Report: Utah families are strong, but they could be stronger

Published: Saturday, Jan. 5 2013 5:15 p.m. MST

Recent legislative efforts have aimed to provide opportunities for people who are considering divorce to have more time to reconcile, and also to ensure that some of the economic and moral unfairness currently associated with divorce are ameliorated. Sutherland believes those efforts should continue and the report is designed to illustrate the need for such action.

The organization is open to suggestions on other aspects of society that could be measured, but really wants to start the discussion on what more can be done to strengthen families and drive positive changes.

Utah County was ranked by Sutherland to have the highest and most positive key family indicators of all the state. It is followed by Morgan, Cache, Sanpete, Davis and Wasatch counties, with Grand, Weber and Carbon rounding off the bottom of the 29 counties in the state for the measure of family life.

Duncan, who lives in Lehi, said he was not surprised, as Utah County is typically more religious and "people who are faithful church attenders tend to typically value family life." He appreciates the strong culture of marriage where he lives, and said that people there "think it is good to be married, that it is the norm, that it is the right way to structure your life."

The area, he said, also provides an ideal environment for his small children, all of which he believes is worth protecting.

"All of us, whether intimately or not, are part of families," Duncan said. "Even in very fractured situations, we're born because we have parents. Strong families are in Utah's best interest."

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com

Twitter: wendyleonards

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