What is divorce education and does it work?
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Divorce education is a form of parent education. It is designed for parents who have experienced:
Changes in custody.
Divorce education emerged in the 1980s. It was a response to recognition that:
Some families experience poorer outcomes during or after divorce.
Improvements in parental knowledge and behavior change could improve outcomes.
Most states have court mandates related to parental education. Parents experiencing a divorce, separation, or custody change are often required to take education. The goal is to improve child and family outcomes.
As of 2013, Parents Forever was one of 20 Extension-based divorce education programs offered nationwide.
A meta-analysis conducted in 2011 by Fackrell, Hawkins and Kay found that:
Divorce education programs are moderately effective in improving outcomes for parents and families.
Programs need to test their effectiveness using more rigorous study designs. This would help the further bolster their claim of effectiveness.
Extension has evaluated Parents Forever™ for over a decade. Get more information on the Completed Parents Forever™ research and evaluation projects.
Fackrell, T. A., Hawkins, A. J., & Kay, N. M. (2011). How Effective Are Court-Affiliated Divorcing Parents Education Programs? A Meta-Analytic Study. Family Court Review, 49(1), 107–119.
Mulroy, M. T., Riffe, J., Brandon, D., Lo, Y. A., & Vaidyanath, H. (2013). Serving the Needs of Separating and Divorcing Families: A National Survey of Extension Parenting Education Programs and Resources. Journal of Extension, 51(2).