Children 'better off with two parents' married or not

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The Independent Online

Cohabiting parents have received support in a poll commissioned to coincide with a debate on the family, it was revealed today.

A narrow majority of British people - 51% - disagreed with the statement that it was generally better for a child to live with married parents rather than those who had failed to tie the knot.

The telephone survey of 1,005 adults and conducted last month was commissioned to coincide with a debate hosted by the Christian Socialist Movement on Wednesday on the impact of the forthcoming General Election on the family.

Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls is due to take part in the debate alongside Ann Holt, of the Bible Society and Elaine Storkey, the broadcaster and theologian.

The research found more than three quarters of all people, 79%, agreed that it was better for a child to live with two parents rather than one.

Good schools came top of the list in the survey of factors which determined quality of life followed by lower levels of crime and disorder and stable families.