RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION YIELDS BROAD IMPACT
ON FAMILIES, REVEALS RESEARCH BY
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS CALIFORNIA
Many Participate in Relationship Education to Improve Their
Parent-Child Relationship, Rather than a Romantic Partnership
San Diego, CA—April 13, 2016—In the midst of this year’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Healthy Relationships California (HRC) has published research findings that demonstrate how Relationship Education (RE) can improve parent-child relationships and decrease the chances of hostile behavior occurring in the home.
“Strengthening Family Ties: How Relationship Education Benefits the Parent-Child Relationship” looks at the intersection of data from adult and adolescent participants in RE programs offered by HRC between 2013 and 2015.
Read the full study here: http://www.relationshipsca.org/store/free-resources?product_id=203
Instead of focusing on a romantic relationship as might be expected, a number of adults and nearly half of the adolescents in the study focused on the impact of RE on the relationship with their child or parent, respectively.
Parents reported significant increases in:
- Satisfaction with their relationship with their child;
- Communication skills they used when speaking to their child; and
- Confidence and knowledge of how to use communication skills and problem-solving skills with their child.
- Improved conflict resolution skills when they had disagreements with their parents;
- More positive interactions and fewer hostile interactions with their parents; and
- Increased use of healthy communication skills in the day-to-day relationships with their parents.
“The exciting upshot of this data is a broader impact on the family system than would traditionally be expected from Relationship Education programs, even during what are typically characterized as difficult years between parents and teens,” observes HRC President Patty Howell. “While many understand how RE programs are beneficial in helping couples overcome challenges in their relationships, and in helping teens form healthy dating habits, these data reveal an unanticipated power of RE to improve relationships throughout the family system. And, they show how important it is to educate the public on what RE can do to help families break cycles of hostility and negativity.”
Positive behaviors that increased between parents and their teens after RE include:
- Remaining calm and resolving conflicts in a mutually satisfying way;
- Showing appreciation for each other;
- Expressing love and affection;
Hostile behaviors that saw a decrease after RE include:
- Yelling and screaming;
- Using threats and insults;
- Withholding affection.
Healthy Relationships California (http://www.relationshipsca.org/) offers Relationship Education courses through local Partnering Organizations along the West Coast, and has served over 200,000 individuals in evidence-based RE curricula over the past ten years.