Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Psychology grant will fund marriage study

Psychology professors Martha Wadsworth and Howard Markman have been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct eight-week marriage workshops for low-income families and then study the short- and long-term results.

“We want to determine if strengthening couples’ relationships will have a positive, long-term effect on the entire family, including the children,” Wadsworth says. “We’ll look at various aspects of marital functioning as well as children’s emotional and behavioral development, academic progress and stress levels.”

DU is one of three universities in the country to receive grant funding as part of President Bush’s $300 million national marriage initiative program.

The FRAME (Fatherhood, Relationship and Marriage Education) study will evaluate the effectiveness of the professors’ intervention programs, which promote positive couple relationships and responsible fatherhood in families with financial difficulties. 

Study participants will attend the workshops and complete survey assessments both before and after the training and on a yearly basis for up to four years. Study participants will be paid $200 for filling out surveys in the first year, and payments will increase each year of the study.

To be eligible, couples must meet economic hardship or income criteria, be in a committed relationship, live together and be raising at least one child under the age of 18.

This article originally appeared in The Source, March 2007.

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