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ERIC Number: EJ956371
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1524-5039
Effects of Relationship/Marriage Education on Co-Parenting and Children's Social Skills: Examining Rural Minority Parents' Experiences
Kirkland, Cassandra L.; Skuban, Emily Moye; Adler-Baeder, Francesca; Ketring, Scott A.; Bradford, Angela; Smith, Thomas; Lucier-Greer, Mallory
Early Childhood Research & Practice, v13 n2 Fall 2011
Research indicates that the quality of co-parenting and couple relationships has an impact on parenting and on children's development, including their social skills and academic abilities. However, few applied studies have tested whether efforts to enhance the couple and co-parenting relationship result in benefits to the children, and no research exists that tests these assumptions with underrepresented populations. This article provides information on an ongoing novel study of Head Start parents and their children. An initial cohort of 80 primarily African American, low-income parents participated in a quasi-experimental study as either participants in a relationship education program or as participant controls. Relationship education participants completed a 6-week community education program focusing on couple and co-parenting dynamics and relationship quality. Relationship education participants demonstrated better outcomes than the control participants in the area of co-parenting disagreements and reported positive effects on preschool children's social competence. Participants' scores on both measures show significant improvement at one-year follow-up, while control parents and their children demonstrate more co-parenting disagreements and decreases in children's social competence. This promising early finding, if validated through final results of the study, may lead to enhanced family programming that includes marriage and relationship education as a means to promote more prosocial behaviors in children. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)
Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 51 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 877-275-3227; Tel: 217-333-1386; Fax: 217-244-7732; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A