Financial Stability, Depressive Symptomatology, and Relationship Satisfaction: Findings from a Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Program



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African Americans and Hispanics represent the two largest minority groups in the United States, and they fare worse in key measures of relationship satisfaction, including marriage and divorce rates, cohabitation, and the age of first marriage. The implications of a satisfying relationship have far reaching effects, especially on the outcomes for children and rates of poverty. The purpose of this dissertation study is to explore whether participation in a federally funded Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) program impacts relationship satisfaction in a sample of African American and Hispanic adults, and if financial stability and depressive symptomatology influence relationship satisfaction. Empowerment theory was utilized as a lens for understanding how a government funded program can support an individual’s ability to improve their relationship by overcoming psychological, organizational, and community barriers. This study is a secondary data analysis based on a subset of data from a five year, federally funded grant by the Administration of Children and Families. The sample (N=278) includes African American and Hispanic adults who identified as being in a relationship. Bivariate tests were used to assess the relationship between the variables in this study and logistic regression analyses were conducted to explore the impact of participation in a HMRE program on relationship satisfaction, along with the influences of financial stability and depressive symptomatology on relationship satisfaction among treatment participants over time. Findings from this study were not significant. Limitations related to measurement, response bias and operationalization are discussed as well as implications for future research, policy and social work practice.



Relationship Satisfaction, Depression, Financial Stability