Can Strengthening Parenting Couples’ Relationships Reduce At-Risk Parenting Attitudes?

Document Type


Publication Date



at-risk parenting, couple interventions, child abuse prevention, relationship education

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Low-income, unwed expectant or new parents are considered at risk of faulty parenting. This study examined whether participation in the 6-week Love’s Cradle relationship enhancement curriculum would also increase positive nonabusive parenting attitudes. Participants were 138 low-income, pregnant or postpartum adults representing 69 romantic dyads who were seeking relationship education. Measures assessed before and after the group intervention suggested statistically significant improvements in all areas of dyadic adjustment (consensus, satisfaction, cohesion, and affectional expression) and most parenting attitudes (empathy toward children’s needs, belief in corporal punishment, role responsibilities, and children’s power and independence). Subgroup analyses explored differences by gender, abuse history, and ethnicity resulting in implications for working with Hispanic couples, and for couples where the male has a history of childhood abuse. This suggested relationship between improving the quality of a couple’s relationship and a reduction in potentially abusive parenting may have implications for strengthening families.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Family Journal, v. 21, issue 3, p. 306-312