Title

A Longitudinal Hierarchical Examination of Smart Steps for Stepfamilies With Ethnically and Economically Diverse Couples

Keywords

marriage and relationship education, program evaluation, stepfamilies

Abstract

Over the past decade, relationship education has grown as a means of enhancing couple relationships. This longitudinal study was designed to examine the experiences and outcomes of 2,828 adults who participated in the Smart Steps for Stepfamilies: Embrace the Journey program. Self-report measures of relationship quality, commitment, and relationship instability were administered prior to participation, then immediately, 6 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year after participation. A three-level growth-curve analysis using hierarchical linear model suggested that stepfamily participants experienced small but statistically significant immediate increases in relationship quality and stability, but those gains diminished over time. The statistical analyses tested for moderating effects of individual and couple characteristics on programmatic outcomes over time. Application of these findings and implications for relationship education for stepfamilies are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Reck, K.*, Higginbotham, B., & Dew, J. P. (2019). A longitudinal hierarchical examination of Smart Steps for Stepfamilies with ethnically and economically diverse couples. Journal of Family Issues.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2019-08-31

Publisher

Journal of Family Issues

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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