Healthy Marriage and Relationship Programs: A Promising Strategy for Strengthening Families. NHMRC Discussion Paper.

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Page Count
11
Year Published
2009
Author (Individual)
Myrick, Mary.
Ooms, Theodora.
Patterson, Patrick.
Author (Organization)
National Healthy Marriage Resource Center.
Resource Type
Brief
Resource Format
PDF
Resource Language
English
In the late 1990s, a handful of states began to fund healthy marriage and relationship (HMR) programs and initiatives intended as a promising new strategy for strengthening families and improving child well-being. The states were soon followed by the federal government, which launched a healthy marriage initiative in 2002. The following questions initially were raised about this new policy development:

1. What are the reasons why government should get involved in what is surely a private matter or a matter for individuals, couples and faith-based institutions? Why should marriage and couple relationships be on the public agenda?
2. Do we know how to deliver services to strengthen marriage and couple relationships on a large scale, especially to economically disadvantaged populations?
3. Do we know whether these healthy marriage and relationship programs work?

In this brief we present a summary of some emerging answers to these three broad questions based on the lessons learned from research and program experience of the past decade. We end with a brief comment on how this new strategy fits into the spectrum of more established programs and policies that aim to strengthen and support disadvantaged families. (Author abstract)

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