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Nov 22

The Forever Initiative: A Feasible Public Policy Agenda to Help Couples Form and Sustain Healthy Marriages and Relationships

In The Forever Initiative, Alan Hawkins calls for more state-directed public support for a series of educational efforts to help individuals and couples form healthy relationships and enduring marriages. He outlines an integrated set of feasible and affordable educational initiatives across the early life course, beginning in youth, continuing in early adulthood, during cohabitation, engagement, and through the early years of marriage, as well as for couples at the crossroads of divorce. While the causes of family instability are many and deep, Hawkins reviews the early, encouraging evidence that these kinds of educational initiatives can help to strengthen relationships and increase family stability. He argues that this public policy agenda of educational initiatives can make more young people today better drivers of their romantic relationships, more competent at avoiding destructive detours, and more capable of achieving their marital aspirations. 

Alan J. Hawkins is a Professor of Family Life at Brigham Young University. He earned his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University and has taught and conducted research and outreach at BYU since 1990. In 2003-2004, he was a Visiting Scholar with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services), working on the federal healthy marriage initiative. Hawkins was the Research Director of the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center from 2004-2006 and Chair of the Utah Healthy Marriage Initiative from 2008-2010. He is a member of the Research Advisory Group of the Oklahoma Healthy Marriage Initiative.

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Alan J. Hawkins
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