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”

Is Relationship Education for Individuals At-risk for Intimate Partner Violence a Good Idea?

by Alan J. Hawkins

   The Bottom-line First. Researchers consistently are finding that individuals and couples who are at greater risk for experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) are participating in relationship education (RE) in significant numbers. A recent study found that individuals who began a RE program with higher risk for IPV reported greater relationship equality and reduced controlling violence and relational violence at the end of the RE program. Continue reading “Is Relationship Education for Individuals At-risk for Intimate Partner Violence a Good Idea?”

Premarital Relationship Education and Its Effect on Newlywed Help-Seeking

by Jennifer Griffith

The Bottom-line First. One of the most important benefits of premarital education may be its ability to increase spouses’ willingness to seek help down the road for the inevitable problems of early married life, and to seek help sooner and at lower levels of distress. Marriage therapists are cheering the findings of a recent study documenting these important benefits of premarital education. Continue reading “Premarital Relationship Education and Its Effect on Newlywed Help-Seeking”

Relationship Education Can Reduce the Effects of Anger/Stress on Marital Conflict

by Alan J. Hawkins

The Bottom-line First: Relationship education program designers have long thought that it was important to help couples better understand and recognize their daily stresses and moods and then give them tools to prevent stresses and negative moods from igniting conflicts or turning small-disagreement mole hills into relationship-harming mountains. An important, recent study with lower income couples now documents that participation in RE can reduce the tendency for stresses and negative moods to turn disagreements into severe conflicts. Continue reading “Relationship Education Can Reduce the Effects of Anger/Stress on Marital Conflict”