Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Marriage and Relationship Education Program: A Qualitative Perspective

By Mary S O’Halloran, Sonja Rizzolo, Marsha L. Cohen, Amy Sholler Dreier and Catherine Phillips Carrico.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of both participants and educators in the Building Healthy Marriages (BHM) program. This program aimed to educate couples and increase relationship satisfaction. The researchers utilized a phenomenological methodology designed to elicit thick descriptions of the personal experiences of participants and educators in this program (Creswell 2007). The sample consisted of 23 participants and 7 educators. Results showed that participants cultivated relationship skills that had positive, long-lasting impacts on their relationship satisfaction not only with their partners but also with others, including family (especially their children), friends, and coworkers.

Keywords: Relationship Education, Qualitative Program Evaluation

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.29-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 940.099KB).

Dr. Mary S O’Halloran

Professor of Counselling Psychology and Director Psychological Services Clinic, Department of Counseling Psychology, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, USA

Mary Sean O’Halloran is professor of Counseling Psychology and director of the Psychological Services Clinic at the University of Northern Colorado. Her clinical and research interests include trauma, crisis intervention, eating disorders, multicultural counseling, and clinical training.

Dr. Sonja Rizzolo

Admissions/Research, Graduate School and International Admissions, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, USA

Sonja Rizzolo is a research analyst in the Graduate School and International Admissions Office at the University of Northern Colorado. Her research interests include Health-Related Community Strengthening Projects, Occupational Stress and Burnout, Online Survey Development, and Program Evaluation.

Marsha L. Cohen

University of Northern Colorado, USA

Marsha L. Cohen is a fourth-year doctoral student in the University of Northern Colorado’s counseling psychology program. Her research and clinical interests include adolescent well-being, spirituality, and counseling diverse populations.

Amy Sholler Dreier

United States Air Force, USA

Amy Sholler Dreier is a captain and mental health element chief in the U.S. Airforce. Her research and clinical interests include marriage education programs, trauma, and military populations.

Dr. Catherine Phillips Carrico

University of Wyoming, USA

Catherine Phillips Carrico is an assistant lecturer and deputy director at Wyoming Geriatric Education Center Consortium. Her research and clinical interests include marriage education programs, firefighter families, the elderly, and veterans.