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Fam Process. 2015 Dec;54(4):639-54. doi: 10.1111/famp.12151. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

If We Build It, They Will Come: Exploring Policy and Practice Implications of Public Support for Couple and Relationship Education for Lower Income and Relationally Distressed Couples.

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School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
The Parenting Center, Forth Worth, TX.


Over the past decade, public funding for Couple and Relationship Education programs has expanded. As program administrators have been able to extend their reach to low-income individuals and couples using this support, it has become apparent that greater numbers of relationally distressed couples are attending classes than previously anticipated. Because psychoeducational programs for couples have traditionally served less distressed couples, this dynamic highlights the need to examine the policy and practice implications of more distressed couples accessing these services. This paper reviews some of the most immediate issues, including screening for domestic violence and couple needs, pedagogical considerations, and the potential integration of therapy and education services. We also make suggestions for future research that can inform policy and practice efforts.


Couples; Distressed; Funding; Implications; Low-income; Relationship Education; bajos recursos; consecuencias; educación sobre las relaciones; financiación; parejas; problemas; 伴侣; 低收入; 关系教育; 困扰; 影响; 资助

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