Outcomes of an intensive couple relationship education program with fragile families

Jason L. Wilde, William J. Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Couple relationship education (CRE) has been proposed as one means to help fragile families stabilize their relationships. The current research is one of the first studies to look at the outcomes of a CRE program with fragile families in the areas of couple stability and marriage formation. Data were from the Family Formation Project, a federal and state funded program working with fragile family couples (n = 96) in a metropolitan area. A historical cohort control group quasi-experimental research design was used with a matched control group from the Fragile Family and Child Well-being Study. The intervention consisted of in-home education and support, group educational events, and social service referrals. Findings showed that couples had the same rate of couple stability as the control group but an increased rate of marriage. These findings suggest that CRE can help fragile families achieve marriage when that is their goal, but that some fragile families may need more than CRE to help them stabilize their relationship, or they may be better off separating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-464
Number of pages10
JournalFamily process
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Couple Relationship Education
  • Fragile Families
  • Healthy Marriage Initiative
  • Program Outcomes


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