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Court mandated parent education for divorcing individuals: An evaluation of court related outcomes

13 December 1999


The ongoing problem of divorce in today's society is explored as it pertains to programs designed to ameliorate some of its negative effects. Two broad aspects of Multnomah County's Parent Education Program for divorcing parents were evaluated. First, family law attorneys completed a 23 item Likert-type survey about their attitudes and opinions of the Multnomah County Parent Education Program. A factor analysis of the survey revealed two broad scales, Parent Impact and Legal Impact. Overall analysis of responses on the Parent Impact scale indicates attorneys are largely undecided about any positive\ outcomes attributable to the Parent Education Program. On the Legal Impact scale attorneys indicated moderately positive evaluation of outcomes. Comparisons by gender, years of practice in family law, and percent of professional time devoted to divorcing families revealed no significant differences. The second part of the study investigated whether participation in the Parent Education Program is associated with a lower incidence of relitigation of divorce related decisions over time. No significant differences were observed. There was also a lack of significant finding for relitigation as a function of when the class was taken in the divorce process (0-30 days, 31-60 days, or 61+ days from date of filing). The need for additional outcome evaluation and comparison of different programs was discussed.


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