Relationship advice from the government doesn’t help low-income couples – here’s what might
Justin Lavner, Benjamin Karney, and Thomas Bradbury write about their research on low income relationships published in Behavioral Science and Policy. Given past evidence that public relationship education programs did not significantly benefit couples living with low incomes, the authors ask what could help. They find that external challenges, particularly financial stress, may be bigger drivers of relationship satisfaction for low income couples than skills like healthy communication, the focus of the federally funded education programs. Their research suggests that programs and policies that assist low income couples with child care, finances, or job training may be more effective at helping to relieve stress directly and make space for healthy relationship management.
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