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Healthy Marriage and Your Community. Jennifer L. Baker, Psy.D. Anne B. Summers, Ph.D. Debbi Steinmann, M.A. Training Instructor / Mentors Melissa A. Gibson,

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Presentation on theme: "Healthy Marriage and Your Community. Jennifer L. Baker, Psy.D. Anne B. Summers, Ph.D. Debbi Steinmann, M.A. Training Instructor / Mentors Melissa A. Gibson,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Healthy Marriage and Your Community

2 Jennifer L. Baker, Psy.D. Anne B. Summers, Ph.D. Debbi Steinmann, M.A. Training Instructor / Mentors Melissa A. Gibson, M.S. Kim Rozell, M.A. Graduate Assistants Brent Anderson, M.S. Matthew Biller, M.A. Cate Brandon, M.A Tabitha Carlson, M.S. Dawn Clinard, M.A. Jessie Clinton, M.S. Anup Jonathan Tony Larson, B.A. Nicole Mannis, M.A. Robert Mindrup, M.S.S.W. Colleen Quinn, Ph.D. Amber Schafner, M.A. Amanda Schroeder, B.S. The Training for the Healthy Marriage and Family Formation curriculum was created through the cooperative efforts of:

3 Characteristics of Healthy Families A legitimate source of authority. Stable rule system consistently acted upon. Stable and consistent shares of nurturing behavior. A set of goals which the family and each individual works toward. Ability to be flexible and to accommodate normal developmental challenges. Effective childrearing and marriage-maintenance practices.

4 Characteristics of Healthy Families In a two-parent home, it is unlikely that you would have a “healthy” family without a healthy marriage as a foundation. Marriage itself will not “cure” problems. Some marriages are not healthy and marriage is not an option for everyone. For those who choose marriage, having a healthy marriage has profound benefits.

5 Benefits of Marriage for Adults Longer life Less depressed and less anxious than single, divorced, or widowed people Leads to specialization in household chores, which increases efficiency More money

6 Benefits of Marriage for Adults More active sex lives than singles Greater satisfaction in their sexual relationship than cohabiting couples

7 Benefits of Marriage for Women Marriage reduces the risk that mothers will suffer from domestic abuse. The annual rate of domestic violence for never-married mothers is more than double that of mothers who have been married at least once.

8 Benefits of Marriage for Men Less likely to use drugs and drink excessively A stronger network of support Earn more money –A greater sense of responsibility leads to increased productivity –Save more money than single men at the same income level

9 Benefits of Cohabitation Are Not Equal Marital “Norms”: Marriage carries an expectation of permanence. Marriage establishes norms of adult heterosexual masculinity. Marriage promotes men to be sexually faithful. Marriage calls for accountability, sacrifice, and commitment. Marriage encourages men to attach themselves to the mother of their children.

10 Benefits of Marriage for Children Rates of serious child abuse are lowest in the intact married family. 6 times higher in the stepfamily 14 times higher in the always-single-mother family 20 times higher in cohabiting-biological parent families 33 times higher when the mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend who is not the father

11 Benefits of Marriage for Children Less likely to become teenage parents. Less likely to grow up poor. Twice as likely to stay in high school. Higher educational achievements.

12 Benefits of Marriage for Children Higher job attainment. Fewer behavioral and emotional problems. Increase in father involvement.

13 Healthy Couples, Healthy Communities 30% of sick time is due to family conflict. This undercuts the company’s bottom line, increases fellow employees’ workloads, and may increase personnel issues. Lost work time associated with marital problems is estimated at $6.8 billion per year. Cost of Unstable Relationships: to Employers, Co-Workers, and Customers

14 Healthy Couples, Healthy Communities Children experiencing the break up of their home are more prone to delinquency, behavior problems, and incidents with teachers and students. Helping children cope often becomes the school’s job. Schools: Impact on Teachers, Students, and Administrators

15 Healthy Couples, Healthy Communities Government Agencies, Policy Makers, and Recipients Financial costs due to divorce are extreme, causing the need for increased government assistance. As need increases, more civil servants are required, more policies are necessary, and the tax burden increases as the tax base decreases. Workload for judges has risen substantially due to divorce proceedings, custody issues, and domestic crimes.

16 Healthy Couples Healthy Communities Churches: Impact on Program Leaders, Members, and Ministers The needs of people experiencing divorce are great which may overburden pastors, church staff, members and others. The fracturing of families decreases the chance of family participation in activities and financial support of the ministry.

17 Healthy Marriage Healthy Communities The local economy suffers when marriages end. Divorcing couples have decreased expendable income, creating fewer potential customers for local shops and service providers. Divorcing couples tend to have increased debt loads and personal bankruptcies are high. Community: Impact on local economy, businesses, and housing market

18 Bringing it home... To find data on how these problems are affecting your area, check these sources: Local school districts State and local divisions of social services U.S. Census Bureau –http://www.census.gov Kids Count Census Data Online –http://www.aecf.org/kidscount/ census/

19 Community Healthy Marriage Initiatives

20 What is a Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI)? A CHMI is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families through education and outreach. The goal is to enable the community to strengthen families by encouraging and supporting a marriage-friendly culture.

21 What Does a CHMI Do? It provides resources. It serves as a liaison between people who seek those services and the providers who offer them. Areas of focus may vary They do not provide direct services, such as counseling.

22 Who Benefits from a CHMI? EVERYONE!!! Better physical health Lower social costs Improved business productivity and profits Lower crime and poverty rates Benefits for children

23 The Role a Community Healthy Marriage Initiative Can Play in Welfare Reform

24 Importance of CHMIs Broaden our understanding of child support enforcement. Children need more than just financial support. Children need their fathers involved in all aspects of their well-being.

25 Importance of CHMIs Support incarcerated parents. –Develop parenting skills –Foster reconnections when appropriate CHMIs can offer much needed support for the social services currently available. –Increase available resources in your area

26 What CHMIs Are Truly About The goal is to help families become less dependent on governmental assistance. Emphasis is on “healthier” marriages. –Offering programs designed to develop the skills couples need to be successful.

27 What CHMIs Are Truly About Non-neutrality –Government should not be neutral or apathetic about healthy marriage. Action –“...we should be ready to move ahead with programs that have a reasonable history of success.” Dr. Wade Horn

28 What is a Community Marriage Policy (CMP)? 1.Require rigorous marriage preparation. 2.Renew existing marriages. 3.Restore troubled marriages. 4.Reconcile the separated. 5.Revive stepfamilies. A document signed by an ecumenical group of clergy committed to five goals:

29 Three Strategies That Decrease Divorce Premarital education of basic relationship skills. Use of a premarital inventory to determine the couple’s strengths and growth areas. Use of couples with strong marriages to mentor engaged or troubled couples.

30 Websites Families Northwest: First Things First: Forest Institute of Professional Psychology’s Marriage and Family Department: rriage.html Healthy Marriages Grand Rapids: Marriage Savers: Ozarks Marriage Matters:

31 Websites Raise Your Voice, Student Action for Change: wto-recruit.html Robert J. Murney Clinic at Forest Institute of Professional Psychology: Smart Marriages: the coalition for marriage, family and couples education: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: administration for children and families: /mission.html

32 Questions


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