Over 2.5 million students across the country complete their high school education each year. How many of these students will emerge from their adolescent years with the skills and information they need to choose a life partner and form a healthy marriage and stable family? To increase the odds that young people in Oklahoma will enter adult life prepared to address these important life tasks, the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI) works with the state's high schools to help them offer a research-based curriculum that addresses relationships and marriage in ways that are relevant to the needs and interests of youth. The OMI approach has resulted in a long-term sustainable effort that has strong institutional support. More than 62,500 students so far have elected to take the classes at 289 schools across the state. This brief describes lessons learned during the establishment of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, drawing on findings from an in-depth process evaluation conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. under contract to ASPE. (Author abstract modified)
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Starting Early: How the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative Helps Schools Prepare Young People for Healthy Marriages.