Candidates for the IFS Friday Five

Some of you know this: I had a sextuple bypass the day after Easter and got home last Fri. 
Feeling a little better already! Month+ recovery. Had to cancel our Ignatian Pilgrimage in May.
Feeling blessed, grateful for family, and glad to be back.

1. Understanding How Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Program Evaluations Have Measured Child Well-Being

Using Learning Cycles to Strengthen Fatherhood Programs: An Introduction to the Strengthening the Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Programs (SIRF) Study

What Strategies Can Programs Use to Help More Dads Participate in Fatherhood Services?

2. That ‘homeless person’ could be someone’s son. Mine, for instance.

By Shannon Jones

3. Demonstrating the impact of a volunteer family support program: Insights from an RCT

Jayne Meyer Tucker, Rebekah Grace, Angela Styman and Joanna Schwarzman

4. What We Lose When We Conflate Child “Abuse” and “Neglect”

by , Molly Parker

The Southern Illinoisan

5. Why Kids Make the Best Philosophers

By Scott Hershovitz

6. Study investigates link between African American couples’ relationship quality and depressive symptoms

7. First-of-its-kind study compares domestic violence programs, finds promising results

Amie Zarling, a clinical psychologist and associate professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State.

8. Surface Force Helps Pregnant Sailors Thrive Through Artemis Program


Do You Have a Parent-Child Marriage?

March 2022 Traffic Stats


Fwd: OPRE HMRF News - April 2022

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From: OPRE <>
Date: Fri, Apr 8, 2022 at 10:00 AM
Subject: OPRE HMRF News - April 2022
To: <>

HMRF Newsletter Issue 11 

In This Issue: 

  • Three New Reports and a Synthesis Brief with the Final Results from the Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) Evaluation
  • Toolkit for Implementing New Program Components or Services in Fatherhood Programs  

  • Two Impact Reports Published from Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) Evaluation
  • Final Reports on the 2015-2020 Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grantee Cohort from the Fatherhood and Marriage Local Evaluation (FaMLE) and Cross-Site Project
  • Highlights from the Second Meetings of the FRAMING Research Project’s Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Technical Work Groups


Three New Reports and a Synthesis Brief with the Final Results from the Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) Evaluation

The Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) study released impact findings on the three interventions tested: the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Justice Involved Individuals Seeking Employment (CBI-Emp) study which tested the effects on fathers’ employment, criminal justice system involvement, and relationships with coparents; the Just Beginning study which tested the effects on father-child relationships; and the DadTime study which explored the feasibility, usability, and impact of a smartphone app to promote fathers’ attendance in a parenting intervention. Three separate reports describe the implementation, impact, and cost findings for each intervention tested. A syntheis brief summarizes the lessons across the three studies.

For more information, contact Katie Pahigiannis.


The DadTime study adds to a growing field of research on the use of technology to promote engagement in services. The report includes important insights for programs interested in designing and implementing a smartphone app to promote father engagement. Key tips include:

  • Determine the purpose and role of the app
  • Integrate the app into existing programs and processes
  • Ask research questions that can identify critical features or content for app interventions and that are matched to outcomes


The CBI-Emp and Just Beginning curricula tested in B3 built on emerging innovations and evidence in the fatherhood field about what fathers may want and need from community-based programs. Below are cross-cutting lessons from the B3 tests of CBI-Emp and Just Beginning:

  • The implementation of new curricula did not reduce fathers’ participation in other services, suggesting that organizations can implement new services without reducing participation in other program services.
  • To engage and retain fathers in new services, it is important to thoroughly understand and meet their essential needs, remove barriers to participation, and engage them in services quickly after enrollment.
  • When implementing new curricula, organizations should reserve resources for ongoing staff training and technical assistance.
  • Since not all interventions are appropriate and effective for all fathers, consider strategies for reaching the intervention’s ideal target population in the context of the existing programs’ settings.

For more practitioner-oriented resources from the B3 project, please visit the B3 project’s webpage.


B3 Study Releases New Toolkit for Fatherhood Programs Interested in Implementing New Program Components or Services

A new toolkit from the Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) evaluation provides fatherhood program practitioners with user-friendly, hands-on resources to support implementation of new program components or services within existing fatherhood programs. The resources include a set of downloadable tools along with an interactive web-based brief and a longer resource document to support use of the tools.

For more information, contact Katie Pahigiannis.                 


This toolkit describes and provides specific resources to support three key phases of adding new program components into existing services:

  • Ready guides programs through steps to prepare for program changes
  • Set helps programs create a foundation and put things in place for successful implementation
  • Go aids programs in implementation and continual learning

Two Impact Reports Published from Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) Evaluation

Explore two impact reports from the Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS): the one-year impact findings of MotherWise, a healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) program designed to serve expectant and new mothers with low incomes in Denver, Colorado and the one-year impact findings from the Empowering Families healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) program, which integrated economic stability services with HMRE content for couples with low incomes raising children together. In addition to describing the programs’ impacts after one year, the reports also provide information on program implementation and costs and document the study methods.

For more information, contact Samantha Illangasekare.


Considerations for programs working with pregnant or parenting mothers:

  • Relationship outcomes may take longer than one year post-enrollment to unfold, and these may be harder constructs to target at the individual level
  • Serving mothers during particular life points such as during pregnancy or just after child birth may make them more receptive to learning about healthy relationships

Considerations for programs working with adult couples:

  • Programs should consider integrating relationship education and financial literacy into the core HMRE programming couples jointly receive
  • Lowering economic stress may make it easier for couples to absorb and apply relationship education information received from the program
  • Teaching couples how to better communicate with one another may result in couples being better able to jointly manage their finances and reduce family’s economic hardships

Final Reports in the 2015-2020 Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grantee Cohort from the Fatherhood and Marriage Local Evaluation (FaMLE) and Cross-Site Project

Explore four new reports from the Fatherhood and Marriage Local Evaluation (FaMLE) and Cross-Site Project that present final results of the analysis of the 2015 cohort of Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grantees using nFORM data. Separate reports summarize findings for healthy marriage grantees serving adults, healthy marriage grantees serving youth, and responsible fatherhood grantees, along with an overarching technical appendix which includes supplementary findings. The reports address how grantees reached potential clients, the services they provided, how they supported staff, the challenges they faced in implementing their programs, the characteristics of the clients they served, and how clients changed from the beginning to the end of the program.

For more information, contact Katie Pahigiannis or Pooja Curtin.


In a recent community forum, members of the FaMLE and Cross-Site Project team showcased the results from the final cross-site analysis of nFORM data from the 2015 HMRF grantee cohort. Research and program experts discussed the findings and their implications for HMRF programs and the field more broadly. The recording and presentation slides can be found here.


Highlights from the Second Meeting of the FRAMING Research Project’s Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Technical Work Groups

Explore highlights from OPRE's second FRAMING Research Technical Workgroup (TWG) convenings, which brought together research and practice experts to discuss healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) and responsible fatherhood (RF) programming, research, and evaluation. The HMRE TWG report summarizes their discussion of the challenges of implementing HMRE programs for youth and individual adults, building the evidence base for the effectiveness of these programs, and five top priorities they identified for future work. The RF TWG report summarizes their discussion of implementation and impacts of programs designed to improve the economic stability of fathers with a history of criminal justice involvement, barriers these fathers face in trying to be involved fathers, and ways programs can help fathers overcome these barriers. The RF TWG also identified four top priorities for future work.

For more information, contact Kriti Jain or Samantha Illangasekare.          

The purpose of this newsletter is to connect with researchers, curriculum developers, practitioners, service providers, and other community partners or collaborators to share knowledge about Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) research and evaluation.

This newsletter adds to the sources of information that exist on HMRF programs, services, curricula, and practices by specifically focusing on research and evaluation conducted by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in conjunction with the Office of Family Assistance (OFA), both within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

For more information about OPRE’s HMRF research and evaluation portfolio, please contact


Candidates for IFS Friday Fifty




Latina teenagers in United States spend more time with parents and siblings than do other teenagers

Elizabeth Ackert and Jocelyn Wikle

3. NCFR Call for Papers — The Science of Families: Nurturing Hope, Happiness, & Health

Special Section of Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Science

4. How Is Your Marriage?

Kevin A. Thompson

5. The life-long psychological effects your first love has on you

Jaimee Bell

6. Black children and adolescents can achieve greater heights with research-informed policies and practices

Mavis Sanders, Joy Thompson, Kristen Harper

7. Engaging Community Members in Evaluations of Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Programs

8. A Call to Connection

Casper ter Kuile with Angie Thurston, Sue Phillips, and Derrick Scott IIl

9. Marriage in the US today

10. Addressing the national mental health crisis: Opportunities and challenges

Webcast Wednesday, Apr 06, 2022, 2:30 PM EDT - 4:00 PM EDT


Candidates for IFS Friday Five #414 (Elite 8 edition)

1. Socioeconomic Factors and Differences in Forming and Maintaining Marriages and Cohabitations

Paul Hemez, Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Kasey Eickmeyer, Susan L. Brown, Wendy D. Manning, and Krista K. Payne

2. Talking to Kids You Love - 3 - Empathic Listening


Exploring Community Member Engagement in the Evaluation of HMRF Programs

This report from the Fatherhood, Relationships, and Marriage – Illuminating the Next Generation of Research (FRAMING Research) project provides practical guidance to Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) researchers on how to engage community members in designing and conducting evaluations of HMRF programs. It includes common frameworks for engaging community members in research, strategies that HMRF researchers can use to apply these frameworks, challenges that could affect researchers’ ability to implement these engagement strategies, and some possible solutions to those challenges.

Read the Report >


Making Evaluations Rigorous and Relevant: The Role of Active Engagement in Developing Learning Agendas for the Division of Family Strengthening

4. Episode 4: Married to a partner struggling with their mental health


New Findings May Offer Insight for Interventions to Strengthen Long Term Marriage Stability for People with Traumatic Brain Injury

5. Marriage backlog forcing couples to defer or relocate weddings

Joanne Hunt

6. This is What Children Need Most to Thrive

Posted by Christopher A. Brown

7. Income assistance, marriage, and child poverty: An assessment of the Family Security Act

8. Is your marriage driving you to eat?

by: Karen Owoc


Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. Call for Papers: The Discipline of Family Science

Special Issue in Marriage & Family Review

2. Why Does the Richest Country in the World Have So Many Poor Kids? (Update)

3. Artificial intelligence reveals these 2 key factors predict if your marriage is doomed

John Anderer

4. Canada saw the lowest number of divorces in 2020 since 1973: report

By Gabby Calugay-Casuga

6. Why Fatherhood Turns Men Into Better People

Ben Schwencke


Coparenting and Healthy Relationship and Marriage Education for Dads (CHaRMED): Results from a Qualitative Study of Staff and Participant Experiences in Nine Fatherhood Programs

7. California among states with the lowest marriage rates

8. Falling In Love Again With Your Spouse: Dr. Alicia M. Walker On 5 Things You Need To Rekindle Love In A Marriage That Has Gone Cold

An Interview With Brett Lovett

9. State Minimum Wage Increases Delay Marriage and Reduce Divorce Among Low-Wage Households

10. Marriage could lead to a longer life according to the stats

Tommy Lumby, Ashley Summerfield


Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. Why the act of marriage makes a difference

Harry Benson

2. Fatherhood initiative to boost mentorship programs heads to Gov. DeSantis’ desk

3. Can you study your way to a healthy marriage?

Lois M. Collins

4. Within-Couple Associations Between Communication and Relationship Satisfaction Over Time

Matthew D. Johnson, Justin A. Lavner, Marcus Mund, .

5. Date Nights & Annoying Quirks

Johanna Hicks, Texas AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent

6. Minority military families face challenges; Blue Star recommends action steps

By Paul Lara

7. Nearly 4,000 couples have been married during Russian invasion, Ukraine government says

8. Developing Strategies to Address Implementation Challenges Facing Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Grantees

9. New grant funds outreach in three areas of marriage ministry

by Joe Bollig

10. War, Crisis, Tragedy: How to talk with kids when the news is scary

Anya Kamenetz and Cory Turner

11. Call for Proposals: 2022 FLE Summit

Evolving Best Practices in Family Life Education

12. How toddler-mother attachment impacts adolescent brain and behavior

Marianne Stein


Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic for Supporting Fathers’ Relationships in Fatherhood Programs


Introducing the National African American Child and Family Research Center


Text Message Reminders and Their Impact on Attendance at Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Workshops

2. Largely unseen and unsupported, huge numbers of student fathers are quitting college


3.  The Puzzle of Falling US Birth Rates since the Great Recession ■ 

4. Siblings of Children With Disabilities May Have Greater Cognitive Empathy

Society for Research in Child Development

5. Households With Children That Struggled to Cover Household Expenses Were at Least Twice as Likely to Rely on CTC


6. Study reveals positive benefits of marriage for men

Jennifer Lee

7. On Paid Leave, Listening to Parents | Opinions

 by Jeff Salle

8. Can a video game be as good for my marriage as family therapy? Not this one

Dominik Diamond

9. Why C.S. Lewis Married the Same Woman Twice

10.  11 couples inducted in Wisconsin Marriage Hall of Fame


Candidates for IFS Friday Five




Explore an Evidence and Gaps Map on the Effectiveness of Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programs for Youth

This brief from the Fatherhood, Relationships, and Marriage – Illuminating the Next Generation of Research (FRAMING Research) project summarizes the impact literature on healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programs for youth. The brief describes HMRE programs for youth, highlights what is known about the effectiveness of these programs from studies of HMRE programs for youth that measured program effects relative to a comparison group, and shares implications for future research on HMRE programs for youth. It uses an interactive evidence and gaps map to depict what each study found for each outcome, which allows the reader to quickly infer what is and is not known about the evidence for a given outcome.

Read the Brief >


4. China population: marriages fall in latest blow to Beijing’s push for couples to have more children

Luna Sun

5. Earmarked paternity leave increases parental wellbeing

Pontus Korsgren, Max Van Lent

6. Check out this marriage advice from 1933

Coronado, CA (we'll be biking to Point Loma on Thursday)

Skill-based programs for Catholic Marriage Initiatives

1. PREP, eprep, and CPREP/A Lasting Promise (ALP) (ALP program and/or ALP Book Study)

2. Relationship Enhancement (RE) Mastering the Mysteries of Love (MML)/ Becoming Love

and/or online program at (see Christian version)

3. Adventures in Marriage (AIM) and SAIM