Republicans and Democrats Disagree on Top Issues Facing American Families, Survey Reveals
Republicans and Democrats in the United States agree that the nation’s families face a multitude of problems, but they disagree strongly on which issues are of concern, according to a new survey.
The 2023 American Family Survey found that Americans who identify as Republican are 25 percentage points more likely to say they are concerned about children growing up without two parents in the home and 24 percentage points more likely to be concerned about the lack of religious faith and church attendance among the nation’s families.
By contrast, Americans who identify as Democrats are 17 percentage points more likely to say they are concerned about the mental and physical health struggles of America’s families and 13 percentage points more likely to be concerned about high work demands and stress on the nation’s families.
The report was released by the Wheatley Institute and Deseret News.
“Republicans and Democrats are united in their assessments of the challenges facing their own families — with top concerns being mental or physical health struggles and finding family time — but part ways when asked to consider the challenges facing families generally,” a summary of the report said.
The report also found that:
— Republicans are 13 percentage points more likely to be concerned about the impact of social media, video games, and other electronics on families. They’re also more likely to be concerned about parents’ lack of commitment to one another (10 percentage point difference), sexual permissiveness and infidelity (8 percentage point difference), and the widespread availability of drugs and alcohol (7 percentage point difference).
— Democrats are 13 percentage points more likely to be concerned about the costs of raising a family. Democrats also are more likely to be concerned about the difficulty finding quality family time (11 percentage point difference), the lack of good jobs and wages (10 percentage point difference), disagreement between family members (6 percentage point difference), and lack of educational opportunities (5 percentage point difference).
“The American Family Survey is an invaluable resource in documenting shifting challenges for families of all kinds in the United States,” said Christopher F. Karpowitz, professor of political science and a senior scholar at Brigham Young University’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy and principal investigator of the survey. “While no single survey can cover every impactful insight, this year’s results portray that although the institution of the family remains politicized, Americans report many commonalities with how they approach their own families, and children remain a focal point. Nevertheless, the struggle for American families is real, particularly for those who fall on the lower-income scale.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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