Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS), 2015-2020

Project Overview

Research indicates that children and their parents fare better on a range of outcomes when living in stable, low-conflict, two-parent families. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) provides grants to fund healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programs to strengthen and improve the quality of relationships by offering a range of services from relationship education for high school students to marriage and relationship skills building for adult couples.

In order to identify and evaluate strategies for improving the delivery and effectiveness of HMRE programs, ACF is conducting the Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) project. STREAMS is a large multi-site random assignment impact and process evaluation of HMRE programs serving adults and youth that is designed to answer multiple practice-relevant questions. STREAMS will emphasize program improvement and answering questions of particular policy relevance, with a focus on outcomes for specific adult and youth populations served by HMRE programs at several sites across the country. Each site will focus on distinct research questions, which include:

  • What is the effect of offering relationship skills education as part of a regular high school curriculum?
  • What is the effect of offering a shortened version of relationship skills education programming as part of a regular high school curriculum?
  • What is the effect of offering young adults workshops that integrate economic stability services and relationship skills education?
  • What is the effect of offering integrated relationship skills education and economic stability services to low-income couples who are raising children?
  • What is the effect of offering relationship skills education and other support services to low-income pregnant women and new mothers?
  • Can text messages informed by behavioral insight theory improve session attendance and workshop completion for couples?

Mathematica Policy Research was awarded the contract for this project, with a subcontract to Public Strategies

The point of contact is Samantha Illangasekare.

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