Performance Improvement 2013-2014. What are the Net Impacts of the Supporting Healthy Marriage Programs on Marital Stability and Relationship Quality, Attitudes and Expectations Regarding Their Marriage, Parenting Attitudes and Behaviors, and Measures of Adult Well-Being?


The Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation assessed the impacts and documented the implementation of a voluntary, yearlong program for low-income, married couples who, at study entry, had children or were expecting a child. The program model included three complementary components, a series of relationship and marriage education workshops that were the core service, educational and social events that were intended to build on and reinforce lessons from the workshop curriculum, and family support services which paired couples with a specialized staff member who maintained contact with them and facilitated their participation in the other two program components.

The SHM program produced a consistent pattern of small, but statistically significant, positive effects on multiple aspects of couples' relationships, including marital happiness, lower levels of marital distress, and greater warmth and support. However, the program did not significantly affect whether couples stayed married. 

Report Title: The Supporting Healthy Marriage Evaluation – Early Impact Findings On Low-Income Families Technical Supplement
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Nancye Campbell, 202-401-5760
Performer: MDRC
Record ID: 9962 (November 30, 2012)

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"PerformanceImprovement2014.pdf" (pdf, 671.65Kb)

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