Online Sources For Your Own Research

A Note From TallyGN-Sign-up-Button-175

In the beginning, Shaunti asked me to simply look up the divorce rate for a newspaper article she was writing. I started with looking at articles and references published by some well-known governmental and non-profit organizations, including the Census Bureau, the CDC, the National Marriage Project, Focus on the Family, and the Institute for American Values. And yet the numbers were often confusing and contradictory.

Once we realized the need for clarity went far beyond one individual article, and the in-depth research began, I kept a list of all the sources we used. (See more about our research process here.)  These might be helpful if you want to do your own research. Just remember that you will see a great many confusing and contradictory numbers as you go; which is why we felt it was necessary to write The Good News About Marriage to begin with.



So here is a list of resources for readers as a helpful guide. This list is in no way complete, but it does represent a good portion of the sources we referenced and used for the book.

If you want to contact me for your own research, feel free to do so via my website at

Government sites:

Census Bureau: Marriage and Divorce

This link takes you to the general main page to look up several surveys done by the Census Bureau, including SIPP and ACS reports mentioned in the book.

Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP):

Here’s the exact link for reader convenience.

American Community Survey (ACS):

The American Fact Finder link on this web site has numerous options to research. It will not give you any kind of overall divorce rate, as it only asks for a current year, but as noted in the book, several experts are now using this data.

Current Population Survey (CPS):

This is where one would find much of the older survey data and reports on marriage and divorce.

General Social Survey (GSS):

Although the GSS is usually a tool for the most experienced professor or demographer, anyone can conduct a simple tabulation of two variables, like marital status and, for instance, how often one prays.

National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC):

NHMRC is a government initiated web site that publishes an enormous amount of marriage research. Experts, like Paul Amato, have served as a resource for the web site. On their Marriage Facts and Research page, they even list a resource link for covenant marriage, which they have a detailed fact sheet about, with research findings on this sacred marriage option offered in some states.

National Vital Statistics System

This is the link for marriage and divorce statistics and includes current trends as well as the link for the CDC report that we discuss extensively in the book.

National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH):

Run by University of Wisconsin’s Center for Demography, this link takes readers to the survey raw data that several experts have used comparing the divorce rate to religious or church attendance that we mention in the book.

 Other helpful sites and blogs:

National Marriage Project (NMP):

As we mentioned in the book, this web site has extensive research on marriage and is directed by Brad Wilcox.

National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR):

NCFMR, associated with Bowling Green State University (BGSU), is directed by Susan Brown and Wendy Manning. They are both authors of the cohabitation paper we referenced in the book.

Sliding vs. Deciding: The Blog of Scott Stanley

This is Scott Stanley’s personal blog that has some relevant and poignant articles on the trends of marriage and cohabitation, as well helpful links to other sources.

Institute for Family Studies (IFS):

As we mention in the book, Brad Wilcox and Scott Stanley are Senior Fellows for this newer resource of marriage and family research.

Barna Group:

This is the main link for all Barna research. If readers type divorce in the search key, it will bring up all the survey media releases for their divorce surveys.

Ed Stetzer/Lifeway Research:

Ed Stetzer is the President of LifeWay’s Research Division, as well as a contributing editor to Christianity today. His excellent, research-based blog, The Exchange, is found on his web site, as well as on the Christianity Today web site at:

Institute for American Values (IAV):

This is where readers can find several sources and publications we footnote in the book, including “The Marriage Index.”

National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI):

This is the research link of NFI that will take readers directly to the “With This Ring” survey we quote from in the book.

FamilyLife Family Needs Survey (FNS):

Readers will find out more about this ongoing program within the ministries of FamilyLife.

FamilyLife Blended Family:

FamilyLife has partnered with Shaunti’s good friend, Ron Deal, for their step-family ministry. We also utilized Ron’s original web site,

Bradley Wright Web Site:

We mention Dr. Wright’s research in the book and this is his web site, which lists his books and articles, as well as his blog and an ongoing research project entitled, SOULPULSE.

Prep (provides resources for those who teach relationship education)

Headed by Dr. Scott Stanley, this is an excellent resource and has a spot that lists all their research, as well as relationship books.


Founded by David Olson, this web site provides several excellent research studies on marriage that we reference in the book. Over three million couples have used this inventory assessment tool.

The Psychology of Spirituality and Family:

Readers will find information about some of Dr. Mahoney’s studies that we quote in the book at this new link, since BGSU has updated their web site since the book went to print.

 Focus on the Family:

Glenn Stanton leads the way at Focus on research of marriage and divorce and readers can find several articles by him and others at this link.

Heritage Foundation:

The above link takes readers directly to the family and marriage area of Heritage’s web site. Readers can even sign up for a free e-book, Why Marriage Matters, which we found very helpful in researching for the book.

Family Research Council:

Another resource with a substantial list of articles on marriage and family from experts like Pat Fagan, who Shaunti also interviewed for the book.

Georgia Center for Opportunity:

President Randy Hicks emailed us early on about a groundbreaking study on the cost of divorce to Georgia taxpayers, entitled “The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: First-Ever Estimates for the Nation and All 50 States.” Information about some of these statistics can be found on the web site, as well as their other important work to strengthen families in Georgia.

Strong Families:

Dr. John Trent’s web site and blog highlighting his research and blogs. Dr. Trent was nice enough to email back and forth with us when we were trying to confirm the validity of the divorce rate of praying couples is 1 in 1054.