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Reducing Divorce Through Community-Level Marriage Initiatives
In a handful of previous IFS blogs, I have focused on the effectiveness of relationship education programs and their ability to decrease rates of family instability (see here and here and here and here). Although research shows that relationship education (RE) programs can help couples strengthen their marriages,1 only a few studies have shown a (modest but significant) impact on divorce rates.2 Couples who are struggling in their marriage occupy a lot of chairs and love seats in RE programs.3 Helping a few strengthen their relationships and even avoid divorce is a laudable accomplishment. But can we think in bigger terms? Can we scale up RE services to saturate a community? Could RE make a larger impact than for just a few couples? And, importantly, could it have a measurable impact on community divorce rates?