Assessing Marriage and Relationship Education Needs in Aruba


marriage and relationship education, needs assessment research


Research generally supports the viability of marriage and relationship education (MRE) for strengthening marriages. However, the research has generally been limited to middle-class, European American populations in the United States, with a more recent acknowledgment of the need for culturally relevant adaptations to increase the appeal and the efficacy of MRE programs for minority audiences. Using inductive, qualitative, focus group methodology, 57 Arubans were interviewed with regard to their concerns about marriage, their ideas for strengthening marriages, and their preferences and needs for MRE. The participants presented various concerns, which included lacking communication skills, infidelity, and economic strains. They also mentioned various preferences, such as having an instructor with credible life experience, using spirituality as a resource, and interacting via role plays or skits. Recommendations for the application of these preferences and other observations and possible directions for further study are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Smith, C. B., Duncan, S. F., Abell, E., & Ketring, S. (2014). Assessing marriage and relationship education needs in Aruba. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 13, 133-152.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy: Innovations in Clinical and Educational Interventions




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor