Determinants and Long‐Term Effects of Attendance Levels in a Marital Enrichment Program for African American Couples

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Barton, Allen
Beach, Steven
Hurt, Tera
Fincham, Frank
Stanley, Scott
Kogan, Steven
Brody, Gene
Major Professor
Committee Member
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Jordan (Hurt), Tera
Assistant Provost for Faculty Success
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Organizational Unit
Human Development and Family Studies

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies focuses on the interactions among individuals, families, and their resources and environments throughout their lifespans. It consists of three majors: Child, Adult, and Family Services (preparing students to work for agencies serving children, youth, adults, and families); Family Finance, Housing, and Policy (preparing students for work as financial counselors, insurance agents, loan-officers, lobbyists, policy experts, etc); and Early Childhood Education (preparing students to teach and work with young children and their families).


The Department of Human Development and Family Studies was formed in 1991 from the merger of the Department of Family Environment and the Department of Child Development.

Dates of Existence

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  • College of Human Sciences (parent college)
  • Department of Child Development (predecessor)
  • Department of Family Environment (predecessor)

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Although most efficacious marital enrichment programs are multisession, few studies have explored whether outcomes differ according to session attendance, particularly among minority groups with lower than average participation in prevention programs. This study therefore investigates attendance levels and long‐term improvements in couple functioning among 164 couples participating in the Promoting Strong African American Families program. Structural equation models indicated session attendance predicted 2‐year changes for men's reports of communication, commitment, and spousal support (marginally) but not for women's. Individual and couple characteristics that predicted attendance levels were also identified. Results highlight distinct gender differences in the effects of sustained attendance as well as characteristics that provide early identifiers for African American couples at increased risk of low program attendance.


This accepted article is published as Barton, A.W., Beach, S. R. H., Hurt, T.R., Fincham, F. D., Stanley, S. M., Kogan, S. M., & Brody, G. H. (2016). Determinants and long-term effects of attendance levels in a marital enrichment program for African American couples. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 42 (2), 272-287. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12126. Posted with permission.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2015