This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

One Happy Island: Assessing Preferences and Needs for Marriage and Relationship Education in Aruba




Beckstead, Camilla

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


Research has generally supported the viability of Marriage and Relationship Education (MRE) for strengthening marriages. However, the research has generally been limited to the middle-class, European population in the United States, with a more recent acknowledgement of the need for culturally relevant adaptations which would increase the appeal and the efficacy of education programs for minority audiences. Using inductive qualitative, focus group methodology, 59 Arubans were interviewed with regards to their concerns about marriage, their ideas for strengthening marriages, and their preferences and needs for MRE. The participants presented various concerns, which included lacking communication skills, infidelity, and economic strains. They also mentioned various preferences, such as having an instructor with credible life experience, using spirituality as a resource, and interacting via role plays or skits. Recommendations regarding the application of these preferences and other observations are given in the discussion section, as well as limitations and possible directions for further study.