Family Development

Journal Articles for Couples & Families

We invite you to take a look at our list of journal articles. We have provided articles on the topic of couples & families and how it effects and connects to the unique needs and situations of military children, couples, and families. Each title is linked to a web page that has more information on how to obtain this literature. Feel free to contact us if you have others to recommend so we can add to our growing list.

Couples & Families

Anderson, J., Stith, S., Johnson, M., Strachman-Miller, M., Amanor-Boadu, Y., & Linkh, D. (2013). Multi-couple group and self-directed PREP formats enhance relationship satisfaction and improve anger management skills in air force couples. American Journal of Family Therapy, 41(2), 121-133.
This study examined the effectiveness of delivering the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) to volunteer couples in the U.S. Air Force in either a six-week instructional multi-couple group condition or a self-directed book condition.

Bodovski, K., & Youn, M. (2010). Love, discipline and elementary school achievement: The role of family emotional climate. Social Science Research, 39, 585-595.
Using structural equation modeling we examined the determinants of family emotional climate and its long-term impact on children’s academic achievement and classroom behavior at the end of 5th grade. We employed the ECLS-K data—a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. elementary school students.

Brooks-Gunn, J., & Markman, L.B. (2005). The contribution of parenting to ethnic and racial gaps in school readiness. The Future of Children, 15(1), 139-168.
The authors describe various parenting behaviors, such as nurturance, discipline, teaching, and language use, and explain how researchers measure them. They note racial and ethnic variations in several behaviors.

Halford, K. W., Sanders, M. R., & Behrens, B. C. (2001). Can skills training prevent relationship problems in at-risk couples? Four-year effects of a behavioral relationship education program. Journal of Family Psychology, 15, 750–768.
Eighty-three couples were stratified into groups at high and low risk for relationship distress and randomized to either the Self-Regulatory Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (Self-PREP) or a control condition. As predicted, there were differential effects of Self-PREP on high-risk and low-risk couples.

Hair, E., Halle, T., Terry-Humen, E., Lavelle, B., & Calkins, J. (2006). Children’s school readiness in the ECLS-K: Predictions to academic, health, and social outcomes in first grade. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 21, 431-454.
Two studies examine patterns of school readiness in children at school entry and how these patterns predict first-grade outcomes in a nationally representative sample of first-time kindergartners from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study — Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 (N = 17,219).

Harris, V.W. (2012a). Nine important communication skills for every relationship. Gainesville, FL: Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
Effective communication is critical to successful relationships. Researchers and therapists have found at least nine skills that can help couples learn to talk effectively about important issues (Gottman 1994; Markman, Stanley, and Blumberg 2010; Schramm and Harris 2011). How we interact about issues such as time spent together/apart, money, health, gender differences, children, family, friends, commitment, trust, and intimacy affects our ability to develop and maintain lasting marital friendships.

Harris, V.W. (2012b). Ten rules for constructive conflict. Gainesville, FL: Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
“We’re all dysfunctional. So get over it!” says a bumper sticker that has become commonplace in some areas of the United States. Two steps to ongoing relationship growth and development are 1) to become aware of our own dysfunctions and 2) to root out and overcome as many of our dysfunctions as we can by gaining the knowledge and skills to build healthy relationships.

Hawkins, A. J., Stanley, S. M., Cowan, P.A., et al. (2013). A more optimistic perspective on government-supported marriage and relationship education programs for lower-income couples. The American Psychologist, 68(2), 110-111.
It is important to challenge some of Johnson’s points about the effectiveness and reach of interventions to lower-income couples and couples of color and his suggested prioritization of basic over applied research. With emerging findings and practical knowledge gained in lower income communities from all across the United States over the past decade, we see evidence to support optimism for the potential utility of marriage and relationship education (MRE) programs to help disadvantaged and minority couples.

Johnson, M. D. (2012). Healthy marriage initiatives: On the need for empiricism in policy implementation. The American Psychologist, 67(4), 296-308.
The association between marriage and well-being has led to policies that promote marital interventions and discourage divorce. These include federal initiatives specifically targeting poor couples and couples of color.

Linver, M.R., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Kohen, D.E. (2002). Family processes as pathways from income to young children’s development. Developmental Psychology, 38(5), 719-734.
A variety of family processes have been hypothesized to mediate associations between income and young children’s development. Maternal emotional distress, parental authoritative and authoritarian behavior (videotaped mother-child interactions), and provision of cognitively stimulating activities (Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment [HOME] scales) were examined as possible mediators in a sample of 493 White and African American low-birth-weight premature infants who were followed from birth through age 5.

Melvin, K.C., Gross, D., Hayat, M.J., Jennings, B.M., & Campbell, J.C. (2012). Couple functioning and post-traumatic stress symptoms in US army couples: The role of resilience. Research in Nursing & Health, 35(2), 164-177.
The purpose of this study was to investigate combat-related post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and couple relationships in Army couples. US Army combat veteran couples (N = 66 couples) completed self-report questionnaires on couple functioning, coercion, resilience, and PTSS. In 23% of the couples (n = 15), both members had PTSS above the clinical cut-off for suspected Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Morris, A.S., Silk, J.S., Steinberg, L., Myers, S.S., & Robinson, L.R. (2007). The role of the family context in the development of emotion regulation. Social Development, 16(2), 361-388.
This article reviews current literature examining associations between components of the family context and children and adolescents’ emotion regulation (ER). The review is organized around a tripartite model of familial influence.

Negrusa, S., Negrusa, B. & Hosek, J. (2013) Gone to war: have deployments increased divorces?. Journal of Population Economics, September. doi: 10.1007/s00148-013-0485-5
Owing to the armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, members of the US military have experienced very high rates of deployment overseas. Because military personnel have little to no control over their deployments, the military setting offers a unique opportunity to study the causal effect of major disruptions on marital dissolution.

Roberts, Y.H., Campbell, C.A., Ferguson, M., & Crusto, C.A. (2013). The role of parenting stress in young children’s mental health functioning after exposure to family violence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 26(5), 605-612.
This study evaluates the associations of young children’s exposure to family violence events, parenting stress, and children’s mental health functioning. Caregivers provided data for 188 children ages 3 to 5 years attending Head Start programming. Caregivers reported 75% of children had experienced at least 1 type of traumatic event, and 27% of children had experienced a family violence event.

Stanley, S. M., Allen, E. S., Markman, H. J., Rhoades, G. K., & Prentice, D. (2010). Decreasing divorce in Army couples: Results from a randomized clinical trial using PREP for Strong Bonds. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 9, 149–160.
Findings from a large, randomized controlled trial of couple education are presented in this brief report. Married U.S. Army couples were assigned to either PREP for Strong Bonds (n = 248) delivered by U.S. Army chaplains or to a no-treatment control group (n = 228).