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Using Relationship Education Programs with Same-Sex Couples: A Preliminary Evaluation of Program Utility and Needed Modifications.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Whitton, Sarah W.
Buzzella, Brian A.
Journal Article
Page Count: 

Same-sex couples represent a group likely to benefit from relationship education, given the many unique challenges they face. However, it is unclear whether existing programs, predominantly designed for married heterosexual couples, are appropriate for use with same-sex couples. In this article we highlight the need for quality relationship education programs for same-sex couples and review the literature to identify unique needs of same-sex couples that may not be met by existing programs. We then describe a small survey of couple therapists and researchers conducted to provide preliminary information about whether same-sex couples are perceived to benefit from existing relationship education programs and whether modifications to program content are needed. Twenty respondents indicated that a core set of relationship education components were useful when working with same-sex couples, although the presentation of these components generally required modifications to remove heterosexist bias and to improve applicability to same-sex couples. In addition, several novel program foci were suggested (e.g., stigma management). Implications for the design and delivery of relationship education to same-sex couples are discussed. (Author abstract)

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