Different Ways to View Program Effectiveness

A Person-Oriented Approach to Evaluating Couple Relationship Education

by Jennifer Griffith

The Bottom-Line (at the Top): There are different ways to gauge whether RE programs are working. The most typical way is to measure the average change of participants. But another valuable way is to focus on variation in how participants change or stay the same, identifying different patterns of change of participants and those who benefit more or less. A recent study with a large, mostly Hispanic sample of couples looked at change with both approaches. It was couples who started the program in the mid-range of communication skills and relationship satisfaction who benefitted the most from the RE program.  Continue reading “Different Ways to View Program Effectiveness”

Does Relationship Education Improve Children’s Well-being?

by Alan J. Hawkins

The Bottom-Line (at the Top): This blog builds on Jennifer’s blog last week on how RE can affect children’s social skills. The ultimate purpose of couple relationship education (CRE) is to improve couple relationships as a way to increase their children’s well-being. A small number of CRE evaluation studies have shown small effects on children’s well-being. The most recent one of the “Parents as Partners” program in Great Britain not only found that the program strengthens couple relationships and improves individual psychological well-being, but it also increased fathers’ involvement with their children and reduced their children’s emotional and behavioral problems. Continue reading “Does Relationship Education Improve Children’s Well-being?”

Does Involvement in Relationship Education Affect Children’s Social Skills?

by Jennifer Griffith

The Bottom Line (at the Top): The ultimate goal of RE is to improve children’s lives. This study found that mothers participation in a RE program improved their coparenting skills which in turn led to better social skills for their children at school. RE programs can affect more than couple relationships.

Continue reading “Does Involvement in Relationship Education Affect Children’s Social Skills?”

Are Relationship Educators Front-line Public Health Workers?

by Alan J. Hawkins

The Bottom-line (at the Top): A strong body of research shows that feeling socially connected and especially having high-quality close relationships leads to better health. Relationship educators who are helping couples to form and sustain healthy relationships and marriages are contributing to better health outcomes in society.

Continue reading “Are Relationship Educators Front-line Public Health Workers?”

How Does Relationship Education Impact Relationship Hope?

by Dr. Alan J. Hawkins

The Bottom Line (at the Top): Many RE participants begin programs with low levels of hope for the future of their relationship. But when they learn better interaction skills, they increase their relationship hope.

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Online RE Programs and IPV

The Effectiveness of Online RE Programs with Couples Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence

by Jennifer Griffith

The Bottom Line (at the Top): Many couples who participate in RE programs have experienced some lower levels of intimate partner violence. This study suggests that couples who have experienced some intimate partner violence can improve their relationship by participating in an online RE program.

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Is Communication Key?

How Communication-Skills Training in Relationship Education Affects Couple Relationships

by Jennifer Griffith

The Bottom Line (at the Top): Some critics don’t think learning better communication skills in RE programs is responsible for any improvements seen in couple relationships. This study begs to differ. Improved communication leads to improved satisfaction.

Continue reading “Is Communication Key?”