Pro-marriage initiatives win enthusiastic survey support -7/12/02
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Wed Jul 17 22:33:12 EDT 2002
subject: Pro-marriage initiatives win enthusiastic survey support -7/12/02
from: Smart Marriages
Pro-marriage initiatives win enthusiastic survey support
By Cheryl Wetzstein
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
July 12, 2002
More than 70 percent of Oklahoma welfare recipients say they would
consider going to relationship-education classes - a "huge endorsement" for
government efforts to promote marriage, says an author of a groundbreaking
state survey on marriage and divorce released yesterday.
The Oklahoma Marriage Initiative's new survey "has national implications,"
said Scott M. Stanley, co-director of the Center for Marital and Family
Studies at the University of Denver and one of seven authors of the study.
One of the big issues in welfare reform is whether government should
fund programs that specifically promote healthy marriages, Mr. Stanley said.
The Oklahoma survey addressed this when it asked 2,323 adults,
including 303 Medicaid clients, about their views of marriage, divorce and
cohabiting, he said.
It found that 85 percent of Oklahomans think a statewide effort to
promote marriage and reduce divorce is a "good" or "very good" idea; 66
percent would consider going to relationship-education classes.
These results - which also showed that 72 percent of Medicaid clients
would consider taking relationship classes - are a "huge endorsement" of
marriage education by people, regardless of their marital status, racial
group or income level, Mr. Stanley said.
The Oklahoma survey was released at the Smart Marriages, Happy Families
Conference, sponsored by the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples
Education. The conference, which is the nation's largest gathering of
marriage specialists, continues today through Sunday at the Crystal Gateway
Marriott Hotel in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington.
Wade F. Horn, Health and Human Services assistant secretary for
children and families, said the Oklahoma survey contradicts reports that
there's "no evidence" that low-income couples have any interest in marriage
"Nearly three-quarters of low-income adults said, 'Yes, these are
services we would think about accessing,'" Mr. Horn said.
The Bush administration has proposed allocating up to $300 million a
year in welfare funds for programs that specifically promote healthy
marriages. The House passed such a measure in its welfare bill in May.
A Senate Finance Committee bill sets up a similar grant program, but
allows money to go for teen-pregnancy prevention, domestic-violence
prevention and other welfare services in addition to marriage education.
The Oklahoma Marriage Initiative was created in 1999 after Gov. Frank
Keating learned that Oklahoma's sluggish economy was linked to its high
divorce rate. Mr. Keating earmarked as much as $10 million of the state's
unused welfare funds for the marriage initiative.
Christine A. Johnson, director of the Oklahoma State University Bureau
for Social Research, said the marriage survey cost $150,000.
One of the Oklahoma survey's findings - that many unhappy married
couples who stick it out become happier - dovetails with another report on
divorce, released yesterday by the Institute for American Values.
The IAV report, "Does Divorce Make People Happy? Findings from a Study
of Unhappy Marriages," found that two-thirds of unhappy couples are happy
five years later if they don't divorce.
"We could find no evidence that divorce or separation typically made
adults happier than staying in an unhappy marriage," said lead author Linda
J. Waite, who will talk about the report today at the Smart Marriages
The Oklahoma study found that 34 percent of married couples had
seriously considered divorce. Of these still-married couples, 92 percent
said they were "glad they were still together."
"These are very parallel findings from different methodologies," said
Mr. Stanley, who also worked on the IAV paper. They show it's not true that
"once a marriage is down, it's out," he added. "There's a lot of people who
stuck it out and they're not miserable; they're happy."
All site contents copyright © 2002 News World Communications, Inc.
To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE, or change your address,
visit http://www.smartmarriages.com Click Newsletter. Enter your
address in the appropriate box and proceed.
This is a moderated list. Replies are read by Diane Sollee, editor. Please
indicate if your response is NOT to be shared with the list.
This newslist shares information on marriage, divorce and educational
approaches. Opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by members of the
Newsletter archive - to read ALL past posts to the newsletter:
6th annual Smart Marriages conference/Washington, DC
July 9 - 16, 2002 http://www.smartmarriages.com/conferencedetails.html
List your program in the Directory of Classes at www.smartmarriages.com
Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, LLC (CMFCE)
Diane Sollee, Director
5310 Belt Rd NW, Washington, DC 20015-1961
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
FAIR USE NOTICE: This e-newsletter contains copyrighted material the use of
which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We
make such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of
marriage, family, couples, divorce, legislation, family breakdown, etc. We
understand this constitutes a 'fair use' of such material as provided
for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17
U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit
to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included
information for research and educational purposes. For more information go
to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use
copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond
'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
More information about the SmartMarriages