MAST Center Research

Our research is designed to understand marriage and romantic relationships in the U.S. and to improve programs that aim to strengthen these relationships. MAST Center research examines relationship patterns and trends and HMRE program implementation and evaluation.

  • Relationship Patterns & Trends – Population-based research and data to better understand trends, predictors, dynamics, and outcomes of marriage and relationships in the United States.
  • Program Implementation and Evaluation – Research that helps build knowledge about what works in HMRE programming, for whom, and in what context.
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A Tool to Support Culturally Responsive Evaluation Planning in Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programs

Sydney J. Briggs, Deana Around Him, Rachel Powell, Lindsey Anderson Published 2022

A worksheet that is supplemental to the “Introduction to Culturally Responsive Evaluation” brief providing HMRE evaluation teams with a brief explanation of and guiding questions for each step in the CRE framework.

An Introduction to Culturally Responsive Evaluation for Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programs

Sydney J. Briggs, Deana Around Him, Rachel Powell, Lindsey Anderson Published 2022

An overview of the foundational concepts of culturally responsive evaluation (CRE), why CRE matters for HMRE programming and evaluation, how it can be applied in evaluations, and other evaluation approaches that complement a CRE approach. This brief also has a corresponding worksheet for HMRE evaluation teams to help them incorporate CRE into their evaluation.

Defining and Measuring the Complexity of Stepfamilies in the United States

Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Susan L. Brown, Krista K. Westrick-Payne, Lindsey Aldrich Published 2022

What recent research tells us about stepfamilies in the United States, how they form, how they differ from other family types, the data-related challenges in measuring and describing them, and implications for HMRE programs designed to support stepfamilies.

Unique Aspects of Adolescent and Young Adult Romantic Relationship Attitudes, Experiences, and Quality

Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Susan L. Brown, Wendy D. Manning, Krista K. Westrick-Payne, Katherine L. Graham, Eric Eben Sevareid Published 2022

What recent research tells us about adolescents’ and young adults’ relationship attitudes and experiences, key aspects of their relationship quality, differences from those in older age groups, and implications for research and HMRE programming.

Teens’ Self-Reported Expectations and Intentions for Marriage, Cohabitation, and Childbearing

Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Wendy D. Manning, Katherine L. Graham Published 2022

Data snapshot highlighting teens’ expectations for cohabitation, marriage, and childbearing using data from the 2017-2019 National Survey of Family Growth.

Changing Relationship Trends in the U.S.: What Program Providers Need to Know (Video)

Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Kendy Cox Published 2022

Video highlighting changing trends in dating, cohabitation, marriage, and divorce in the U.S., and why they matter for healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programs.

Adolescent and Young Adults’ Relationship Expectations and Experiences

Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Wendy D. Manning Published 2022

Webinar hosted by The Dibble Institute discussing preliminary findings from MAST Center partners at the National Center for Family & Marriage Research (NCFMR) on adolescents’ and young adults’ relationship experiences and expectations. 

Socioeconomic Factors and Differences in Forming and Maintaining Marriages and Cohabitations

Paul Hemez, Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Kasey Eickmeyer, Susan L. Brown, Wendy D. Manning, Krista K. Westrick-Payne Published 2022

A summary of trends in the formation and stability of cohabiting and marital unions, with a focus on what recent research tells us about socioeconomic differences and how these trends can inform healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programming.

Gender Differences in Teens’ Cohabitation, Marriage, and Childbearing Expectations

Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Susan L. Brown, Wendy D. Manning, Krista K. Westrick-Payne, Katherine L. Graham Published 2021

Poster presented at the 2021 NCFR Annual Conference on gender differences in teens’ expectations regarding cohabitation, marriage, and childbearing, featuring findings from analyses from MAST Center partners at the National Center for Family & Marriage Research.

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