The Long-Term Effects of Building Strong Families: A Program for Unmarried Parents

Publisher: Journal of Marriage and Family, vol. 76, issue 2
Apr 30, 2014
Robert G. Wood, Quinn Moore, Andrew Clarkwest, and Alexandra Killewald
After three years, the study showed that BSF had no effect on the quality of couples' relationships and did not make them more likely to stay together or get married.
Presents final findings from a large-scale, random assignment evaluation of Building Strong Families (BSF), a program offering relationship skills education to low-income, unmarried parents who are expecting or recently had a baby. The study found that BSF did not succeed in its central objectives of improving couples' relationships, increasing coparenting quality, or enhancing father involvement. In fact, the program had modest negative effects on some of these outcomes. Although attendance at group sessions was relatively low, there is little evidence of program effects even among couples who attended sessions regularly.

Building Strong Families: Strengthening Unmarried Parents' Relationships


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

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Senior Staff

Shannon Monahan
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Robert Wood
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Quinn Moore
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