HMRE Evaluation Data Tool

For more than 15 years, federally funded Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) programs have taught youth, individuals, and couples—either unmarried, married, or co-parenting—how to communicate effectively, manage conflict, identify signs of an unhealthy relationship, and apply other skills found to be important for developing and maintaining healthy and stable family relationships. During this time, large-scale, multi-site federal evaluation studies have assessed the effectiveness of HMRE programming on targeted outcomes.

This HMRE Evaluation Data Tool orients researchers to measures included in several of those federal evaluations: Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM), Building Strong Families (BSF), and the healthy marriage component of the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The evaluation data included in this tool are all publicly available. In addition to orienting users to the participant-level and program-level measures included in the HMRE evaluation studies, the tool also shares when those measures were collected. Users can compare the availability of measures across data sets to help identify the data set best suited to explore specific topics or questions. This tool focuses primarily on the direct survey and administrative measures collected, although it does include some constructed measures.

How to use the HMRE Evaluation Data Tool

By clicking one of the “Explore” buttons below, users can explore measures included in the SHM, BSF, PACT evaluation studies about either HMRE program participants or about HMRE programs themselves. After clicking “Explore,” users will be prompted to select a topic to explore, and then a subtopic within that topic category. After a subtopic is selected, the tool will generate a table that indicates the availability of the various measures included on that subtopic in each of the evaluation studies and will indicate which data set (or sets) includes these measures. Users will be able to email themselves a link to the table to save the data.

Note: The measures listed in this tool capture constructs or concepts that may be present across evaluation studies and data sets. They do not refer to the names of specific variables. Users will need to refer to the respective evaluation codebooks to identify the specific variable or variables used to assess each measure in each data set. For well-established constructed measures, the name of the measure and the number of items in the measure are indicated.

Choose participant or program level topics

Evaluation Participant Characteristics, Attitudes, and Behaviors

The SHM, BSF, and PACT studies gathered data from all evaluation participants on a wide range of family and individual characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors.

In this section, users can explore topics and measures assessed in the SHM, BSF, and PACT data sets. They can additionally see when these data were collected (i.e., at baseline and/or follow-up).

Program Participation and Implementation

For program participants only (i.e., the treatment group), all three studies collected data on the HMRE programs and program sites and on indiviudals’ participation in the program.

In this section, users can explore the specific topics and measures related to programs and to individual program participation.

Notes: When Mother, Father, Parent, Couple, Child/Youth are capitalized, they refer to the partners and one randomly selected child (“focal child”) who were included in the baseline data collection. At the time of follow up surveys, some parents had re-partnered with someone other than the mother or Father. At those later waves, this person is referred to as “Current Partner.” Measures related to the specific HMRE program evaluated refer to the “Program,” while measures about other programs outside of the evaluation are referred to as “program.”

SHM, BSF, and PACT randomly assigned evaluation participants to an HMRE program (treatment) group or a control group (participants are not in an HMRE program but might receive other services). The studies then collected rich longitudinal information on all evaluation participants, as well as specific details on program participation and implementation from program enrollees. This tool includes measures across multiple data sets from the SHM, BSF, and PACT studies. See the dropdown boxes below for more information on each study and which study data are available in the tool.

About the Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) Evaluation

About the study. The SHM evaluation (2003-2014) investigated the effectiveness of HMRE programs for low-income, co-residential couples (81% were married at baseline, while the remainder were cohabiting) and their children in 10 locations in eight states across the United States. All local programs used one of four curricula to conduct relationships workshops that lasted for about a year and offered close to 20 hours of education per couple. All programs also held educational and social events for couples to practice relationship skills and provided family support services to address participation barriers and challenges that families faced. Other program characteristics differed by location. For example, two programs targeted new and expectant parents, while six targeted couples with children.

Data included in this tool:

  • Core data. The SHM evaluation collected data from both spouses participating in the evaluation at baseline, 12 months, and 30 months following the baseline.
  • Child longitudinal data. At baseline, couples reported on all children in their household and updated the information about them in each of the 12- and 30-month follow-ups.
  • 30-M youth survey. A separate survey was administered to the focal child (if ages 8.5 or older) at 30 months following the baseline. A focal child is a child randomly selected for each couple at baseline.
  • MIS data. A management information system (MIS) tracked attendance and service receipt of program participants.

Learn more about the SHM evaluation study and data sets


About the Building Strong Families (BSF) Evaluation

About the study. The BSF evaluation (2002-2013) examined the effectiveness of eight HMRE programs for low-income unmarried couples expecting or having recently had a baby in seven states. These local programs implemented group sessions based on one of three curricula adapted for unmarried parents. In addition, a family coordinator was assigned to each couple to reinforce relationship skills, encourage participation, address family needs, and refer families to appropriate services as needed. Depending on the format and frequency, group sessions took six weeks to five months to complete. The programs mostly recruited participants in health care settings (hospitals and clinics), targeting only prenatal, pre- and postnatal, or only postnatal parents.

Data included in this tool:

  • Core data. The BSF evaluation collected data from both unmarried partners participating in the evaluation, at baseline, 15 months, and 36 months following the baseline.
  • MIS data. Basic program participation data were collected through the programs’ management information systems (MIS).

Learn more about the BSF evaluation study and data sets

About the Parents and Children Together (PACT) Evaluation

About the study. The PACT evaluation (2013-2016) examined the effectiveness of two HMRE programs and four responsible fatherhood (RF) programs. This tool only includes data from the HMRE programs located in Texas and New York. Participating couples in the PACT HMRE programs were mostly low-income, had or were expecting children, and were in stable marital relationships (more than half had been married for 5 years or more). Both HMRE programs delivered relationship skill curricula in workshops for a total of 18 to 27 hours, and offered job/employment services. The programs had experience serving parenting couples and were located in communities where similar services were not available elsewhere.

Data included in this tool:

  • Core data. The PACT study collected data from both partners participating in the evaluation at baseline and 12 months following the baseline.
  • MIS data. A management information system (MIS) tracked attendance and service receipt of program participants. The data set includes couple-level measures derived from the MIS.

Learn more about the PACT evaluation study and data sets

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