According to a new study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, children raised outside of the nuclear family unit (with a biological mother and father) have a greater likelihood of experiencing trauma. The CDC report found that children raised in the foster care system generally have the worst outcome, with children raised by one parent or other family members doing somewhat better, and those with two biological parents doing the best of all (adopted children were not included in the report’s findings). The statistics are drawn from a nationally represented phone survey, including over 95,000 interviews, which were compiled into the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health.
The Christian Post explains, “The study looked at nine adverse experiences: 1) divorce or separation of parents or guardians, 2) death of a parent or guardian, 3) incarceration of a parent or guardian, 4) lived with someone who was mentally ill, suicidal or severely depressed, 5) lived with someone who had an alcohol or drug problem, 6) witnessed violence in the household, 7) was the victim of violence or witnessed violence in the neighborhood, 8) suffered racial discrimination, and 9) caregiver had often found it hard to get by on the family's income.”
According to the study, nearly 50% of children in foster care had “four of more adverse family experiences,” a much higher percentage than those raised by grandparents or other relatives.