92% say the quality of the inter-parental relationship is 'very important' to children’s outcomes
From 143 responses to this survey question from professionals working with children and families.
See further survey results here.
EIF has explored the role of the relationship between parents (regardless of whether they are together or separated) in positive parenting and outcomes for children. Our work suggests that family relationships are crucial to healthy child development and children’s life chances.
Our new What Works review, in collaboration with the University of Sussex and commissioned by the DWP, finds that the quality of the inter-parental relationship and the ability to resolve conflict is a primary influence on children’s life chances. Unresolved inter-parental conflict can affect children’s long-term health and wellbeing while also adversely affecting wider aspects of family functioning including parenting quality.
The quality of the relationship between parents is a driver of outcomes and life chances for today’s children and tomorrow’s parents. This clearly shows that improving inter-parental relationships is a neglected site for early intervention. Little attention tends to be paid to this issue in the work of maternity, health and children’s and family services.
Our knowledge of what works in the UK is also in its infancy. We need to build the evidence base and infrastructure to embed supporting these relationships in our research and practice nationally.