Lucier-Greer, M., Adler-Baeder, F., Ketring, S., Harcourt, K.T., Smith, T. (2012). Comparing the experiences of couples in first marriages and remarriages in couple and relationship education. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 53, 55-75.

Abstract: This study examines a diverse sample of married individuals in the context of couple and relationship education. Differences and similarities in participant well-being at baseline and overtime were examined among individuals in first marriages and various types of remarriages utilizing measures of individual, couple, and parental functioning. Results indicate that individuals in first marriages and those in different types of remarriages appear to report similar levels of marital functioning initially and appear to benefit similarly from CRE classes.

Gregson, K., Adler-Baeder, F., Parham, R., Ketring, S., Smith, T. (2012). Couple and relationship education: Does curriculum matter for men? The Forum of Family and Consumer Issues, 17, (2).

Abstract: Differences in change patterns based on three specific couple and relationship education (CRE) curricula (Mastering the Mysteries of Love [MML], Together We Can [TWC], and Black Marriage Education [BME]) are examined among male participants. As a whole, men who participated in CRE demonstrated increases in targeted relational, individual, and parenting outcomes. Nevertheless, male participants in specific curricula showed differential change patterns.

Adler-Baeder, F., Bradford, A., Skuban, E., Lucier-Greer, M., Ketring, S., & Smith, T. (2010). Demographic predictors of relationship/marriage education participants’ pre- and post-program relational and individual functioning. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 9(2), 113-132. doi: 10.1080/15332691003694885

Abstract: The current study examines whether race, income, marital status, and attendance status (i.e., attend with partner or singly) predicted baseline levels and change in a broad range of indicators of individual functioning, couple functioning, and confidence in one’s relationship for men and women. Results indicated higher income was associated with higher entry levels in all three target areas, race predicted unique variance in individual functioning, and marital status and attendance status predicted unique variance in relational targets.

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Rauer, A. J., Adler-Baeder, F., Lucier-Greer, M., Skuban, E. M., Ketring, S. A., Smith, T. (2014). Exploring processes of change in couple relationship education: Predictors of change in relationship quality. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 1, 65-76.

Abstract: The current study drew upon assumptions from social–cognitive and behavioral theories that are implicit in CRE design to assess the influence of short-term changes from pre- to posttreatment in behaviors and commitment on changes in relationship quality among a racially and economically diverse group of CRE participants. Findings indicated that the best-fitting model for both men and women was one in which changes in behaviors predicted changes in relationship quality via their influence on changes in commitment.

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Adler-Baeder, F., Calligas, A., Skuban, E., Keiley, M., Ketring, S., Smith, T. (2013). Linking changes in couple functioning and parenting among couple relationship education participants. Family Relations, 62, (2), 284-297.

Abstract: Utilizing a systems theory framework and empirical linkages between couple functioning and parenting, this study examined the extent to which several parenting dimensions change after CRE participation and, importantly, whether and how these changes are related to changes in dimensions of couple functioning. Positive changes were found in the parenting dimensions over time. In addition, levels of change in the couple domain were associated with levels of changes in the parenting domain over the same period of time.

Lucier-Greer, M., Ketring, S., Adler-Baeder, F., Bradford, A., & Smith, T. (2012). Malleability of gender role attitudes and gendered messages in couple and relationship education. Family and Consumer Science Research Journal, 41, 4-17.

Abstract: This study examines whether and how couple and relationship education (CRE) influences gender role attitudes. This study found significant shifts in gender role attitudes reported by participants after engaging in CRE. Some shifts were more egalitarian; other shifts were more traditional.

Lucier-Greer, M., Adler-Baeder, F., Harcourt, K. T., & Gregson, K. (2014). Relationship education for stepcouples reporting relationship instability –Evaluation of the Smart Steps: Embrace the Journey curriculum. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, 1-16.

Abstract: This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Smart Steps: Embrace the Journey curriculum with 151 individuals in relationally less stable stepcouple relationships who either engaged in the Smart Steps curriculum (n = 97) or were part of the comparison group (n = 54). Results indicated that those who participated in Smart Steps reported significant increases in individual empowerment, couple quality, family harmony, and parenting efficacy while these measures were unchanged for those who did not receive the program.

Bradford, A. B., Adler-Baeder, F., Ketring, S. A., Bub, K. L., Pittman, J. F., Smith, T. A. (2014). Relationship quality and depressed affect among a diverse sample of relationally unstable relationship education participants. Family Relations, 63, 2, 219-231.

Abstract: Using 250 ethnically diverse couples in community CRE classes, the authors found that relationally unstable participants of CRE report improvements in depressed affect and relationship quality after program participation. Additionally, decreased depressed affect predicted increased relationship quality, not vice versa, and there were no differences by sex.

McGill, J. M., Burke, L. K., & Adler-Baeder, F. (2020). The dyadic influences of mindfulness on relationship functioning. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Abstract: Using family stress and coping theory, the current study assessed dyadic influences of specific facets of mindfulness (nonreactivity, acting with awareness, and nonjudgment), accounting for stress levels, on relationship quality and sexual satisfaction in an ethnically and economically diverse sample of 847 married and unmarried heterosexual couples. Results from actor–partner interdependence models indicated a positive association between one’s own report and partners’ report of nonreactivity and one’s own reports of relationship quality for both men and women. Men’s and women’s acting with awareness was associated with women’s sexual satisfaction. Nonjudgment was not uniquely associated with one’s own or one’s partner’s relationship quality or sexual satisfaction. Since the majority of research on mindfulness and relationship quality uses broad global measures of mindfulness, this study provides novel information on the comparative strength of dimensions of mindfulness on distinct areas of couple functioning using a dyadic approach. Suggestions for future work and implications for research and practice are discussed.

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Kirkland, C.L., Skuban, E., Adler-Baeder, F., Ketring, S.A., Smith, T., Bradford, A., & Lucier Greer, M. (in press). The effects of parent participation in relationship/marriage education on coparenting and children’s social skills: Examining rural minorities’ experiences. Early Childhood Research & Practice.

Abstract: This research brief provides information on an ongoing novel study of Head Start parents and their children. Relationship education participants demonstrate better couple and co-parenting dynamics and relationship quality than the control participants in the area of co-parenting disagreements and reports of preschool children’s social competence.

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Bradford, A.B., Adler-Baeder, F.,. Ketring, S.A., and Smith, T.A. (in press). The role of Participant-facilitator demographic match in couple and relationship education. Family Relations.

Abstract: This study examines the relationship between participant-facilitator demographic match of ethnicity, sex, education, and relationship status on reported facilitator quality and program outcomes, as well as the relationship between facilitator quality and program outcomes. Results indicated that sex match was related to facilitator quality and that facilitator quality was related to program outcomes.

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Adler-Baeder, F., Russell, C., Kerpelman, J., Pittman, J., Ketring, S., Smith, T., Lucier-Greer, M., Bradford, A., & Stringer, K. (2010). Thriving in stepfamilies: Exploring competence and well-being among African American youth in nuclear and stepfamilies. Journal of Adolescent Health, 46(4), 396-398. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.10.014

Abstract: Although scholars conclude that children/adolescents in two-parent nuclear families have an advantage over those in stepfamilies, emerging evidence indicates that the experiences of African American youths have been overshadowed. In three replicated studies, we detected no differences on several important and commonly assessed well-being and competence indicators among samples of African American youth in two-parent nuclear and stepfamilies.

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Research by Dr. Francesca Adler-Baeder

Dr. Adler-Baeder is a Professor in the Human Sciences and Family Studies Department at Auburn University. Her email address is [email protected].

Lucier-Greer, M. & Adler-Baeder, F. (2011). An examination of gender role attitude change patterns among continuously married, divorced, and remarried individuals. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 52, 225-243. doi: 10.1080/10502556.2011.556977

Abstract: Gender role attitudes influence marital satisfaction and stability and are typically treated as stable traits in adulthood. Analyses from a longitudinal, nationally representative U.S. sample of 590 married individuals who vary in their marital experiences revealed both period effects and distinct within-group change patterns. Over a 20-year time period all demonstrate a shift toward more egalitarian attitudes.

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Adler-Baeder, F., Robertson, A., & Schramm, D.G. (2010). Community education programs serving couples in stepfamilies: A qualitative study of format, content, and service delivery. Journal of Extension, 48 (1).

Abstract: This article examines current efforts to provide community education programs for couples in stepfamilies. Results indicate that despite the prevalence of stepfamily couples in our communities and their unique needs in relationship programs, a dearth of current offerings exist.

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Adler-Baeder, F. Robertson, A., Schramm, D. G. (2010). Conceptual framework for Marriage Education programs for stepfamily couples with considerations for socioeconomic context. Marriage and Family Review, 46 (4), 300-322.

Abstract: This article builds on previous reviews that have offered information on important research themes and assessment of available curricula for stepfamily couples and presents a more comprehensive conceptual model to guide program design and services for stepfamily couples inclusive of specific objectives, as well as conditions and antecedents affecting content and prioritized needs.

Higginbotham, B. & Adler-Baeder, F. (2010). Enhancing knowledge and agreement among ethnically and economically diverse couples in stepfamilies with the Smart Steps: Embrace the Journey Program. Journal of Extension, 48 (1). Abstract: Because of unique challenges associated with stepfamily living, couples in stepfamilies have distinct educational needs. Results from 195 ethnically and economically diverse participants attending Smart Steps classes at 11 different sites suggest that Smart Steps is effective in enhancing knowledge and agreement on stepfamily issues such as finances, parenting, and co-parenting with ex-partners. View Publication Online Download Publication PDF

Adler-Baeder., F., Kerpelman, J., Higginbotham, B.,* Schramm, D.,* & Paulk, A.* (2007). The impact of relationship education on adolescents from diverse backgrounds. Family Relations, 56. 291-303.

Abstract: Using a quasi-experimental design, this study examined the effectiveness of an adapted version of the curriculum entitled, Love U2: Increasing Your Relationship Smarts with an economically, geographically, and racially diverse sample of 340 high school students. Findings suggest that participants showed increases in 5 dimensions of their relationship knowledge, including their ability to identify unhealthy relationship patterns.

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Adler-Baeder, F., Erickson, M. & Higginbotham, B.J. (2007). Marriage education for stepcouples. The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, 12 (1).

Abstract: From a review of the literature, we present prevalent issues and factors associated with healthy couple functioning in stepfamilies for marriage educators and practitioners. Information is offered on such implementation issues as guiding theoretical perspectives, program content, learning objectives, facilitator and participant characteristics, and recruitment for work with couples in stepfamilies.

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Adler-Baeder, F., Shirer, K., and Bradford, A. (2007). What’s love got to do with it? The role of healthy couple relationships. The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, 12 (1).

Abstract: With both the demand and the need for relationship and marriage education, consideration should be given to providing effective programming that is both research informed as well as research validated. The research clearly indicates the ways in which healthy couple/marital functioning benefits individuals, children, and communities. Conversely, unhealthy couple relationships and marriages are clearly linked, both directly and indirectly, to adverse individual, family, and community outcomes.

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Adler-Baeder, F. (2006). What Do We Know About the Physical Abuse of Stepchildren? A Review of the Literature. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 44(3). 67-82.

Abstract: Assumptions of the increased risk for stepchildren of physical abuse by a stepparent are based on a very limited and increasingly outdated literature. The following provides summaries of the studies’ research questions, theoretical foundations, methods, and findings.

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Adler-Baeder, F., Pittman, J., &Taylor, L. (2006). The prevalence of marital transitions among military families. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 44(1). 91-106. Abstract: Department of Defense (DoD) surveys were examined to develop a demographic profile of military families affected by divorce and remarriage. It appears that a substantial portion of military personnel have experienced divorce, are in remarriages, and have nonresidential children, particularly given the young average age of military personnel. Compared to the U.S. population, service members marry, divorce, and remarry earlier. View Publication Online Download Publication PDF