Healthier Childhoods and Family Responsibility

Two Issue Papers

by Peter A. Morrison

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This paper presents two issue papers that formed the basis of the author's invited briefing to the 1992 Bush-Quayle campaign staff. In the first paper, the author outlines two factors, marital disruption and single childbearing, that have contributed to the high numbers of children living in poverty in the United States. He points out that promoting healthier childhoods makes economic sense, and that prenatal care is among the most cost-effective investments in health open to the nation. The second paper outlines the public policy implications of the changes in the composition of the family. Family composition has become increasingly diverse, and as a consequence, the family structures through which much social legislation operates will become increasingly varied and complex in the future. A forward-looking approach will recognize what families alone do best--care for their own members. Families have the will; it will be government's role to help them find the way.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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