Experiences of Latino Couples in Relationship Education: A Critical Analysis


marriage and relationship education, Latino, Hispanic couples, culture


There exists a need to better understand the applicability of Marriage and Relationship Education (MRE) initiatives with diverse populations. This study presents findings from focus groups with Latino men and women (N = 16) who participated in MRE classes. A critical theory approach guided the researchers who used grounded theory methodology to analyze the group transcripts. From the participant’s words, two types of meaning categories were generated. The first category, “Cultural Values,” included shared values or cultural influences that were identified as relevant to how participants experienced the MRE course. These included values such as familismo or cultural obligation. The second category was “group benefits,” which included concepts that described ways that the MRE experience was helpful to the participants (e.g., emotional awareness and motivation for change). These categories and concepts are presented in a model depicting the cultural values as an overlay through which the group benefits were filtered. The model offers implications for class content (e.g., relevant portions of the curriculum) and process (e.g., the importance of offering the courses in Spanish). Other implications for research and practice are given.

Original Publication Citation

Perez, C. Brown, M. D. Whiting, J. B., & Harris, S. T. (2013). Experiences of Latino couples in relationship education: A critical analysis. The Family Journal, 21, 377-385. doi: 10.1177/1066480713488525

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



The Family Journal




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor