New Study Shows Positive Family Outcomes for Private School Students

By Mike McShane

As is rarely said at a Sinn Fein meeting, I’d like to say something nice about Protestants.

In a new report from the American Enterprise Institute, Albert Cheng, Patrick Wolf, Wendy Wang, and Brad Wilcox look at the family life outcomes of students who attended different types of schools.

The report uses nationally representative data from the Understanding America Study (UAS) and the National Longitudinal Survey 1997 (NLSY97) to explore the links between adults’ prior schooling and their odds of marrying, divorcing, and having a child outside of marriage.

The researchers compared students who attended public schools, Catholic schools, Protestant schools, and secular private schools. They also compared student reports of their peer environment, looking at rates of sex, drug use, church attendance, and college plans.

On almost every positive indicator, Protestant schools led the way. Students who attended Protestant schools were more likely to have an intact marriage, were tied for the lowest divorce rate and rate of out-of-wedlock childbirth. In every case, private schools of all stripes performed better than traditional public schools, often by wide margins.

New Study Shows Positive Family Outcomes for Private School Students was originally published in EdChoice on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.