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Family Fishing

Family Inequality: Diverging Patterns in Marriage, Cohabitation, and Childbearing

Popular discussions of changes in American families over the past 60 years have revolved around the "retreat from marriage." Concern has focused on increasing levels of nonmarital childbearing, as well as falling marriage rates that stem from both increases in the age at first marriage and greater marital instability. Often lost in these discussions is the fact that the decline of marriage has coincided with a rise in cohabitation.

Image by Nathan Dumlao

In America today, it’s easy to believe that marriage is a social good—that our lives and our communities are better when more people get and stay married. There have, of course, been massive changes to the institution over the past few generations, leading the occasional cultural critic to ask: Is marriage becoming obsolete?

OK Logo.png

In the late 1990s, Oklahoma undertook an innovative
strategy to strengthen families by reducing its divorce and
nonmarital childbearing rates. With leadership and
commitment from the highest levels, the state set out to build
public support and develop a sustainable multisector
initiative through a public-private collaboration. Since then,
the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI) has focused on
building statewide capacity to deliver instruction in marriage
and relationship skills—an approach that has stimulated
public awareness and dialogue about the effects of marriage
and divorce.  

Image by Priscilla Du Preez

Cruising at Altitude: Reconciling a High Divorce Rate with High Marital Satisfaction Ratings

While many couples divorce, most people report being happily married when surveyed. Those facts seem at odds. There are some simple and complex methodological explanations for this, but I have long thought about the explanation using a metaphor of an airplane in flight. That is what I present here. 

Soup Kitchen

Viewing Relationship Education through the Lens of Social Poverty

I have waited anxiously for Sarah Halpern-Meekin’s new book, Social Poverty: Low-income Parents and the Struggle for Family and Community Ties, since I first heard her describe the study and writing project three years ago. I wasn’t disappointed.

Holding Hands

Emotional Intelligence Is Key to Successful Leadership

Leadership skills are, in many contexts—the workplace, schools and classrooms, politics, volunteer organizations, and even within families—fairly recognizable. People who take initiative, who have a vision, and who can strategize, plan, and accomplish goals to achieve their vision are considered good leaders.

Bride and Groom

Do Premarital Education Promotion Policies Work?

Today, approximately 40 to 50% of first marriages and 60% of second marriages end in divorce in the United States.1 Divorce has been a popular topic in research for decades. Numerous studies have documented the greater risks of negative outcomes for individuals and families associated with divorce. 

NEWS

RESEARCH

Best Friends

The Power of Relationship Education- Evidence of Economic Benefits & Policy Recommendations

Relationship education (RE) is any type of course, program, or brief intervention that seeks to strengthen the couple relationship and help them achieve their goals for a happy and loving partnership (Markman et al., 2022). It also includes relationship literacy education for individuals, including youth and young adults, to help them envision and prepare for healthy romantic relationships. RE is not therapy. It emphasizes education to prevent problems or reduce them when they begin to emerge. RE courses teach concepts such as communication skills, setting realistic expectations, and deepening commitment to and understanding of a partner (Hawkins & Boyd, 2018). RE is available to all types of people in all different kinds of situations — married or unmarried, gay or straight, young or old, stable or struggling.

Image by One zone Studio

The Marriage Index

What helps us the most to thrive, as individuals and as a society? Money or marriage? Assets or relationships?

Image by Sandy Millar

Five-Year Study Documents The Positive Impact Of Relationship And Marriage Education Programs In California

Impact Report: Research on the Impact of Relationship and Marriage Education Programs in California is the product of the largest cross-site, cross-program study ever conducted on the impact of RME. "Having collected outcome data from thousands of participants in RME classes taught in California between 2007 and 2012, we now have empirical research that reveals just how great a positive impact these programs have on participants," explains HRC President Patty Howell.

CLASSES

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