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Preparing unmarried new parents to make healthy decisions about marriage, father involvement and family formation (Chapter 13 of Vision 2004 : what is the future of marriage?).

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Shirer, Karen.
Adler-Baider, Francesca.
Contreras, Dawn.
Spicer, Jodi.
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About one-third of all births each year in the United States are to unmarried parents. With the increased focus on promoting healthy marriage in the pending federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families re-authorization, interest is growing in developing approaches to effectively reach this population in the area of relationship education. This paper presents key findings from the literature on the Fragile Family Research Project, and the barriers and risks that fragile families face in forming families and involving fathers, including couple violence and domestic violence. The process of planning, implementing and evaluating a pilot educational intervention for unmarried new parents on promoting family formation and father involvement in Michigan and Alabama is discussed. Recommendations for providing education to unmarried new parents who present multiple risk factors related to poverty, family dissolution and negative outcomes for their children are given (Author abstract).

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