Couple relationship education (CRE) has been proposed as one means to help fragile families stabilize their relationships. The current research is one of the first studies to look at the outcomes of a CRE program with fragile families in terms of couple stability, marriage, and relationship satisfaction. Data were from the Minnesota Family Formation Project (FFP), a federal and state funded Community Healthy Marriage Initiative working with fragile family couples (n=96) in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. A cohort control group quasi-experimental research design was used with matched control groups from the Fragile Family and Child Well-being Study and the Building Strong Families Study. The intervention consisted of in-home education and support, group educational events, and social service referrals. Findings showed that couples had the same rate of couple stability as the control groups but an increased rate of marriage. Relationship satisfaction for couples who stayed together remained stable, as hypothesized, instead of the normative decline found in the research literature. These findings suggest CRE can be useful to fragile families who are considering marriage in helping them achieve that goal but that some fragile families may either need more than CRE to help them stabilize their relationship or they may be better off separating.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: William J. Doherty. 1 computer fil4 (PDF); v, 84 pages, appendix A.
Wilde, Jason L..
Outcomes of a couple relationship education program to promote relationship stability and marriage among fragile families..
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