July 13th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Escaping our debt roller coaster

CANBERRA: Simon Crean's winter of discontent

BIOETHICS: Tell the truth about adult stem cells

AGRICULTURE: Sugar industry report: a mixed bag

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Victoria clones white elephant / The new boy scouts

TRADE: Globalism - an idea whose time has passed

LAW: Government approves ICC - with qualifications

Sexual misconduct in the church (letter)

Keeping couples together (letter)

"Censor" or "classify"? (letter)

ENVIRONMENT: Our future in our own hands

MEDIA: What of women traumatised by abortion?

ABC Media Watch: who judges the judges?

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS: Mabo decision - ten years of frustration

AFRICA: Zimbabwe's agriculture, industry face meltdown

ASIA: Free trade agreements - what's in it for us?

FILM: Molokai: the story of Father Damien

BOOKS: Marriage, Health and the Professions

BOOKS: Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes to Weep, by Siba Shakib

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Keeping couples together (letter)

by Arnold Jago

News Weekly, July 13, 2002

Youth suicides have more than doubled in Australia since 1965, now causing 21 per cent of deaths in the 15 to 24 age group. Ninety-six per cent of this growth relates to family factors: divorce and solo mothers.

Poverty is rarely a factor.

One researcher, Dr John Wodarski, says, "The growing incidence of family dissolutions, the resulting single-parent households and the attendant lifestyle, makes childhood a difficult period ... adolescent suicide [being] a reflection of this turmoil."

More boys than girls suiciding seems related to boys' greater vulnerability to personal loss - especially absence of the father - as found in interviews of surviving relatives of 120 suicides compared with 147 "control" families.

Australia's "no fault" divorce laws should be abandoned if we take youth welfare seriously.

Even couples with mediocre marriages should be encouraged and helped to stay together for the sake of the children.

Arnold Jago,
Mildura, Vic

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