Presentation on theme: "Healthy Marriage Education Programs a presentation for webcast at 8/31/04 Bill Coffin Special Assistant for Marriage."— Presentation transcript:
Healthy Marriage Education Programs a presentation for webcast at 8/31/04 Bill Coffin Special Assistant for Marriage Education Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (202)
Giving Psychology Away Secrets of a Strong Marriage Public Health Approach Primary/Universal Prevention Helping couples, who have chosen marriage for themselves, gain access to services where they can acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to form and sustain healthy marriages
Three Essentials of a Couples Primary Coping System (according to David Mace) 1) Commitment to ongoing growth and change 2) Good communication skills and 3) The ability to deal creatively with the inevitable conflict and anger in marriage….so Couples can talk without fighting about important issues and protect and preserve fun, friendship and love. Mutually beneficial and each have a deep respect for the other
What Would It Take To Help More Couples Have a Healthy Marriage? An increase in confidence that it is possible An increased understanding of the benefits An increased ability to make a good choice about a partner in the first place An increased ability (skills and attitudes and expectations) to be a good mate to ones partner A decrease in policies that punish marriage
Rationale for Marriage Education Key findings that converge across studies demonstrate that its not the differences between couples that matter in predicting distress and divorce as much as how differences are handled (NIMH generic risk factor) Couples can be taught how to handle differences, to talk without fighting about important issues Outcome results are promising, couples can protect positives, decrease negatives and increase chances for marital happiness over time
Five Specific (Potential) Benefits of Marriage and Relationship Education Lowered risk of future distress Opportunity to turn things around for distressed couples Education can send the message that marriage matters (for those open to hearing it) Basic expectations about relationships, what is reasonable and what is not acceptable, can be conveyed Couples can learn what would help if they falter later; or learn of other services that might be immediately needed.