Marriage and Relationship Education

Marriage and Relationship Education





Marriage and Relationship Education

Program Evaluation

The article titled ‘Does marriage and relationship education work?’ examines the competence of marriage and relationship education (MRE) using communication skills and the quality of the relationship. At the top of the list of human problems is the development of healthy and productive relationships especially among married people. Allan Hawkins noted that simple solutions such as educing the amount of criticism and enhancing listening skills were vital in improving communication among couples. Presenting a multifaceted approach to the problems that most marriages faced, Hawkins recommended that couples practice the skills in the presence of instructors (Hawkins, Blanchard, Baldwin & Fawcett, 2008). Couples learnt and discussed these problems and regularly made explicit arrangements to address them more appropriately. Frequently within this module are conversations on significant virtues concerned with the quality of relationships for instance, dedication and forgiveness. Hawkins also highlighted the benefits of MRE as well as its disadvantages compared to other approaches (Hawkins et al., 2008).

Issues Related to Population

Among low and middle-income couples, there are frequent cases of domestic misunderstandings that threaten the marriages. Poverty has single handedly contributed towards the disintegration of communication among couples in various ways. Due to economic difficulties, most low-income couples cannot afford the basic MRE services such as counseling and examination of marital problems (Halford, 2011). Therefore, they opt to deal with their own problems that may be difficult seeing the complex level of marital difficulties. There is a close relationship between low-income households and large numbers of children. This large number of children serves to increase the pressure on the couples as they attempt to provide for their children financially and emotionally. Emotionally taxed couples are lesser suited to solving their own communication problems and end up experiencing complications in their marriage.

Increasing Participation

Increasing the participation of disadvantaged and ethnically diverse populations within these programs is a difficult feat. However, it is useful as it increases the amount of data and the findings of the studies. Elaborating on the significance of marriage and relationships among young couples as well as older ones is a sure way of ensuring that more of these couples take part in the program. Most marriages depend on the cooperation between the spouses to work. However, most people are not specialized on marriage problems such as miscommunication, listening skills and money management and offering a solution such as MRE is bound to increase the number of participants. The setting and marketing of the MRE program is also important in promoting increased participation. The most common settings for such programs include health centers, schools and community centers (YMCA/ YWCA) (Halford, 2011).

Seeking More Generalizable Results

To increase the accuracy and reliability of the data collection program, several methods and measures can be applied. The program can be organized according to the curriculum content that involves restrictions on the issues among couples. The best data collection method is stratified sampling that involves collection of data from selected couples from independent subpopulations. In this way, every level of criteria used for choosing the families to be assessed will be exhausted accordingly. A last solution to improve reliability would be to adopt social sciences measures such as demographic questions. Collecting information on knowledge and awareness levels among couples is more informative compared to statistical data on other issues.



Hawkins made a proper case of the increased use of MRE as the preferred solution for marriages that experienced diverse problems such as financial difficulties, miscommunication and emotional dependency. While still a relatively new subject, the input of the right approach and measures, MRE can emerge as an effective solution to marriage problems among diverse ethnic populations.



















Halford, W. K. (2011). Marriage and relationship education: What works and how to provide it. New York: Guilford Press.

Hawkins, A. J., Blanchard, V. L., Baldwin, S. A., & Fawcett, E. B. (2008). Does marriage and relationship education work? A meta-analytic study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 5, 723-34.

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