Laura Seitz, Deseret News

This year the Deseret News shifted its focus to six core areas of editorial emphasis: the family, financial responsibility, care for the poor and needy, education, values in the media and faith. Today we look back on 10 of the best stories we did this year about the family. » Read best of: Financial responsibility Care for the poor Education Values in the media Faith

10 Raising Special Children
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Lindsey Bartholomew and Jen Levy created Utah Easy to Love, Hard to Raise, a support group for those who have children with various mental, sensory and other disorders.

An estimated 2 million children in the U.S. Suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, three of every 1,000 has an autism spectrum disorder and two million more have other disruptive behavior disorders, among other mental illnesses and disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Read the full report here: Raising Special Children

9 Expanding the Family Tree
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Family history is a growing trend, thanks to online resources. For instance, Relative Finder, a Facebook application that uses data from, shows how users are related to friends and famous people.
This year more than 149 million viewers have accessed family history websites, with the average age being 45 years and up, according to

Read the full report here: Expanding the Family Tree

8 Teen's Dad Spends Year Waving at Bus
Rochelle Price

No matter how cool a teenager's mom and dad might be, few teens get through high school without being embarrassed by their parent. One teen has his dad to thank for embarrassing him the entire school year.

When the high school's bus routes changed this year, 16-year-old Rain Price soon found out he'd be going right past his house every single morning. Much to his chagrin, he also found out his dad would be standing outside in a costume, waving.

Read the full report here: Teen's Dad Spends Year Waving at Bus

7 Progress and Challenges for Women
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

A new comprehensive report by the White House Council on Women and Girls found that women have made significant strides in education and workforce participation yet still lag behind men in pay and financial stability. The study found that women are more likely to obtain a college degree and that in 2009, women made up 61 percent of the workforce.

Read the full report here: Progress and Challenges for Women

6 Marriage Gap Grows
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

A survey from online public opinion pollster says that 70 percent of Americans approve of couples living together before marriage. The trend toward cohabiting is clear, says Andrew J. Cherlin, professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University and author of "The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and Family in America Today."

"Cohabitation carries with it the idea that relationships are easy to leave if yours is not going well," he says. "They might carry that ethic over into their marriages."

Read the full report here: Marriage Gap Grows

5 Pro-life Making a Comeback
Getty Images

The debate over abortion has reached a new level of intensity thanks to a wave of Tea Party and conservative Republicans who were swept into the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures last November, and immediately flooded the session with bills aimed at undermining and overthrowing Roe v. Wade.
This year, more than 427 abortion-restricting bills were introduced in senates and houses across the country — a huge jump from last year's 174.

Read the full report here: Pro-life Making a Comeback

4 The Age of Entitlement

It's no secret that most parents want their children to be happy — no matter what. But as a generation of "happy" children has grown with a hefty dose of a parenting philosophy where praise and encouragement is paramount, so too has the groundswell of a debilitating sense of entitlement.

Read the full report here: The Age of Entitlement

3 Blending motherhood and work
Ravell Call, Deseret News

In the United States today, among mothers with children under 18 years of age, 71 percent of them are working, the highest number on record. In 1975 it was 47 percent. While those numbers refer to mothers who punch a time clock or pull in a paycheck, any mother will tell you that motherhood is its own job — minus the public recognition, office perks or paid holidays. For some women, employment is an escape, a social network and an outlet for creative passions and energies. But for others, it's just a means to necessary ends and represents a depressing separation from their children and home.

Read the full report here: Blending motherhood and work

2 Emerging Adulthood Changing Dating Rituals
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age for a man to marry is about 28 and a woman 26 — with members of the LDS Church consistently getting married about two to three years earlier than the national average. There has also been change in how young adults date, experts say. Traditional courtship has given way to no-strings-attached relationships, according to the recently released book, "Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think About Marrying." The connections men and women are making are increasingly brief and sexual according to the book's author, Mark Regnerus, a professor of sociology at the University of Texas.

Read the full report here: Emerging Adulthood Changing Dating Rituals

1 Fatherless America
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

One-third of American children are growing up without their biological father, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In the past 50 years, the percentage of children who live with two married parents has dropped by 22 percent. During that same time, the number of babies born to unwed mothers jumped from 5 percent to 40 percent.

The growing trend of father absence could have grave implications for society, researchers say, because having dad around has been linked to important developments in a child's physical, emotional and behavioral health. At the same time, though, research indicates it's not enough just to have a male figure in the home.

Read the full report here: Fatherless America