Family Relationships

Children benefit from healthy family relationships. MDRC designs and studies programs that seek to improve parenting skills and capabilities, build healthier couple relationships and marriages, and promote responsible fatherhood.

The Latest
Report

MIHOPE-Strong Start rigorously examined the effects of home visiting services, as provided by 66 local programs in 17 states, on outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant health care use. This final report details those effects as well as the services received by families in the programs.

Report

One in five U.S. children live in poverty. This review examines how children and parents think and feel about poverty and public benefits, as well as how families discuss their economic circumstances. Children report awareness of both material deprivation and stigma.

Key Documents
Report

Final Impacts from the Supporting Healthy Marriage Evaluation

Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) was a yearlong voluntary marriage education program to help strengthen couples’ relationships. SHM had small sustained positive effects on marital quality more than a year after the program ended but did not achieve its objectives of leading more couples to stay together or improving children’s well-being.

Brief

Past and ongoing research offers direction for how to strengthen the most basic foundation for early childhood development: family relationships. Part of our “Looking Forward” series, this policy memo makes the case for building on this accumulating evidence to create new and innovative approaches to support children’s earliest years and the unique role of fathers.

Report

Third Annual Report

MIHOPE-Strong Start is the largest random assignment study to date examining the effects of home visiting services on birth and health outcomes and health care use. This report describes a partial sample of 1,200 families, explores the priorities and practices of the study programs, and discusses program recruitment.