Fundamentals of HMRE research, evaluation, and practice
Key reports and articles about the basics of research and evaluation relevant to HMRE, as well as HMRE research and practice
Background information and foundational research on HMRE:
- Relationship Education and Child Outcomes: Seeing Beyond Couple Effects – The Relationship Educator
HMRE programs have the potential to shape important family outcomes beyond relationship quality and stability. In this blog post, Hawkins summarizes the overall purpose of relationship education and findings from research on the effectiveness of relationship education on parenting and child outcomes.
- Understanding the WHY in the HMRE Field (download the transcript) – Healthy Marriage & Responsible Fatherhood
One podcast from a series that provides foundational information on HMRE education. By understanding the background and development of funding and research, listeners are empowered to better explain HMRF programs to participants as well as to community stakeholders.
- Does Marriage and Relationship Education Work? A Meta-Analytic Study – Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Here you will find a foundational research article on the effectiveness of earlier HMRE programs. This article uses meta-analysis to summarize evidence on whether relationship quality and communication skills improve after program participation.
- Relationship Education Research: Current Status and Future Directions – Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
This paper provides an accessible overview of the relationship education field and reviews research on relationship education programs and approaches that were published between 2002 and 2012.
- A More Optimistic Perspective on Government-Supported Marriage and Relationship Education Programs for Lower Income Couples – American Psychologist
Some articles focus on the small effect sizes of HMRE programs on certain outcomes or question the need for government-funded relationship education. In this paper, the authors detail their evidence for optimism for the utility of marriage and relationship education (MRE) programs to help disadvantaged and minority couples.
Helpful resources for those wanting to learn more about the basics of research and evaluation relevant to HMRE:
- Research and Evaluation Capacity Building: A Resource Guide for Child Care and Development Fund Lead Agencies (Revised 2019) – Office of Planning, Research, & Evaluation
This guide provides a list of written and online resources on important evaluation topics also relevant for HMRE research, including: evaluation design, building organizational capacity, working with evaluators, and working with administrative data.
- Best Practices for Web-based Surveys – American Evaluation Association
While programs still largely utilize paper surveys with participants, researchers are beginning to understand the benefits of web-based surveys for relationship education research. This resource provides practical tips and tricks for using web-based survey programs and links to several commercially available online programs.
- Developing Culturally Responsive Approaches to Serving Diverse Populations: A Resource Guide for Community-Based Organizations – The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families
This resource guide identifies easily accessible resources on cultural competency that community based organizations can use to become more responsive to the needs of their targeted populations, and to help attract funds to support their important work. The guide includes defining and understanding cultural competency, choosing appropriate interventions, measurement considerations, and much more!
- Focus Group Fundamentals – American Evaluation Association
Have you ever wondered what it would take to hold a focus group? This link provides a tip sheet with guidelines for creating, executing, and reporting on focus groups.
- Basics of Good Evaluation Reporting – University of Wisconsin-Madison
Planning and implementing research is only part of the equation. Emerging scholars also must know the proper ways to share evaluation results with multiple audiences. This document is part of a series of Tip Sheets developed by the Program Development & Evaluation Unit of University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. It has questions to consider when reporting evaluation results.