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Proposing Prosperity?Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America$
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Jennifer M. Randles

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231170307

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231170307.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 29 January 2020

“It’s Not Just Us”

“It’s Not Just Us”

Relationship Skills and Poverty’s Perpetual Problems

(p.169) 7 “It’s Not Just Us”
Proposing Prosperity?

Jennifer M. Randles

Columbia University Press

This chapter offers a unique perspective on the healthy marriage policy efficacy debate about whether relationship skills program work. Although Thriving Families classes did not change couples’ views of marriage or help their finances, parents did overwhelmingly find the classes useful. While couples’ economic challenges made it hard to practice the skills, they experienced the classes as a rare opportunity to communicate free of the material constraints that characterized their daily lives and romantic relationships. Hearing other low-income couples talk about their struggles with love and money also normalized parents’ intimate challenges and allowed them to better understand how relationship conflict and unfulfilled hopes for marriage are shaped by conditions of poverty.

Keywords:   poverty, communication skills, financial literacy, low-income couples, co-parenting, relationship quality

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