Can Community Marriage Initiatives Reduce Community Divorce Rates?

by McKell Jorgensen and Alan J. Hawkins

The Bottom Line First:  A community-wide, religious-sector effort to increase participation in marriage and relationship education services in Jacksonville, Florida, appears to have reduced the divorce rate there by nearly 30%, 3 times more than in the rest of Florida. And a new initiative wants to fund other community efforts to replicate these results. Continue reading “Can Community Marriage Initiatives Reduce Community Divorce Rates?”

Results of the Parents and Children Together Responsible Fatherhood Program Evaluation

by McKell Jorgensen and Alan J. Hawkins

The Bottom Line First: While this blog focuses on healthy relationship and marriage education, an important, parallel field of responsible fatherhood education also exists. Researchers, however, have not given a lot of attention to the effectiveness of responsible fatherhood programs. But a recently released, large-scale, rigorous study – Parents and Children Together helps to fill that void. The study found that these programs increased fathers’ engagement and nurturing behavior with their children, but struggled to have other impacts. Continue reading “Results of the Parents and Children Together Responsible Fatherhood Program Evaluation”

Increasing Youths’ Relationship Confidence with Relationship Education

By McKell Jorgensen and Alan J. Hawkins

The Bottom Line First:  Youth relationship education aims to build youths skills to form and sustain healthy romantic relationships. A new study provides more evidence that these kinds of programs can be effective at helping youth develop more confidence in their abilities to form and sustain healthy relationships. The study also looks at who benefits the most. Continue reading “Increasing Youths’ Relationship Confidence with Relationship Education”

Important, Rigorous Government Study Finds Positive Impacts of RE Programs

The bottom-line (at the top): There has been a healthy debate over how effective relationship education (RE) programs for disadvantaged couples have been. Over the 12 years, the Administration for Children and Families has been pursuing a policy of support for RE programs to improve couple relationships and family stability. The mixed results so far call for more research. That’s why I have been anxiously awaiting the results of the Parents and Children Together evaluation study, another rigorous test of the effectiveness of RE. Good news! This study found positive effects on a range of important outcomes. Continue reading “Important, Rigorous Government Study Finds Positive Impacts of RE Programs”