The Challenges of Recruitment

By Sarah Hokanson

The Bottom-Line First: Recruiting lower income couples for relationship education is difficult. As relationship educators, we need to be intentional in planning for and carrying out effective recruitment strategies. This will require us to allocate more resources to our recruitment efforts. This study outlines challenges and successes practitioners have experienced in recruiting lower income couples. Continue reading “The Challenges of Recruitment”

Taking Account of Different Relationship-Belief Patterns in Relationship Education

By Sarah Hokanson

The Bottom-Line First:  People come to relationship education classes with different beliefs about forming and developing relationships. These beliefs invariably bring with them different needs. This study identified five different groups of relationship beliefs among participants and explored the risk factors associated with each group. As relationship educators, recognizing these groups can help us better focus on the needs of our clients. Continue reading “Taking Account of Different Relationship-Belief Patterns in Relationship Education”

Are Federally Supported Relationship Education Programs for Lower-Income Individuals and Couples Working?

A Review of Evaluation Research

by Alan J. Hawkins

The Bottom-line First. From the beginning of the federal Healthy Marriage and Relationships Education (HMRE) policy initiative, there has been an impressive body of serious evaluation work on the effectiveness of relationship education programs designed to help lower income couples form and sustain healthy relationships and marriages. Large-scale, rigorous, randomized controlled trial evaluation studies reveal promising successes, disappointing failures, and nuanced findings in-between. Critics’ claims that the HMRE initiative has been a failure are challenged by a thorough investigation of the research in this area. Still, federal policy needs to support more innovative approaches and strategies to increase the reach of relationship education services and improve their effectiveness. The initiative needs to move beyond a focus on program success to population impact. Continue reading “Are Federally Supported Relationship Education Programs for Lower-Income Individuals and Couples Working?”

Do Expectations Of Divorce Affect Forming Marriages?

by Devan Clayton and Alan Hawkins

The Bottom-line First. A large majority of young adults still desire to marry. With their high hopes, however, they also recognize the risks for divorce. Those who have witnessed family instability or divorce firsthand think about their own potential for divorce. Even young adults from strong families are aware of the risks of divorce. A recent study found that young adults’ greater expectations for divorce increased the likelihood that they were unmarried and that their first union was a cohabiting union. Continue reading “Do Expectations Of Divorce Affect Forming Marriages?”