Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Martha E. Wadsworth, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Howard Markman

Third Advisor

Anne P. DePrince

Fourth Advisor

Galena Rhoades

Fifth Advisor

Jennifer Reich


Low-income families, Fatherhood Relationship and Marriage Education program, FRAME, Parent-child relationships


Poverty and economic hardship create tremendous stress for families, and subsequently are risk factors for child psychopathology. The Fatherhood, Relationship, and Marriage Education (FRAME) program is a 14-hour psychoeducation intervention developed specifically to strengthen the ability of low-income mothers and fathers to reduce conflict, cope with stress, and co-parent effectively, hopefully helping to create more stable and secure environments for children. The FRAME study is a randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of a couples-based intervention in a sample of 301 ethnically diverse low-income cohabiting mothers and fathers who are parenting at least one child together. Couples were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups or to an assessment-only control condition. The current research evaluated the impact of the intervention program on a range of parenting behaviors and child outcomes across four time points for both mothers and father, and examined relationships between economic strain and parenting, and parenting and symptoms of psychopathology across four time points. Hierarchical linear modeling was used for primary analyses. FRAME effectiveness results showed significant time by group interactions for Anxious/ Depressed and Thought Problems symptoms, as well as Parent-Child Positive Interaction, indicating improvements for intervention participants as opposed to controls, as well as a time by group by gender interactions indicating that mothers in the intervention groups reported the steepest decline for Anxious/Depressed symptoms and Internalizing Problems symptoms across all four time points. Economic strain was significantly related to a number of parenting difficulties, and parenting variables were significantly associated with symptoms of psychopathology for all participants across time. Implications for future studies involving interventions with low-income families are discussed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Erica Grace Moran Etter

File size

101 p.

File format