The Effect of Communication Change on Long‐term Reductions in Child Exposure to Conflict: Impact of the Promoting Strong African American Families (ProSAAF) Program

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Beach, Steven
Barton, Allen
Lei, Man Kit
Brody, Gene
Hurt, Tera
Fincham, Frank
Stanley, Scott
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Jordan (Hurt), Tera
Assistant Provost for Faculty Success
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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.

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

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African American couples (n = 331) with children, 89% of whom were married, were assigned to either (a) a culturally sensitive couple‐ and parenting‐enhancement program (ProSAAF) or (b) an information‐only control condition in which couples received self‐help materials. Husbands averaged 41 years of age and wives averaged 39 years. We found significant effects of program participation in the short term on couple communication, which was targeted by the intervention, as well as over the long term, on self‐reported arguing in front of children. Long‐term parenting outcomes were fully mediated by changes in communication for wives, but not for husbands. For husbands, positive change depended on amount of wife reported change. We conclude that wives' changes in communication from baseline to posttest may be more pivotal for the couples' long‐term experience of decreased arguing in front of children than are husbands' changes, with wives' changes leading to changes in both partners' reports of arguments in front of children.


This accepted article is published as Beach, S. R. H., Barton, A., Lei, M. K., Brody, G. H., Kogan, S. M., Hurt, T. R., Fincham, F. D., & Stanley, S. M. (2014). The effect of communication change on long-term reductions in child exposure to conflict: Impact of the Promoting Strong African American Families (ProSAAF) Program. Family Process, 53 (4), 580-595. doi: 10.1111/famp.12085. Posted with permission.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2014