ACF Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Research Initiative, 2006-2011

Project Overview

The purpose of this initiative was to evaluate services to promote responsible fatherhood through encouraging and supporting healthy marriages between low-income parents. The studies used experimental research designs to test the effectiveness of approaches to helping interested low-income fathers and couples understand the importance of two-parent families for child well-being, helping couples achieve their desire for a healthy marriage and sustain those marriages, and helping fathers develop the skills to be responsible parents.

University of Denver
Using Marriage Education to Foster Investment in Fatherhood: A Long-Term Comparison of Individual vs. Couple Level Treatment

This project assessed the effectiveness of an 8-week marriage education curriculum designed for low-income individuals and couples in promoting investment in relationships by fathers and positive parenting outcomes. The evaluation assessed whether efficacy of the treatment depends on whether couples or individuals participate.

Relationship Research Institute
Couples Together Against Violence: An Innovative Program to Strengthen Marriage and Relationships, Increase Father Involvement, and Reduce Violence among Lower-Income, Low-Level Situationally Violent Couples

This project assessed the effectiveness of the marriage education curriculum entitled Couples Together Against Violence in reducing low-level situational violence, strengthening marriage/relationships, and increasing father involvement. The evaluation aimed to identify the mechanisms responsible for decreases in domestic violence.

University of Georgia
Strong African American Fathers in Healthy Marriages: A Randomized Controlled Trial with Rural Families

This project assessed the effectiveness of the curriculum entitled Program for Strong African American Fathers, a course of 6 in-home sessions for couples focused on marriage and parenting. The evaluation assessed the program's effect on African American fathers living in rural Georgia in strengthening marriage and increasing father involvement.