The Future of Children, an academic journal, has published its latest volume, "Marriage and Child Wellbeing" and you can download it here.
"This volume includes eight articles written by some of the nation’s leading scholars on marriage and its effects on children. They present evidence that stable marriages improve children’s emotional, intellectual, and economic wellbeing, and that some well-designed marriage promotion initiatives may benefit children and families."
In plain English, the academics mostly agree that being in a two-parent family is better for children than dealing with all the effects of a divorce, including but not limited to the financial impact. (When I heard the journal's editor on the radio, he qualified that by saying that, obviously, if there was violence or some other major reason that it was better to break up a marriage, then that would be an exception.)
Working on keeping marriages viable, then, is something that can benefit more than your own family. And the academics agree.
Researchers have also figured out that preschoolers who watch adults smoking and drinking are more likely to offer a puff to their toys and maybe will be more likely to try it themselves. A Google search for Barbie+study+cigarettes will bring up the same story on several sites, but here's one.
During a role-playing scenario with study investigators, one six-year-old boy offered a Barbie doll the newspaper and cigarettes with the words: “Have some smokes. Do you like smokes? I like smokes.”'Nuff said.
When buying cigarettes in the pretend store, a four-year-old girl said, “I need this for my man. A man needs cigarettes.”