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The Supporting Healthy Marriage Evaluation: Early Impacts on Low-Income Families.

Publication Year: 
2012
Personal Author: 
Hsueh, JoAnn.
Alderson, Desiree Principe.
Lundquist, Erika.
Michalopoulos, Charles.
Gubits, Daniel.
Fein, David.
Knox, Virginia.
Corporate Author: 
United States Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.
Technical Report
Page Count: 
124
Journal Title: 
OPRE Report 2012-11.

This report, which presents 12-month impact results from a demonstration designed to strengthen marriages among low-income married couples with children, shows that the program produced a consistent pattern of small, positive effects on multiple aspects of couples' relationships, including measures of relationship quality, psychological and physical abuse, and adult individual psychological distress.

This study provides some encouraging evidence that a couples-based, family-strengthening intervention can yield positive effects when delivered on a large scale to low- to modest-income couples with diverse backgrounds. The importance of the short-term impacts, however, will ultimately depend on whether the program yields positive impacts on marital stability and parents' and children's well-being over time. The effects of SHM on longer-term outcomes -- including effects on divorce and separation, parenting, father engagement, and child well-being two and a half years after couples enrolled in the study -- will be explored in subsequent reports. (Author abstract modified)

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