Ncfr the National Council on Family Relations Essay

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NCFR

The National Council on Family Relations places a high degree of emphasis on the development of quality policy and programs. Methodical and research-based program development in particularly important, evidenced by the tenth major content area on Family Life Education Methodology (NCFR, 2011). This content area refers to program effectiveness, measured by various established qualitative and quantitative means. It also refers to program progress and effectiveness specific to target populations. Education techniques, ongoing assessments, and sensitivity training needs are also taken into account by this provision of the NCFR (2011). Finally, public relations are becoming increasingly important to the practice of family research, family counseling, and family law. Policy and program development are core applications. Therefore, this content area is of the utmost importance. Recent research validates the NCFR (2011) provision as follows.

Fawsett, E.B., Hawkins, A.J. Blanchard, V.L. & Carroll, J.S. (2010). Do premarital education programs really work? A meta-analytic study. Family Relations 59(3): 232-239.

Pre-marital counseling has been suggested as a program to be more widely implemented in the interests of family and community health. This article provides a systematic review and meta-analysis of premarital education programs. The problem with the research is that it does not take ethnic, religious, and cultural variables enough into account. The strength of the research, however, is that it reflects the NCFR (2011) content area emphasis on the development of effective programs and public policies related to family practice.

The meta-analysis shows that results of pre-marital counseling are mixed, showing that there may be no need to promote such programs in the future. Program development is
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costly, making the decision of whether or not to implement a program a valuable one. More importantly, program development needs to be based on evidence and research, and that is why the Fawsett, et al. (2010) study is of particular note for researchers and program developers. If there is no clear reason to implement widespread pre-marital counseling programs, then those programs will remain part of the optional guides for practitioners. Yet these programs might have specific benefits on target populations. This is why more research should clarify which programs improve which families and whether ethnic and other cultural variables are important factors in the success rates.

Furthermore, it is important to have reliable measures of success. The meta-analysis must involve different types of programs and measures of their success. Future research should be more focused and specific to provide tangible evidence that program development and public policy should follow from research. Premarital education is a good idea in theory, but unless the programs are made available to a broad population via free or inexpensive counseling, the implementation issues will outweigh the potential benefits of intervention.

2. Blanchard, V.L., Hawkins, A.J.; Baldwin, S.A. & Fawcett, E.B. (2009). Investigating the effects of marriage and relationship education on couples' communication skills: A meta-analytic study. Journal of Family Psychology 23(2), Apr 2009, 203-214

This research is a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of various types of marital and relationship counseling programs. The researchers focus on one dependent variable, which is communications skills. However, the researchers do not focus on one specific independent variable and include multiple forms of marital…

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References

Blanchard, V.L., Hawkins, A.J.; Baldwin, S.A. & Fawcett, E.B. (2009). Investigating the effects of marriage and relationship education on couples' communication skills: A meta-analytic study. Journal of Family Psychology 23(2), Apr 2009, 203-214.

Fawsett, E.B., Hawkins, A.J., Blanchard, V.L. & Carroll, J.S. (2010). Do premarital education programs really work? A meta-analytic study. Family Relations 59(3): 232-239.

Ghysels, J. (2011). The unequal benefits of activation: an analysis of the social distribution of family policy among families with young children. Journal of European Social Policy 21(5): 472-485.

NCFR (2011). Family life education content areas. Retrieved online: http://www.ncfr.org/sites/default/files/downloads/news/FLE_Content_Areas_2011.pdf

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