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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Fein, David J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    A number of leading marriage and relationship education programs encourage couples to value and to understand the benefits of spending time together, as it is an important condition for a flourishing relationship. There has been some concern that poor couples may have less time and energy for each other than other couples — and less time and energy to attend relationship education programs — because of the demands they face simply to meet basic needs. Using data from the 2003 American Time Use Survey (ATUS), this paper provides the national estimates of time spent together by married parents at varying levels of income and education. The sample includes 5,729 married parents who were living together with one or more children under age 18.

    Results show that economically disadvantaged couples spend slightly more, rather than less, time together than nondisadvantaged ones, and that they spend more of the time they are together in leisure activities (largely watching television). The edge in total hours with spouse vanishes in multivariate analyses controlling for differences...

    A number of leading marriage and relationship education programs encourage couples to value and to understand the benefits of spending time together, as it is an important condition for a flourishing relationship. There has been some concern that poor couples may have less time and energy for each other than other couples — and less time and energy to attend relationship education programs — because of the demands they face simply to meet basic needs. Using data from the 2003 American Time Use Survey (ATUS), this paper provides the national estimates of time spent together by married parents at varying levels of income and education. The sample includes 5,729 married parents who were living together with one or more children under age 18.

    Results show that economically disadvantaged couples spend slightly more, rather than less, time together than nondisadvantaged ones, and that they spend more of the time they are together in leisure activities (largely watching television). The edge in total hours with spouse vanishes in multivariate analyses controlling for differences in hours worked between low-income and other couples. Family composition and race-ethnicity also display marked associations with couple time. Couples with young children (under age 6) spend more time together, but less time alone together, than couples without young children. Black couples spend less time together than white couples, particularly after a new birth. Compared with whites, Latino couples also spend less time together, and more of the time they are together is spent with their children. The paper notes a number of implications for emerging marriage programs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Miller-Gaubert, Jennifer; Knox, Virginia; Alderson, Desiree; Dalton, Christopher; Fletcher, Kate; McCormick, Meghan D.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    This report presents early implementation and operational lessons from the Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation. Funded by the Administration for Children and Families, SHM uses a rigorous research design to test the effectiveness of a new approach to improving outcomes for low-income children: strengthening the marriages and relationships of their parents as a foundation for family well-being. It also uses implementation research to document and assess how the organizations that were selected to be in the study are implementing the SHM model. The SHM model is for low-income married couples and includes three components: relationship and marriage education workshops that teach strategies for managing conflict and effective communication, supplemental activities that build on workshop themes and skills through educational and social events, and family support services that pair couples with specialized staff who facilitate participation and connect couples with needed services. In the first year of program implementation, SHM providers focused on three main tasks:...

    This report presents early implementation and operational lessons from the Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation. Funded by the Administration for Children and Families, SHM uses a rigorous research design to test the effectiveness of a new approach to improving outcomes for low-income children: strengthening the marriages and relationships of their parents as a foundation for family well-being. It also uses implementation research to document and assess how the organizations that were selected to be in the study are implementing the SHM model. The SHM model is for low-income married couples and includes three components: relationship and marriage education workshops that teach strategies for managing conflict and effective communication, supplemental activities that build on workshop themes and skills through educational and social events, and family support services that pair couples with specialized staff who facilitate participation and connect couples with needed services. In the first year of program implementation, SHM providers focused on three main tasks: developing effective marketing and recruitment strategies, keeping couples engaged in the program, and building management structures and systems. Lessons in these three areas from implementation analyses are the focus of this report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hsueh, JoAnn; Alderson, Desiree P. ; Lundquist, Erika; Michalopoulos, Charles; Gubits, Daniel; Fein, David; Knox, Virginia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    The Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation was launched in 2003 to test the effectiveness of a skills-based relationship education program designed to help low-income married couples strengthen their relationships and, in turn, to support more stable and more nurturing home environments and more positive outcomes for parents and their children. The evaluation is led by MDRC, in collaboration with Abt Associates and other partners, and is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    The SHM program is a voluntary, yearlong, relationship and marriage education program for low-income, married couples who have children or are expecting a child. The program provides group workshops based on structured curricula; supplemental activities to build on workshop themes; and family support services to address participation barriers, connect families with other services, and reinforce curricular themes. The study’s rigorous random assignment design compares outcomes for families who are offered SHM’s services with outcomes for a similar group of families who are not...

    The Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation was launched in 2003 to test the effectiveness of a skills-based relationship education program designed to help low-income married couples strengthen their relationships and, in turn, to support more stable and more nurturing home environments and more positive outcomes for parents and their children. The evaluation is led by MDRC, in collaboration with Abt Associates and other partners, and is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    The SHM program is a voluntary, yearlong, relationship and marriage education program for low-income, married couples who have children or are expecting a child. The program provides group workshops based on structured curricula; supplemental activities to build on workshop themes; and family support services to address participation barriers, connect families with other services, and reinforce curricular themes. The study’s rigorous random assignment design compares outcomes for families who are offered SHM’s services with outcomes for a similar group of families who are not offered SHM’s services but can access other services. This report presents estimated impacts on the program’s targeted outcomes about one year after couples entered the study. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lundquist, Erika ; Hsueh, JoAnn ; Lowenstein, Amy E. ; Faucetta, Kristen; Gubits, Daniel ; Michalopoulos, Charles; Knox, Virginia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This report provides an overview of the Supporting Healthy Marriage program model and includes final (30-month) impact findings on a range of outcomes including marital stability, relationship quality, co-parenting, and adult and child well-being. The report indicates that the program did not increase the likelihood that couples stayed together. The program did produce small positive effects in the relationship quality domain, but it did not improve co-parenting or measurably benefit children. The Technical Supplement report presents supporting technical documentation related to the study design and analyses (e.g., analytic methods, variable construction, etc.) (author abstract)

    This report provides an overview of the Supporting Healthy Marriage program model and includes final (30-month) impact findings on a range of outcomes including marital stability, relationship quality, co-parenting, and adult and child well-being. The report indicates that the program did not increase the likelihood that couples stayed together. The program did produce small positive effects in the relationship quality domain, but it did not improve co-parenting or measurably benefit children. The Technical Supplement report presents supporting technical documentation related to the study design and analyses (e.g., analytic methods, variable construction, etc.) (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gubits, Daniel; Lowenstein, Amy; Harris, Jorgen; Hsueh, JoAnn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    The Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation was launched in 2003 to test the effectiveness of a skills-based relationship education program designed to help low-and modest-income married couples strengthen their relationships and to support more stable and more nurturing home environments and more positive outcomes for parents and their children. The evaluation was led by MDRC with Abt Associates and other partners, and it was sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This paper presents the results of an exploratory analysis that examines whether SHM program impacts vary by six subgroup-defining characteristics.

    SHM was a voluntary, yearlong, marriage education program for lower-income, married couples who had children or were expecting a child. The program provided group workshops based on structured curricula; supplemental activities to build on workshop themes; and family support services to address participation barriers, connect families with other...

    The Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation was launched in 2003 to test the effectiveness of a skills-based relationship education program designed to help low-and modest-income married couples strengthen their relationships and to support more stable and more nurturing home environments and more positive outcomes for parents and their children. The evaluation was led by MDRC with Abt Associates and other partners, and it was sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This paper presents the results of an exploratory analysis that examines whether SHM program impacts vary by six subgroup-defining characteristics.

    SHM was a voluntary, yearlong, marriage education program for lower-income, married couples who had children or were expecting a child. The program provided group workshops based on structured curricula; supplemental activities to build on workshop themes; and family support services to address participation barriers, connect families with other services, and reinforce curricular themes. The study’s random assignment design compared outcomes for families who were offered SHM’s services with outcomes for a similar group of families who were not offered SHM’s services but could access other services in the community.

    The study’s main impact reports limited subgroup analysis to three potential moderators of impacts 12 months and 30 months after couples entered the study: couples’ level of marital distress, family income-­to-poverty level, and race/ethnicity. This paper explores whether the impacts of the SHM program on marital quality and stability outcomes differ according to six additional subgroup-defining characteris­tics at the 12-and 30-month follow-up points: (1) length of marriage at study entry, (2) experience of abuse or neglect in the family of origin, (3) psychological distress at study entry, (4) whether the extended family respects and values the couple’s marriage, (5) presence of a stepchild in the household, and (6) presence of a young child (under 3) in the household. (author abstract)