will marry compared to 68 per cent of 40 year olds.


This is despite the fact 75 per cent of teenagers want to get married at some stage. Of the 52 per cent of 20 year old women predicted to at some stage marry and have children, 34 per cent will have avoided the break-up of their family by their child’s fifteenth birthday. This compares starkly to only 5 per cent of the 48 per cent of 20 year olds who will never marry staying with their partners until their child hit their mid-teens.


Author of the Marriage Foundation report, Harry Benson, commented: “This is bleak news for the next generation. Despite the fact that the huge majority of teenagers want to get married, only half will do so. They themselves will miss out of the greater stability marriage provides, but the ramifications will be felt most by their own children, who face high odds of growing up without a mother or father at home. Single parents do an astonishing job, bringing up children single-handedly, but I think few people would choose this situation for themselves or suggest that it is easier for the children. Moreover the process of family breakdown is very damaging for all concerned. Children from broken families are more likely to be involved in truancy, juvenile delinquency, joblessness and depression. Currently family breakdown costs the Exchequer around £46 billion a year. That’s the equivalent to the entire defence budget. I don’t see how the country will afford the steep rise of this bill that this increase of broken families will bring over the next few years.”


The previous generation, now in their forties, were much more likely to get married. They have remained in an intact couple throughout their children’s adolescence in far greater numbers. Of the 68 per cent of 40 year olds who have married or will marry at some stage, 45 per cent will still be married to the father when their child completes their GCSE exams. For the 32 per cent of forty year old women who will never marry, only 3 per cent who have children will remain with the father until their child reaches fifteen.


Sir Paul Coleridge, Chairman of the Marriage Foundation commented: “I am profoundly saddened looking at these forecast outcomes for the next generation. “Forty years spent working in the family courts has shown me the sheer pain and human suffering of family breakdown for everyone concerned – the children and parents obviously, but also aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. I fear it will only get worse as fewer and fewer children will know what it is to have stable, married  parents at home as they grow up. We are facing a crisis of confidence in the institution of marriage. We must do something to stem the tide of family breakdown. A boost to the currently pitiful married tax allowance in next month’s Autumn Statement would be a good start.”


·         Marriage becoming 'preserve of the wealthy'

Marriage is rapidly becoming the preserve of the wealthy, twice as common among those safely in the top tax bracket as among the least well-off says the Telegraph. Since 2001 those in the top social class, which includes company directors, military officers and university lecturers, have gone from being 24 per cent more likely to be married to 50 per cent more likely, figures from the Office for National Statistics show. By the time they have children, nine in 10 of the wealthiest Britons are married. However, for those on the minimum wage or less, the figure is about half.


Last night Christian Guy, director of the Centre for Social Justice said: “Marriage has become a preserve of the better off. That means we have much less stability throughout the population. “We have had a benefits system which says not just don’t get married, but don’t bother getting together. You are better off financially if you live apart. The cost of getting married is also putting people off having a wedding.”


He said parents are children are now more likely to be co-habiting than married, which led to less stability and meant children in those relationships were less able to flourish."


Fraser Nelson, the editor of The Spectator, which obtained the latest figures, said that half of British babies were now born to unmarried parents. “A marriage gap that barely existed a generation or two ago has managed to double in the last decade with a minimum of public debate. Somehow marriage, with all the advantages that it confers, is becoming the preserve of the rich,” he writes.


The ONS divides workers into seven social categories. At the bottom comes “routine occupations” such as cleaners, builders and waiters. There is also an eighth category for the long-term unemployed.


(See also this comment piece from the Daily Mail which suggests root of problems lie in Welfare State)


·         Free relationship counselling for parents to rescue marriages

New parents will be given relationship counselling by health visitors under government plans to instil “basic concepts such as love, compassion and trust” and prevent marriage breakdown, Iain Duncan Smith has said reports the Telegraph. The Work and Pensions Secretary said ministers would next year announce guidance for all health visitors on how to “recognise and respond to the signs of relationship difficulties”. It is part of a drive by Mr Duncan Smith to prevent marriage breakdown and divorce, and give children “the best start in life” by ensuring they are in a “stable family”.


Mr Duncan Smith said that since the Coalition was formed, more than 48,000 couples had participated in relationship counselling and nearly 160,000 people had taken up preventative relationship support, which tries to help couples understand what hurdles they may face together. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said health visitors were “well-placed to identify signs of relationship distress and signpost to appropriate support”.


“Couples might be reluctant to seek formal support when they first experience relationship difficulties but may approach trusted professionals they are already working with such as health visitors,” a source said.


Mr Duncan Smith hailed the Government’s “social justice” reforms in a speech on Tuesday. “For too long, family breakdown, debt, educational failure, addiction and worklessness have been carried as intractable problems,” he said. “Working together, social justice breaks this illusion, instilling basic concepts such as love, compassion and trust. Above all, it is underpinned by the belief that no one is beyond our reach and that no one should be written off.”


In a report released on Tuesday, the DWP said the Coalition wanted to ensure it was supporting “sustainable and healthy parental relationships”. “We have re-established families as a vital priority for this Government and signalled our commitment to strong and stable relationships. Through the breadth of support available we will do all we can to support sustainable and healthy parental relationships, and to help parents give their children the best start,” it said.


As well as the health visitors giving counselling, all antenatal services will include relationship advice on the potential stresses of having children. “Achieving meaningful change in this area is no small task,” the DWP report said. “The causes of relationship breakdown are complex, and the decline in the stability of family relationships over the last four decades is the result in part of changing demographics, and long-term economic and social trends. “However, given the role that stable families play in giving children the best start in life, government cannot ignore the implications of family breakdown, and has an important role to play in supporting strong and stable family relationships.”


·         Key online safety vote likely in the Lords this week

The current self-regulatory approach to protecting children on-line is not working.  Baroness Howe of Idlicote has tabled an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill, based on her Online Safety Bill, which addresses the current failings.  The amendment is hugely important.  The key issues addressed by this amendment are outlined at safeonline.org.uk which has been produced by Mediawatch-UK. 


You may also be interested to read a speech given this week by Baroness Howe in which she raised some of her concerns about the protection of children online and urges the Government to take action.


·         £19 million support fund set up for adoptive families

The Department for Education has established a £19 million support fund for adoptive families reports Family Law Week. The new funding will be available to help adoptive families across the country settle their children into their new home. The Adoption Support Fund – to be rolled out nationwide from May 2015 after pilots across 10 councils – will help pay for essential therapy services for adoptive families as and when they need it.


The DfE says that many adopted children have experienced difficult and traumatic experiences before being placed with their adoptive family, which can prevent them from settling into their new home and can create difficulties at particular stages such as adolescence. Services such as behavioural therapy, play and music therapy, and family support sessions can help children come to terms with their difficulties, giving them the confidence to build strong relationships with their new family.


Minister for Children and Families Edward Timpson said: "I know as much as anyone that children adopted from care have often lived through terrible experiences which do not just simply disappear overnight once they have settled with their new families. The new Adoption Support Fund will be a vital lifeline for many adoptive families, helping them to access specialist support services when their family needs them most. I also hope today's news reassures all adoptive families, from those who have been adopting for years to those just at the beginning of the journey, that if challenges do arise they will not be left on their own to muddle through – support will be there every step of the way."


Support from the fund will be available after the adoption court order and can be used to purchase services from the private and voluntary sector, as well as councils and Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS). The government will fully fund the Adoption Support Fund in the first year, whilst committing in the long term to the pot being jointly funded by councils and government.


Hugh Thornbery, CEO of Adoption UK and Chair of the Adoption Support Fund Expert Advisory Group, said: “Adoption UK welcomes the minister's announcement of the rollout of the Adoption Support Fund from 1 May 2015. We are pleased that the government has risen to the challenge and we are now in a position where we better understand and can meet the challenges faced by adoptive families. Because of their early childhood experiences, many adopted children may have additional needs. The role adoptive parents play in re-parenting these vulnerable children is massively important."


Research and Public Opinion

·         For a Lasting Marriage, Try Marrying Someone Your Own Age

There are many predictors of the success of a marriage, among them the having of money, the having of children, and the length of time a couple spends dating before they tie the knot says the Atlantic. Another big predictor, though, is age: The closer a couple is when it comes to their respective birth years, the greater their chances of avoiding divorce.


That's according to a study that compiled polling data from more than 3,000 recently married and divorced Americans. The study used a multivariate model to calculate the factors that seemed to best predict the marriage's chances of success. (Or, at any rate, its chances of not ending in divorce.) Its results were visualized by the data scientist Randy Olson, who created a series of charts to illustrate the study's findings. Today, Olson released another set of visuals—the most intriguing of which focuses on the matter of the age gap. A one-year discrepancy in a couple's ages, the study found, makes them 3 percent more likely to divorce (when compared to their same-aged counterparts); a 5-year difference, however, makes them 18 percent more likely to split up. And a 10-year difference makes them 39 percent more likely.


Once you enter large-gap territory—the 20-year difference, the 30-year difference—the odds of divorce are ... almost never in your favour.


If your partner happens to be 15 years older or younger than you are, that's not automatically a bad omen: Statistics, of course, are not destiny. But, as predictors, the study's findings stand to reason. Marriage is, above all, about 50-50 partnership; differences in ages also mean differences in life experience and cultural reference points. Generations may be an invention, but they are meaningful nonetheless. So, with all the necessary caveats about love's vagaries and mysteries, if you want a marriage that lasts, you should probably try to marry someone your own age.

·         Is your relationship moving toward marriage? If it isn't, you probably can't admit it

Dating couples who have moved toward marriage over the course of their relationship remember accurately what was going on at each stage of their deepening commitment. But couples whose commitment to each other has stagnated or regressed are far less accurate in their memories of their relationships, says a new University of Illinois study reports Science Daily.


"People like to feel that they're making progress as a couple. If they're not - if, in fact, the relationship is in trouble - they may have distorted recollections that help them feel like they're moving forward because they need a psychological justification to stay in the relationship," said Brian G. Ogolsky, a U of I professor of human development and family studies.


The researchers expected to find some distortion in romantic partners' memories. "One theory was that recollections might be higher across the board because people like to remember the best possible course of their relationships. But, as we looked at couples' actual experiences and compared relationships that were developing in a positive direction with those that were not, we saw that the accuracy of their memories diverged rather sharply. It's fascinating how memory works in couples," he noted.


Ogolsky said that both findings - that highly committed people remember their relationship history accurately and that couples in trouble don't - are important. "When a couple is considering making a lifelong commitment, they have a lot at stake. It's important that they have accurate recollections of how their relationship evolved," Ogolsky said. But, if a couple's relationship is undergoing a slow and painful death, it no longer serves their purpose to remember the course of the romance accurately. To avoid constant disappointment, they misremember how things are going, he noted.


The nine-month study followed 232 never-married heterosexual couples who had dated for just over two years on average. Each member of the couple reported on their chances of marrying, being careful to take their partner's views into consideration. Each month, participants rated their chances of marriage from 0 to 100 percent, and researchers plotted a graph from the results. At the end of the study, participants reflected on their entire relationship to see how their recollections matched up with reality.


The researchers looked at the actual and remembered trajectories of three groups: advancers, who had gone on to a deeper state of involvement; maintainers, who may have been casually dating at both the beginning and the end of the study; and regressers, who had reverted from serious to casual dating or had broken up and gotten back together again. "Couples who had deepened their commitment remembered their relationship history almost perfectly. The graphs for this group were really interesting because the plot of the end-of-study recollection could be placed right on top of the one we had graphed from the monthly check-ins," Ogolsky said.


Maintainers recalled their relationship as being lower at the beginning than they had reported yet higher at the end. "They had given themselves some room to grow and remembered the recent past as better than they had reported it being. If they saw maintenance as stagnation, that's a way of addressing that cognitive gap. It helps them feel that their relationship is developing in some way -- that they're making progress," he noted.


The most interesting group was the regressers, Ogolsky said. "If we looked at their history as they reported it to us over the nine-month period, we could see that their chances of marriage were plummeting. Yet their recollection was that things had been going okay. Of course, they hadn't seen the graph so they didn't know their trajectory looks this dire, but it's fair to say they were in denial about the state of their relationship."


·         A fifth of over-50s say they married the wrong person... and one in ten put falling in love again on their bucket list

Almost a fifth of over-50s think they married the wrong person - more than chose the wrong career or didn't spend enough time with their children reports the Daily Mail. Picking the wrong spouse has been exposed as one of Britons' biggest regrets in a new survey on the silent traumas of empty-nesters. It was the third most common, beaten only by the number of people who wished they had seen more of the world (23 per cent) or saved more for retirement (19 per cent). But there is some hope - as almost half of those questioned (45 per cent) feel more youthful than their parents' generation was, and 12 per cent have 'falling in love again' on their bucket list.


The online survey, which quizzed 1,000 people over 50 about their top ten regrets, did not reveal how many of the respondents were still with their spouses. Some regrets were heavily laden with emotion - 17 per cent said they never told their parents how much they meant to them, while 15 per cent did not spend enough time with their children or worried too much about what others thought. Others were more predictable. A sixth of the participants (16 per cent) chose the wrong career and another 16 per cent spent too much of their lives at work. Another sixth (15 per cent) wished they had learned to play a musical instrument, or wanted to ask their grandparents more about life before they died.


The over-50s' bucket lists, meanwhile, read like a travel brochure of one's dreams. The top ten responses included cruising the world, living abroad, flying first class, swimming with dolphins and going on safari in Africa. There are some more heartfelt ambitions too, however - a tenth of over-50s still want to publish their first novel, and 14 per cent are yearning for grandchildren.


Martin Lock, chief executive of lifestyle website Silversurfers, which commissioned the study, said the lack of saving for pensions was worrying. 'The over 50s have reached a point where they feel more confident about themselves,' he said. 'However, our research shows they may not have the money to really enjoy these years.'


·         High-fliers can afford more babies, study says

Highly educated women are having more children than those who left education earlier because they can afford child care and household help, a new study suggests reports the Telegraph. In previous generations women with university degrees tended to have fewer children because they pursued careers and put off starting a family for longer.


But a new study suggests that women at the top of the ladder are now earning so much money that they can afford enough help to have more children, even if they continue their careers.


Economists Moshe Hazan and Hosny Zoabi, of Tel Aviv University, Israel, found that while fertility rates among American women with some form of college education have largely stagnated over the last 30 years, among women with advanced degrees they have risen by more than 50 per cent . American women without any form of high-school diploma have a fertility rate of 2.24 children. Among women with a high-school diploma the fertility rate falls to 2.09 and for women with some form of college education it drops to 1.78.


However, among women with college degrees, the economists found the fertility rate rises to 1.88 and among women with advanced degrees to 1.96. In 1980 women who had studied for 16 years or more had a fertility rate of just 1.2.


Hazan said highly educated women were more likely to be able to afford help that allowed them to raise larger-than-average families. "You have a nanny, people to pick up your laundry and suits, buy you food from the local store for you to cook for dinner, and you can leave all the mess to the housekeeper in the morning," he said.


Although the research was carried out in the US, the team said it was likely to apply to the UK where income inequality between the richest and poorest is growing. Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of Netmums, the UK online forum, said many women hope to have a third child but cannot afford it. "It's the women who have good careers, who can afford a cleaner and a nanny who take the stress out of their lives, who can have three children,” she said.


Ms Freegard said that the cost of childcare was so high in Britain that large families were unachievable. The researchers also speculate that highly educated women are increasingly benefiting from advances in fertility treatment that enable them to spend more years at university without reducing their chances of future parenthood. And there is already evidence that employers are becoming aware that paying for such technology could help them attract employees. Apple and Facebook are offering to freeze eggs for female employees in an effort to attract more women on to their staff.


The research was published in the Economic Journal.


·         Bad marriage, broken heart?

Older couples in a bad marriage - particularly female spouses - have a higher risk for heart disease than those in a good marriage, finds the first nationally representative study of its kind reports Science Daily. The findings suggest the need for marriage counselling and programs aimed at promoting marital quality and well-being for couples into their 70s and 80s, said lead investigator Hui Liu, a Michigan State University sociologist.


"Marriage counselling is focused largely on younger couples," said Liu, associate professor of sociology. "But these results show that marital quality is just as important at older ages, even when the couple has been married 40 or 50 years."


The study, funded by the National Institute of Aging, an arm of the National Institutes of Health, is published online in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour. Liu analyzed five years of data from about 1,200 married men and women who participated the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project. Respondents were aged 57-85 at the beginning of the study. The project included survey questions about marital quality, and lab tests and self-reported measures of cardiovascular health such as heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and high levels of C-reactive protein in the blood.


Liu set out to learn how marital quality is related to risk of heart disease over time, and whether this relationship varies by gender and/or age. Among her findings:

·         Negative martial quality (e.g., spouse criticizes, spouse is demanding) has a bigger effect on heart health than positive marital quality (e.g., spousal support). In other words, a bad marriage is more harmful to your heart health than a good marriage is beneficial.

·         The effect of marital quality on cardiovascular risk becomes much stronger at older ages. Over time, the stress from a bad marriage may stimulate more, and more intense, cardiovascular responses because of the declining immune function and increasing frailty that typically develop in old age, Liu said.

·         Marital quality has a bigger effect on women's heart health than it does on men's, possibly because women tend to internalize negative feelings and thus are more likely to feel depressed and develop cardiovascular problems, Liu said.

·         Heart disease leads to a decline in marital quality for women, but not for men. This is consistent with the longstanding observation that wives are more likely to provide support and care to sick husbands, while husbands are less likely to take care of sick wives. "In this way, a wife's poor health may affect how she assesses her marital quality, but a husband's poor health doesn't hurt his view of marriage," Liu said.

·         Children of divorce 'more likely to drink, fail exams, develop eating disorders and do drugs'

Children of divorced parents are more likely to get bad exam results, drink, take drugs and develop eating disorders, a survey has shown reports the Daily Mail. Nearly two thirds of children who saw the break-up of their families claimed it had a negative effect on their GCSEs. One in eight said they had used drugs or alcohol and almost a third said they ate more or less as a result.


The survey – commissioned by Resolution, a group that represents 6,500 family lawyers in England and Wales – looked at the experiences of 500 young people aged 14 to 22. Resolution chairman Jo Edwards told the Times that the study had revealed just how far-reaching the impact of divorce can be. She said: ‘The findings underline just how important it is that parents going through a split manage their separation in a way that minimises the stress and impact on the entire family.’ Each year, around 100,000 under-16s see their parents break-up. Many suffer long-term effects associated with the pressure the divorce process puts on them.


Of those surveyed, a third said that one parent had tried to turn them against the other parent and more than 25 per cent said they had been dragged into their parents’ arguments. Schooling is also adversely affected as children struggle to complete their homework. Around 12 per cent admitted skipping lessons and 11 per cent found themselves increasingly in trouble with teachers as a result of a change in family circumstances.


Siôn Humphreys, a senior policy adviser at the National Association of Head Teachers, said that education was suffering because teachers are not trained to deal with the problem. She told the Times: ‘Teachers see day in, day out, the impact separation can have. ‘It would not be unusual for the school to be the first port of call to support the parent left holding the baby, but it is not necessarily something teachers are specially trained for.’


Last month, EU statistics for 2012 revealed that British children are more likely to be from single-parent families than anywhere else in Western Europe. One in four now live with a lone mother or father, compared with around one in six across the EU. The only EU country with a higher figure than Britain was the eastern state of Latvia. We are now ahead of Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and France, where the number of youngsters living with just one parent is dropping – or rising more slowly.


Harry Benson, of the Marriage Foundation, has urged policy-makers to take ‘essential’ steps in limiting the ‘host of negative social and economic implications’ of divorce.


According to Harry Benson, Research Director of Marriage Foundation, the worst effects tend to occur where there was less conflict before the separation and more transitions afterwards. 


“Where marriages are abusive or downright unpleasant, children are often better off out. But the worst effects of divorce – according to research – are felt by children whose parents didn’t argue much before the separation. ‘Mummy and daddy don’t love each other’ makes no sense to a child because it comes out of the blue. Children then internalise the reason as being down to them or to the unpredictable nature of relationships. This can then go on to affect their own relationships in adult life.


“The other factor that damages children is the number of transitions experienced post-divorce. New partners, new homes, new schools, all cause disruption and confusion. Children not in either of these categories are much more likely to cope. 


Research by Marriage Foundation shows that half of all family breakdown comes from parents who are not married. “For all the talk of divorce, it’s vital to remember married for life remains the norm” says Benson. “For couples who don’t marry, it’s the exception.”


·         One in thirty divorcees admit to sleeping with their ex

One in five divorcees in England and Wales wish they had never got divorced from their ex and 1 in 30 admit to having slept with their ex after the divorce had been finalised according to a  study of 2,500 users of one of the UK’s largest divorce providers divorce-online.co.uk.


The survey found that many people admitted to sleeping with their ex after the divorce had been concluded and even more astonishing was that a significant proportion had been in a new relationship when they decided to roll back the years and sleep with their ex.

·         1 in 30 of that then further admitted that they had slept with their ex after divorcing each other.

·         1 in 10 of those who had slept with their ex while they were in a new relationship.


Survey questions:

·         Do you regret splitting up with your ex-spouse?

·         Have you had sexual relations with your spouse since divorcing?

·         Have you had sexual relations with your ex-spouse whilst in a new relationship?


Where respondents to the survey had indicated they had slept with their ex, the 3 most common reasons given, in order were.

1.       Loneliness

2.       Missed having sexual relations

3.       They wanted to get back at their new partner Loneliness and wanting to get back at a new partner were more common among women whereas men indicated that they missed having sex.


·         Could parenting coaching for expectant couples deliver healthier babies?

Stress and depression in pregnant women are linked to poor birth outcomes and a variety of long-term medical and developmental problems in children says Prevention Action. Typical interventions focus on treating the mother’s stress, and leave the father out of the picture. But a program that takes a different approach – aiming to improve the parents’ relationship and co-parenting abilities – shows encouraging results.


High stress levels during pregnancy pose a risk for babies because high levels of the stress hormone cortisol are linked to early labour. Early labour, in turn, can produce other difficulties, such as low birth weight and complications that require longer hospital stays.


Could a program “designed to prepare couples to enter parenthood together in a supportive manner” help improve birth outcomes? A recent study of the Family Foundations program found that the program did not improve average outcomes among a group of relatively advantaged couples. But women who started the program with high levels of stress saw better outcomes for their children at birth than a comparison group – suggesting that couples’ coaching could be an effective route to healthier births for an important subgroup of women.


Some other recent studies have found that therapies to improve pregnant women’s mental health result in better birth outcomes. Most of these focus exclusively on the women with programs like yoga, massage therapy, and cognitive behavioural therapy. But, as the program’s designer and co-authors point out, a major influence on mental health is the relationship with the partner. The team believed that a program designed to foster long-term positive parenting relationships between prospective mothers and fathers might also improve birth outcomes by lowering the mother’s stress levels.


Family Foundations, created by Mark Feinberg from Penn State University, consists of nine classes teaching co-parenting approaches, starting before the child’s birth and finishing soon after. Topics included problem-solving, emotion and conflict management, communication, and joint parenting support strategies.


This study involved 169 couples, aged over 18, living together and expecting their first child. Couples were randomly assigned to the intervention or to a control group. Participants in the control group received information on developmental stages and selecting quality childcare. Mothers were assessed at around 22 weeks pregnant. Cortisol saliva levels were taken and mothers were interviewed about how often they used drugs, tobacco and alcohol. After the intervention, parents sent back questionnaires and follow-up tests for mothers took place at six months, one year and three years from the child’s birth date.


Overall, intervention group participants were found to have more positive birth outcomes on some measures, although the differences between groups were mostly not statistically significant. The most notable average difference between the groups was that women in the intervention group were, on average, less likely to need a C-section.


The most intriguing results, however, come from comparing the effects of the program for women with different pre-natal cortisol levels. Among women with low pre-natal cortisol, there was little difference between control and intervention groups. But among women with high pre-natal cortisol, the difference was much more noticeable. Women with higher initial levels of cortisol who were in the program reported better birth weight, gestational age at birth, and length of newborn hospital stay than their counterparts in the control group.


This suggests that programs that teach first-time expectant couples how to parent together may reduce poor birth outcomes by lowering stress levels in mothers-to-be – at least for mothers who start out with high levels of stress.


By focusing on couples rather than mothers alone, Family Foundations aims to promote the importance of the roles of both mothers and fathers in bringing up children. Good relationships between parents are linked to better child outcomes up to the age of at least six years. The authors also speculate that co-parenting strategies might help keep fathers engaged in their children’s life long-term in the event of the relationship with the mother breaking down.


The authors acknowledge that their research has some limitations. Most importantly, data on the mothers’ psychological health changes were collected six months after delivery, and not during pregnancy. As such, it is unclear if reductions in mothers’ stress occurred during pregnancy as a result of the intervention. A second limitation is that this study is led by the program’s founder. In the long term, it will also be useful to see the results of independent program evaluations.


·         The Family Environment and Adolescent Well-Being

Adolescence is an important developmental phase along the path to adulthood, years during which youth become increasingly independent from their families reports Child Trends in the US. Yet parents and other family members still play a critical role in the promotion of adolescents’ well-being, by providing a positive support system within which youth can explore their changing identity.


There were 25 million children aged 12 to 17 in the United States in 2013, living in diverse family environments. An estimated 66 percent of adolescents live with both parents (biological, step, or adoptive), 25 percent are in single-mother households, while only 5 percent live with a single father. Just over 40 percent of all adolescents and as many as 60 percent of black and Hispanic adolescents live in low-income families. Overall, 21 percent of adolescents are Hispanic, 56 percent are white, non-Hispanic, and 15 percent are black, non-Hispanic.


In this brief, we update the findings from the 2006 publication, The Family Environment and Adolescent Well-being: Exposure to Positive and Negative Family Influences, and highlight several key areas of interaction between the family environment and adolescent well-being, using national data sources.


Key findings:

·         65 percent of adolescents have parents who say they can communicate very well with their child about things that really matter.

·         Less than half of adolescents eat meals with their families at least six nights a week, although it is more common among poor families, Hispanic families, and first- or second-generation immigrant families.

·         Smoking is more common among single parents (26 percent smoke) than parents in two-parent families (16 percent), particularly among Hispanic families and those with incomes at or above poverty.

·         Over 80 percent of adolescents with parents who are married or partnered have parents who report high levels of happiness in their spousal or partner relationship.

·         Less than a quarter of adolescents have parents who say they only know a few or even none of their child’s friends.

·         Almost all 10th-graders (90 percent) say their parents know where they are after school. About 65 percent of parents are light drinkers; however, 10 percent of single fathers report being heavy drinkers, compared with less than 5 percent of mothers or married fathers. Half of parents in two-parent families and less than 40 percent of single parents exercise vigorously at least once a week.


·         Parents who regularly kiss are 'less likely to shout at their children and more attentive' than couples who have tensions

Parents who regularly kiss each other and have shared interests are more likely to praise their children, new research shows reports the Daily Mail.  A study of 5,000 families has shown couples who feel they have a high level of 'bliss' and kiss each other often are likely to be better parents.


Experts say the study confirms that a fulfilled love life leads to more successful parenting and helps reveal what makes a 'good' father. When both men and women consider themselves in a blissful relationship they were seen to praise their children more often instead of shouting at them. Frequent kissing, spending time enjoying shared interests and a sense of general satisfaction all contributed to a blissful relationship.


Unsurprisingly, parents who often considered divorce, got on each other's nerves, argued frequently and regretted forming their relationship were more likely to shout at their children.


The study also revealed men were more optimistic about the state of their relationships than women. Men were more likely to say they were 'very happy' in the relationship (69 per cent) than women (65 percent). And only 37 per cent of women said their partner 'rarely or never' got on their nerves, compared to 43 per cent of men.


The research was undertaken by NatCen Social Research, the University of East Anglia and the Thomas Coram Research Unit as part of broader study on fatherhood. Dr Svetlana Speight, of NatCen Social Research, told the Daily Telegraph the research showed 'happy mums and dads' made for better parents. She said: 'It's really important to understand what makes dads good dads and it's clear from this analysis that love-life fulfilment is a big part of this.'


And Professor Margaret O'Brien, from the Institute of Education in London, said: 'Clearly, this research shows that fulfilled individuals within a loving relationship are more successful at raising their children.'


·         Social Influence and Teen Sex: What Matters and What Doesn’t

American parents often worry that their adolescent children are susceptible to their friends’ influence and will be pressured into having sex before they are ready to do so. Are these worries justified? asks Science of Relationships. Past research has found that social influence is associated with behaviours such as smoking and alcohol use among teenagers. A recent study extended this work and investigated whether three types of social influence predict adolescent sexual behaviour:


1. Peer pressure refers to the explicit and direct social pressure to conform with the demands of a particular group to “fit in.” In this case, adolescents might be motivated to have sex (or not) because they think they will be liked better by their friends, or disliked if they don’t conform to the group (i.e., “C’mon, everyone’s doing it”).


2. Thinking Your Friends Approve: Injunctive norms are reflected in one’s beliefs about others’ attitudes towards a particular behaviour. For example, an adolescent may believe that their friends approve or disapprove of having sex. The friends are not directly telling the teenager to have sex (that would be peer pressure, see above). Rather, injunctive norms operate indirectly; friends and classmates may simply make it known that they think having sex is okay (or not).


3. Thinking Your Friends are Doing It: Descriptive norms refer to what one believes others themselves are doing. If a teenager believes that their peers are having sex, then they may be more likely to also engage in sex as result of role modelling or imitation. Like injunctive norms, it is a less direct form of social influence than explicit peer pressure.


So, which of these forms of social influence are most strongly associated with adolescent sex?


The research team combined the results from 58 independent studies conducted between 1980 and 2012, including almost 70,000 adolescents from 24 countries, using a statistical technique known as meta-analysis. By combining the results from many studies about a particular topic, the findings generated by a meta-analysis are powerful because they are relatively uninfluenced by statistical aberrations from a single study.


Of the three types of social influence, descriptive norms had the largest association with adolescent sexual behaviour. Injunctive norms were the next best predictor of teenage sex, and peer pressure was the weakest. In short, although parents may be worried about the effects of peer pressure on their teenage children, simply knowing about their friends’ and classmates’ own sexual behaviour is likely a much more powerful force for adolescents.


·         Sex will soon be just for fun not babies, says father of the Pill

Sex could become purely recreational by 2050 with large numbers of babies in the Western world born through IVF, the professor who invented the contraceptive pill has claimed reports the Telegraph. Prof Carl Djerassi, the Austrian-American chemist and author, said he believes that the Pill will become obsolete because men and women will choose to freeze their eggs and sperm when young before being sterilised. He also claims it will end abortions, as no children will be unplanned or unwanted.


In an interview with The Telegraph, Prof Djerassi said that advances in fertility treatment made it much safer for parents without fertility problems to consider IVF. The progress will give rise to a ‘Manana generation’ who are safe in the knowledge that parenthood can be delayed without repercussions, he claims. They may even have healthier children because their eggs and sperm would be younger. “The vast majority of women who will choose IVF in the future will be fertile women who have frozen their eggs and delayed pregnancy,” he said. “Women in their twenties will first choose this approach as insurance, providing them with freedom in the light of professional decisions or the absence of the right partner or the inexorably ticking of the biological clock. However I predict that many of these women will in fact decide to be fertilised by IVF methods because of the advances in genetic screening. And once that happens then IVF will start to become a normal non-coital method of having children. Over the next few decades, say by the year 2050, more IVF fertilisations will occur among fertile women than the current five million fertility-impaired ones. For them the separation between sex and reproduction will be 100 per cent.”


Prof Djerassi, 91, an emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford University, who now lives between London and Vienna, was crucial in the development of the oral contraceptive pill in 1951. They originally created the medication for neurological disorders and to help infertile women. Progesterone, the active ingredient in the Pill, is produced by pregnant women and helps an embryo to implant in the womb. It works as a contraceptive because it tricks the body into thinking it is pregnant, triggering a natural contraceptive response in the body.


“But in 1950 nobody was asking about birth control,” he said. “It was just after World War 2 and people needed to have children. However the 60s came and suddenly there was rock n roll and the hippy movement, and the first real flowering of the women’s movement and they all had a sense of sexual liberation. The technology just happened to be around at the right time. If it had taken an extra 15 years to develop I don’t think we would have a contraceptive pill today.”


He believes that a male contraceptive pill is unlikely because it would take far too long to prove there would be no impact on sperm quality. Men are able to father children for much longer than women, so trials would need to last decades. Similarly, it is still not clear how long frozen sperm can be kept for. Prof Djerassi believes that the army could take part in a huge experiment to determine the safety of keeping sperm long term.


“With little difficulty and relatively minor expenditure tens of thousands of volunteers could collect their own semen to be cryopreserved for many years,” he said. “This step alone would generate an invaluable resource for studies on male fertility.”


Fertile male sperm has already been preserved inexpensively for years. Provided one first demonstrated that such storage is possible for several decades rather than just years many young men might consider early vasectomy, as a viable alternative to effective birth control.


·         Women who stop taking the Pill can find their partners less attractive

Women may find their partners less attractive if they stop taking the Pill, new research has said reports the Telegraph (and the Guardian). Scientists found that the hormonal contraceptive can unexpectedly alter the way a woman assesses levels of male attractiveness, as well as satisfaction with their partner.


The study tested newly married women who were on the Pill when they met their husbands, and subsequently stopped using it. They were found to be more or less happy with their relationship after coming off the oral contraceptive depending on how good-looking their husbands were. So those men whose faces did not conform to objective measures of traditional attractiveness (i.e. they weren’t Benedict Cumberbatch), found their new spouse became less happy with their relationship once they’d come off the Pill.


But, those women married to men who were deemed to be classically good-looking, felt more satisfied with their spouse once they stopped taking the oral contraceptive.


Researchers followed the progress of 118 newlywed couples over the first four years of their marriage. The women were asked to complete regular surveys to rate their levels of satisfaction with their relationship, and record their use of the Pill. The scientists, who have published their work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, also employed ‘trained observers’ to rate and monitor the men’s facial attractiveness.


The results show that women who were taking the Pill when they met their spouse – and later stopped – saw a change in how they rated their marriage.


Surprisingly, women who altered their use of the Pill during the first four years of marriage reported that their relationships were subsequently less sexually satisfying - regardless of their partner’s appearance. This finding goes against the widely accepted view that a woman’s sex drive falls while she is regularly taking hormonal contraception. They do, however, seemingly support research that the Pill can influence a woman’s receptiveness for male body odour.


And they also back-up a 2012 study that found the Pill subconsciously influenced how a woman chooses her partner. Those taking it often chose less-attractive men, who were worse in bed - but the relationships tended to last two years longer than those women who weren't using the hormonal contraceptive.


Michelle Russell, a psychologist at Florida State University, said: “Marital satisfaction is strongly associated with mental and physical health and a host of physical, mental and social outcomes for children. “The fact that wives’ hormonal contraceptive use was linked to their marital satisfaction suggests that hormonal contraceptives may have far-reaching implications, both beneficial and harmful.”


Faith and Spirituality

·         Rabbi Sacks: Family Is Most Humanizing Institution in History - A Look at 7 Key Moments in the Idea of Love That Brings New Life

Rabbi Jonathan Sachs is a great supporter of marriage evidenced by his frequent and welcomed involvement in Marriage Week events. He addressed the colloquium underway in the Vatican on the complementarity of man and woman. The rabbi's address was titled "The Family is the Single Most Humanising Institution in History." It really is too long to include here, but as an exposition of the Jewish understanding of marriage and family to a Christian audience it is unparalleled – so make a coffee, click this link, and enjoy!


Overseas News

·         Ireland to hold referendum on gay marriage

Ireland is to hold a referendum in mid-2015 on whether to allow same-sex marriage, the Republic's government has said reports the Guardian. The decision is a victory for the deputy prime minister, Eamon Gilmore, who has been lobbying for a national vote. The vote will be held as part of a special "constitution day", in which a wide-ranging referendum could result in other changes to the Republic's constitution such as the abolition of blasphemy laws.


Before Tuesday's cabinet meeting, Gilmore said he hoped the Fine Gael-Labour government would back moves toward full equality in Ireland. Gilmore, who is leader of the Irish Labour party, said it would be "important to win this referendum".


This year the country's constitutional convention – which is charged with examining changes to the constitution – recommended amendments to allow same-sex couples to marry and have the same legal rights as the rest of the population.


The minister for public expenditure and reform, Brendan Howlin, said that view was shared by the majority in cabinet, adding: "The Irish people in opinion polls had indicated their support for this issue and should be given the opportunity when practicable to express their views."


Two Fine Gael ministers back the referendum. Alan Shatter, the justice minister, brought a memo to cabinet on civil marriage for same-sex couples, while Michael Noonan, the finance minister, said he had no personal objection to legalising gay marriage. But there is concern within Fine Gael that its backbenchers from rural, Catholic constituencies might oppose such moves. The taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has yet to state publicly whether he would back the yes vote.


The Catholic church has not announced whether it intends to run a campaign for a no vote. The church hierarchy's temporal power in Ireland has been dramatically diluted during the past decade owing to a series of paedophile priest scandals. Church of Ireland's pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group, Changing Attitude Ireland, welcomed the referendum and challenged the churches not to oppose it.


Dr Richard O'Leary, the chairman of CAI, said: "The government's intention to hold a referendum to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples will facilitate discussion and challenge the ignorance, especially in the churches, of the positive experiences of same-sex relationships. We hope that the Irish churches will embrace the message of inclusion, which is shared by many Christians, and will not oppose the extension of full civil rights to gay and lesbian persons. In particular, we hope that the minority Protestant churches in Ireland will empathise with the minority gay community and support legal equality for all the people of Ireland."


Recent opinion polls have shown a consistent majority of the Republic's electorate are in favour of full equality in law for same-sex couples.


·         Nicolas Sarkozy calls for repeal of France’s same-sex marriage law

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has told supporters that the country’s same-sex marriage law should be scrapped reports the Guardian. Sarkozy, who is campaigning to lead the opposition centre-right UMP party and is expected to run again for president in 2017, was speaking at a debate organised by the conservative Common Sense (Sens Commun) group on Saturday. Referring to the “mariage pour tous” or “marriage for all” legislation passed by France’s Socialist government last year, he said it needed “rewriting from top to bottom”.


His comments, two weeks before the UMP’s hotly contested leadership election, prompted catcalls from the 3,000-strong audience and cries of “Repeal! Repeal!”. Sarkozy, appearing rattled, responded: “If you’d rather one says repeal the law and make another one … in French, that’s saying the same thing. It comes to the same result. But hey, if that makes you happy, then frankly, it doesn’t cost much.”


Sarkozy explained he was in favour of some form of marriage for same-sex couples, but something different from that for heterosexuals. He said he opposed surrogate parenthood for same-sex couples.


The same-sex marriage legislation is known officially as the Taubira law, named after the justice minister Christiane Taubira who oversaw its introduction. “It’s no use being against surrogacy if you don’t repeal the Taubira law,” Sarkozy said to cheers and applause.


The former president, who has been married three times, has previously criticised the legislation, saying it was “humiliating families and humiliating people who love the family”, but it is the first time he has called for its repeal.


An Ifop poll published on Saturday found that 68% of respondents supported same-sex unions and 53% supported adoption by same-sex couples. Sarkozy’s comment and apparent policy-making on the hoof brought angry reactions from the governing Socialist party, which accused him of “appealing to the most reactionary instincts of his core supporters”. A spokesperson said Sarkozy wanted to create “a new form of segregation” with his two-tier marriage proposal. The anti-gay marriage group La Manif Pour Tous (Demonstrations for All) cautioned that Sarkozy’s “conversion” to its cause was still only a “declaration of intent”.


New Books, Resources and materials

·         Happily ever after

Here is a marriage documentary, Happily Ever After, that you can watch online for free. It features John Gottman and Stephanie Koontz among others and is under 60 minutes. Whenever/wherever you can get a Gottman refresher I suggest you take it -- his salt shaker metaphor, alone, is worth the time - for Marriage Educators or for couples. [With thanks to Diane at Smartmarriages]


·         Bringing Fathers In: helping global activists embrace ‘dad power’

The Fatherhood Institute and MenCare are launching a package of practical resources for health, education and social care professionals, policy makers, programme managers and designers, researchers and evaluators.


Bringing Fathers In is designed to help professionals from a range of disciplines work in ways that embrace and build on dads’ vital role in improving children’s outcomes. The resources include factsheets on making the most of fathers to support their children’s early learning, support maternal and infant health, and reduce violence in their children’s lives, along with 10 research summaries and evidence-based best practice advice.


A strong body of international research suggests that positively involved fathers can have a huge impact on their children in all sorts of ways, contributing towards:

·         better friendships with better-adjusted children

·         fewer behaviour problems

·         lower criminality and substance abuse

·         higher educational achievement

·         greater capacity for empathy

·         higher self-esteem and life-satisfaction.


Fatherhood Institute joint chief executive Adrienne Burgess, who led the resources’ development, said efforts to improve children’s outcomes can be boosted significantly by harnessing father-involvement: “Fathers’ impact on health, education and other aspects of wellbeing is enormous, across countries and cultures. Whether a mother has a professionally-attended childbirth, a child’s likelihood of being vaccinated and of making good progress in language development, can depend hugely on fathers’ attitudes and behaviour. By working creatively with men we can harness ‘dad power’ for the good of everyone.”


Gary Barker, International Director of Promundo, which leads the Men Care global fatherhood initiative, added: “There is a slow but very real revolution going on in many parts of the world in terms of men’s participation as involved fathers.  These resources are a tremendous asset to the program staff and governments around the world who are working to make equitable caregiving and father involvement a universal reality.”

Forthcoming conferences and events

·         Forthcoming conferences

Details of all forthcoming conferences can always be found under our listing at 2-in-2-1


Consultations and Campaigns

Below is our running list of current and recent consultations and campaigns. New items or those requiring action are highlighted. The Reference numbers are to the newsletter where we covered the subject.


·         Commission consultation on offences against the person

The Law Commission is conducting a scoping consultation, exploring the options for reforming the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. It asks whether a new statute should include a new offence of minor injury and a dedicated offence to tackle domestic violence.


In respect of domestic violence the scoping paper asks (at para 5.144 et seq) whether consultees consider that there is benefit in examining whether reform of offences against the person should include specific offences of domestic violence. The paper sets out arguments for and against the establishment of new offences.


Closing date 11th February 2015


Soap Box!!

·         The next 35 years

First of all, many thanks to those who sent messages of sympathy at our lack of internet access last week – we did eventually manage to download them!


And so this week you have a bumper edition, filled if I’m honest, with more bad news than good I think. And for me I think the saddest article is the one from Prof Carl Djerassi, father of the contraceptive pill, who is predicting that many (presumably well off) couples will, by 2050, prefer to freeze their eggs and sperm at a young age, and have children solely by IVF later in life.  The industrialisation of the conception of children will be complete, and the concept of a child being the ultimate act of creativity of the love of a man and a woman will finally be completely subverted.


Of course there will be many ‘benefits’ (sic) of such a system – proper career and family planning and integration; ready genetic screening to remove most inherited diseases; complete flexibility for women in particular to select a suitable genetic male as the father; etc.


Perhaps even more terrifying is the timescale he envisages – 2050 sounds a long way off, but in reality it’s only 35 years – I may still be around then! (Though possibly not still producing this newsletter). Our young grandchildren, both the four already around and any new ones who follow in the next few years, will be at the age of making these decisions about how to continue their line.


There is an alternative of course, but it’s one that it seems fewer and fewer young people will actually achieve. The sad demographic fact is that the proportion of young people actually fulfilling their dream of finding a life partner, forming a lifelong bond, and having children is steadily and inexorably falling. It is in danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy – the fewer young people actually believing that marriage is possible, the fewer who will invest the time and energy in finding, and being, lifelong mates.


Those working in the field of innovation often speak of the concept of “disruptive technologies” – inventions and ideas that completely change the market or a particular field. Fire gave man the ability to survive in harsher climates, and to eat a wider range of food; trains and cars opened up the opportunity for people to pursue employment over much greater distances, breaking the geographic constraints that had held the bonds of kinship to a relatively defined locus; changes in reproductive technology have already distanced the act of love-making from reproduction, and these latest predictions are just the logical extension of this particular technology.


‘Industrialisation’ is a threat on so many fronts – our climate, our approach to food and farming, our built environment, and now it seems to our very means of keeping the species reproducing. In every area, the freedom and power gently slips from the individual man or woman to the “system”. How long before we have demands to ensure that those using the “reproductive technologies” are vetted to ensure they are appropriate people, with the necessary wealth, skills, values etc to be the parent to our next generation?


Marriage, the right of two people to assert their long term commitment to an intimate lifelong union, and with it the responsibility to bring new life into this world, stands as one of the very few institutions that embody a natural, non-industrialised, philosophy of life.


Once we lose the vital linkage between love, pro-creation and the next generation we will lose the any vestige of hope for a “natural future”.


And that thought just might keep me going with the newsletter for the next 35 years!






Best wishes,

The 2-in-2-1 Team


Technical Stuff


Keep us informed - Do keep us posted on your news, and in particular please let us know details of your project(s), either present or planned.  Either post it at the forum, or e-mail us and we'll put it out there for you.


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This Newsletter is published by 2-in-2-1 Ltd, Company No. 3792423   Registered office:- 11 Lamborne Close, Sandhurst, Berks, GU47 8JL, © 2014. All rights reserved.


Fwd: New Edition of Louise Guerney's Parenting Book

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: <newsletter@nire.org>
Date: Sat, Nov 22, 2014, 10:01 AM
Subject: New Edition of Louise Guerney's Parenting Book
To: <billcoffin68@gmail.com>


New Edition of 

Louise Guerney


s Acclaimed Parenting Book 

is Now Available!



IDEALS/NIRE is pleased to announce that a new edition of Louise Guerney's Parenting: A Skills Training Manual is now available.


In addition to including a new Introduction, this sixth edition has been carefully edited and also sports a new, more visually pleasing cover.


Louise's Parenting Skills Training Program was chosen by the United States Department of Justice, Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Office, as one of the top 25 parenting courses in the country.


In addition, Parenting has been used nationwide in Head Start programs and countless other programs and agencies that provide services to parents and their children.


Pricing, Including Multiple Copy Discount Options


Parenting sells for $12.00 per copy, plus shipping and handling of $4.00 for a single copy.


Multiple copies can be ordered at a reduced cost.


5 copies can be purchased for $60.00, s/h included.


10 copies can be purchased for $100.00, s/h included. Net cost is $10.00 per copy.


20 copies can be purchased for $180.00, s/h included. Net cost is $9.00 per copy.


A box of 30 copies can be ordered for $240.00, s/h included. That reduces the net cost to $8.00 per copy.


Two boxes of 30 (i.e., 60 copies) can be ordered for $420.00, s/h included. Net cost is $7.00 per copy.


Three boxes of 30 (i.e., 90 copies) can be ordered for $540.00, s/h included. Net cost is $6.00 per copy.


To order:


1. You can download an order form at www.nire.org and fax your order in with the requested credit card information. The fax number is 502-226-7088.


2. You can mail the form with a check or the requested credit card information to: 



4400 East-West Highway #24

Bethesda, MD 20814


3. Alternatively, you can call NIRE at 301-680-8977 to place your order by providing the requested credit card information along with your shipping address.


Kindly let your colleagues know of the availability of this new edition of Louise's Parenting book and/or forward this information to list serves you may be on that would welcome knowing about this announcement of a truly exceptional parenting resource.




Rob Scuka, Ph.D.

Executive Director


powered by phplist v 2.10.18, © phpList ltd

Fwd: National Healthy Marriage Resource Center - November 2014

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: National Healthy Marriage Resource Center <info@healthymarriageinfo.org>
Date: Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 6:30 AM
Subject: National Healthy Marriage Resource Center - November 2014
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com


NHRMC logo 
  News Resource Alerts
Educators Research & Policy For The Media

Featured this month at the NHMRC

Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grantee Performance Measures

A new set of performance measures for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grantees have been proposed. An additional set of instruments for a cross-site evaluation with a subset of grantees have been proposed as well. Please see a short overview at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/06/2014-26320/proposed-information-collection-activity-comment-request. This notice has information on how to request a document containing all proposed measures, as well as information on how to comment on the proposal.


Gratitude . . . don’t take it for granted!

Everyday gratitude boosts romantic relationships and binds couples together. Check out these resources to learn more:

Why Does Gratitude Matter? Robert Emmons, the author of Thanks!, introduces the science of gratitude at the Greater Good Gratitude Summit* in June 2014. (Video)

It's the Little Things: Everyday Gratitude as a Booster Shot for Romantic Relationships.
Higher levels of gratitude after receiving thoughtful benefits (e.g., gifts, favors, etc.) predicted higher relationship connection and satisfaction. (Journal Article)

To Have and to Hold: Gratitude Promotes Relationship Maintenance in Intimate Bond. Couples who had ongoing reciprocal appreciation were less likely to break up within the next nine months and even reported being more committed at the end of that time. The researchers concluded that a nourishing cycle of encouragement and appreciation provides extra incentive to maintain our relationships. In other words, when we appreciate our partners, we develop trust and respect. When we feel appreciated, we also feel needed and encouraged. (Journal Article)

How Does Gratitude Affect Romantic Relationships? At the 2014 Greater Good Gratitude Summit, Dr. Sara B. Algoe describes her research into how gratitude affects romantic partners’ feelings for one another, as well as their style of relating to each other. (Video)

Love, Honor, and Thank Researchers Jess Alberts and Angela Trethewey have found that a successful relationship doesn’t just depend on how partners divide their household chores, but on how they each express gratitude for the work the other one puts in. (Essay)

Gratitude A group exercise from our popular Facilitator Toolkit. (Group Ice Breaker)

Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.


Program Listing

Is your healthy marriage and relationship program listed on our websites? We have an ever-growing directory of healthy marriage and relationship education programs located across the country, with more than 80,000 combined monthly visits to our two websites. Search the program listings on Healthymarriageinfo.org and Twoofus.org to be certain your program is listed on these popular sites. Send program information and updates via email to info@healthymarriageinfo.org.


Program Assistance

Looking to fine tune your marriage/relationship program?

Check out our Marriage/Relationship Education (MRE) Program Development and Management Manual. You can download a free PDF of this resource or purchase a three-ring binder of the entire 179-page manual for only a small shipping and handling fee.

The manual is designed to help practitioners and administrators create an MRE program that meets the needs of their target audience. The manual draws from previously developed resources created by the NHMRC and also incorporates new tools and strategies suggested by those working in the MRE field.

The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC) is a clearinghouse for high quality, balanced, and timely information and resources on healthy marriage and relationships managed by Public Strategies.


Past Newsletters
Recursos en Español

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joneen Mackenzie <joneen@myrelationshipcenter.org>
Date: Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM
To: Joneen Mackenzie <joneen@myrelationshipcenter.org>

Dear Champions for Marriage, Fatherhood and Children,

My name is Joneen Mackenzie. I am the president and founder of the Center for Relationship Education. More importantly I serve on the NARME (National Association of Relationship and Marriage Education) Board of Directors. Just this morning I read the data outlining marriage is down 11% since the late 60’s and continuing to trend downward.  Non-marital childbearing is at 40% and rising. Divorce rates are way too high.  Children do better in a healthy two-parent bio mom and dad or adoptive married family structure (See attached study). Poverty is on the rise.

NARME is a voice to restore this nation once again toward healthy relationship development, success sequencing, poverty prevention, marriage enhancement, family strengthening, and responsible fatherhood.

As the membership chair of NARME I am committed to increase our voice and national footprint by asking all of you to become members at the highest level possible. Please check out the www.NARME.org   website for the different levels of membership.

We need to be a powerful advocacy and informational organization to promote and engage the language of research and data on the benefits of marriage and family to the entire country including  policy makers and influencers.

The next generation of young people who are afraid of marriage (and they have every right to be) need to know that cohabitation is not without risk or heartbreak. They need to know that there are strategies, skills and secrets to healthy relationship development, partner selection and marriage enhancement. They need to know that lifetime commitment is possible and pleasurable. The need to know the benefits of marriage and committed love.

Please help restore this nation by restoring marriage and the family unit.

Either renew your NARME Membership, upgrade to the next level of membership or become a member for the first time. I guarantee you will be glad you did.

NARME is excited to be hosting monthly webinars that are sure to be fascinating.


The next national webinar will be held on  Wednesday Nov 19, 2014 featuring Dr. Galena Rhoades Ph.D, research professor at the University of Denver Center for Marital and Family Studies. She will be talking about the amazing study entitled, What Happens in Vegas, Doesn’t Always Stay in Vegas. Please check the www.NARME.org website for the times in your location.

Also this summer NARME  is hosting not a conference but a national event entitled:

RESTORING A NATION, NARME’s Family Reunion and Leadership Summit … Leading the way for healthy relationship development, family formation, poverty prevention, and child well-being.

The organizers are continuing to shore up the details at the hotel but most likely this event will be in Atlanta, Georgia on June 15, 16 and 17.  Please mark your calendars and save the date.

I am committed to contact each and every one of you champions. In the next couple of weeks I will be calling you and introducing myself to you to hear your heart about this issue and to hear what you are up to as you work tirelessly and relentlessly for this issue.

Thank you all for your service and sacrifice.

The next generation of children will be indebted to you as you build their family legacy which is defined by commitment, kindness , love, sacrifice, economic development and health.

Please be patient with me as I know some of you have received this e mail twice.

With much respect,

Joneen Mackenzie


Joneen Mackenzie RN, BSN, CPS II

The Center For Relationship Education

President / Founder





8101 E. Belleview Avenue

Suite D-2

Denver, CO 80237

720.488.8888 ext 201

Cell: 303.888.1895


Reducing poverty by strengthening families!


When people fail to form lifetime committed partnerships /stable marriages, the first result is a vast expansion of government attempts  to cope with the terrible social needs that result.  There is scarcely a dollar that the state and federal government spends on social programs that is not driven, in large part, by non-marital childbearing, family fragmentation:  crime, poverty, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school failure, mental and physical health problems.