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Kathryn Edin
Edin is an associate professor of sociology at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University and director of its Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study which is examining attitudes toward marriage and childbearing among low-income single women and couples. She discusses some of the findings to date, such as the widespread acceptance of having children out of wedlock, and how low-income single women think too much of marriage -- not too little -- and that's why they delay or avoid marriage so long. This interview was conducted on May 21, 2002.

Wade Horn
Horn is the assistant secretary for the Administration of Children, Youth and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. He argues that although government should not be involved in a couple's intimate decision to get married, it can play a role in strengthening marriage by promoting skills such as conflict-resolution or problem-solving. He compares marriage education to parenting education and tells FRONTLINE, "We have this sort of very expansive view of where it is that government should be or ought to be involved in the family, except for this one area called marriage." This interview was conducted on July 12, 2002.

Ronald B. Mincy
Mincy is the Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice at Columbia University and a collaborator on the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. In this interview he describes his research on family formation within different racial and ethnic communities and discusses the government's strategy in promoting marriage as part of welfare reform. He tells FRONTLINE, "We have very different race and ethnic groups in the United States. They form families differently, and that means that a one-size-fits-all strategy for strengthening families is just not going to work." This interview was conducted on Aug. 13, 2002.

Barbara Dafoe Whitehead
Whitehead is the co-director of the The Marriage Project and the author of The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and Family. In this interview, she traces the history of the often-polarizing political debates over marriage and family. She tells FRONTLINE that she believes that "We've reached a consensus that marriage is important; it matters to kids," but it is a point where "we have little experience, few policy models to follow." This interview was conducted on Aug. 27, 2002.

James Q. Wilson
Wilson is a political scientist and author of The Marriage Problem: How Our Culture Has Weakened Families. He argues that families are the core unit of social cohesion in U.S. society and that family structure has weakened as the idea of individualism has gained a stronger foothold in our culture. He tells FRONTLINE, "When the family decays, society becomes loose at the hinges." This interview was conducted on Aug. 22, 2002.


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