2023 American Family Survey finds partisan similarities, differences in issues involving family

Dec 14, 2023, 12:56 PM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 9:44 am

Survey information is shown during a panel discussion at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute in Sal...

Survey information is shown during a panel discussion at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. The Deseret News hosted a panel discussion along with the Wheatley Institute and Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, focusing on the 2023 findings of the ninth annual American Family Survey and the impact on families in Utah and nationwide. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY– The 2023 American Family Survey revealed that American views on family have been politicized by Democrats and Republicans alike. 

The survey examines 3,000 American adults. 2023 was the ninth year the study has been conducted by YouGov for Deseret News and BYU’s Wheatley Institute.

“We talk about marriage, we talk about what worries families,” said Lois Collins, a policy and research reporter for Deseret News. “We asked about relationships, what they do together, [and] how they feel about policies. It’s a really good look at American life,” Collins said on KSL NewsRadio’s Inside Sources. 

She said the study examined family as an institution and family individually. The findings in the two categories were dissimilar to one another. 

“People love their own families, they think everybody else’s family is really having a hard time,” said Collins. Additionally, other surveys have produced similar findings. 

Collins added that overall, people are worried about inflation and the cost of having a family. 

Partisan differences

Concerns about mental health, teenage drug use, and bullying appeared in most groups, regardless of party. However, Collins said there are some partisan differences. 

The American Family Survey revealed that those identifying as Republican tend to worry about children growing up in single-parent homes. They also tend to worry about “a decline in faith,” according to Collins. 

On the other hand, Democrats tend to worry more about the stresses and costs associated with parenting. According to the study,  50% of Democrats support the continuation of child tax credits. Only 16% of Republicans felt similarly. 

According to the study, “Republicans argue that marriage is important, but they are far less willing to support families through government spending.

“Democrats express support for public spending that supports families and children, but they have decided to leave arguably the most important institutional support for children off of their agenda: marriage,” the study authors also concluded.

The study was authored by Jeremy C. Pope. 

One similarity: social media 

Parents are consistently worried about the impacts of social media on their children.

However, the study said that they inconsistently implement solutions. It found that only 26% of parents who worry about online predators placed restrictions on their child’s social media usage. 

Similarly, only 36% of the parents who worried about their child’s screen time did anything about it. 

More from Inside Sources: 

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2023 American Family Survey finds partisan similarities, differences in issues involving family