Not sure what to make of these sources, but there may be some useful material at these sites:
The discussion on Family Scholars gave me a chance to think about how we support young people who are cobabitating.
There is many new studies of military families with some special attention divorce rates among military couples and the stress experienced by these families. Here is a list of some of the most recent studies as of December 2012.
What are the trends in marriage, cohabitation, and divorce in the US?
What policies and programs would strengthen American families?
Some of the possible answers to these questions are in the annual “state of our union” report from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Institute for American Values that was released today at FamilyScholar.org.
In addition to documenting the changing nature of marriage and families the report highlights policy and program ideas to strengthen marriages. There is an excellent summary of the effectiveness of marriage and relationship education with low-income couples by Alan Hawkins and Theodora Ooms based on their recent meta-analytic research. (Here is a previous summary.)
There are some very interesting ideas in this report. There will be a more extended discussion of the findings and policies in this report Dec 20-21 hosted by Amy Ziettlow.
Following infidelity, most couples wonder: is there any way to recover from this injury to the relationship and save the marriage? Elizabeth Allen and her colleagues recently conducted a study with Army personnel to test whether marriage education could improve the relationships of couples who had experienced infidelity. They were asked to participate in a program about marriage education; there was no mention of marital distress or infidelity in the recruitment. Half of the couples were assigned to participate in the Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP) and the other half were assigned to a control group. The couples were in the late 20s, were mostly white (about 70 percent) and had a high school education. The couples had been married an average of seven years and about three-quarters had children.
The program was successful in increasing these couples’ marital satisfaction and had a positive effect on their communication skills. Despite these improvements, the PREP program did not decrease the likelihood of divorce for couples with a history of infidelity. Allen and colleagues conclude, “For some couples with a history of infidelity, PREP may strengthen the marriage and reduce the chances of divorce, but for other couples, PREP’s focus on characteristics of healthy and unhealthy marriage may clarify awareness of ongoing marital issues, resulting in the decision to end the marriage.”
The Army has launched an education campaign, called Strong Bonds, to help service members and their spouses strengthen their marriages.
The National Council on Family Relations had their annual conference in November 2012. Here are a few papers that address relationship education and divorce education.
by Elizabeth Nixon & Ann Marie Halpenny
by Jenn Crawford