Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programs May Best Support Outcomes by Addressing Hispanic Families’ Diverse Stressors
Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) programming is designed to teach participants how to communicate effectively, manage conflict, identify signs of an unhealthy relationship, and other skills important for developing and maintaining healthy relationships. While research evaluating HMRE programming effectiveness shows that programming often has positive impacts, research also points out that many program participants face additional life stressors that may interfere with healthy couple relationships and family functioning. This brief uses data from a sample of Hispanic couples who participated in an HMRE evaluation to show the prevalence of some of the key economic, demographic, and personal stressors that research identifies as predictive of relationship quality. Some of the key findings of the study reflect that some stressors cannot be eliminated by HMRE programs, and that other stressors (e.g., housing hardship or poor health) can be addressed by utilization of other social service programs, such as TANF, Medicaid, or subsidized housing.