○ 100 million dollars per year was earmarked for improving marital outcomes in low-income families. ○ Assumptions: ■ Children would be better off if they were raised by two, married, biological parents. ■ We know how to increase healthy marriage among low-income parents. ■ Government has a legitimate role in trying to influence parents marital behavior.
● These programs overwhelmingly failed ○ Did not improve marital outcome (no evidence) ○ Assumed couples did not value marriage (especially low-income couples) ■ Found that they valued marriage more than higher-income couples. ○ Outside pressures predicted success of marriage ■ The stress of having a low-income affected their marriages Intervention, Health, and Stress ● A Test of Interventions ○ The Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) ■ Improve communication and commitment ○ Compassionate and Accepting Relationships through Empathy (CARE) Program ■ Uses and ICBT approach to improve acceptance and empathy ○ Relationship Awareness ■ Focuses on the motivation to use the skills they have ○ No treatment ● After Three Years ○ 16.3% of couples had broken up ○ Which group fared the worst? ■ No treatment: 24% ○ Which group fared the best? ■ It was a tie! 11% ● Acute and Chronic Stress ○ We think of stress as a negative thing ■ A feeling of anxiety ■ Not doing your best ○ Acute stress is useful because we want to respond to stressors ■ Diagnosed with an illness- you want to deal with it ASAP ■ Exams- you want to take responsibility in order to be successful ■ It can be adaptive ○ When stressors become chronic, you become furious, but you cannot really deal with it ○ Chronic stress is less manageable and is more detrimental to people’s health ■ The situation cannot be resolved ● Two Route Model of Stress Effects ○ Route 1: The content of the relationship ○ Route 2: Response to relationship problems ○ Stress gives rise to marital problems and marital satisfaction ○ Stress = poor responses to marital issues, marital satisfaction ○ Stress disrupts ability to communicate effectively ● Social Support ○ The existence of social relationships ■ Social support can intervene with your stress and make you feel better ○ The structure of one’s social networks ○ Enacted social support ■ Actual instances of social support ● What is Enacted Support? ○ Fulfillment of fundamental needs by other people ○ Aid in response to stressful life events ● Paradox of Social Support
○ Perceived support ■ The idea that support is available to one in the future and has been available in the past ○ Enacted or received support ■ A single instance of support ■ Ex: care package for finals ○ The paradox of social support ■ Perceived support is associated with very positive outcomes, but actual support is associated with negative outcomes, in particular negative mood
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- Spring '08