Date of this Version
Davis, C. K. D. (2015). An evaluation of the impact of a couples enrichment program on relationship satisfaction, communication, conflict resolution, and forgiveness (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.
Relationship enrichment programs serve to promote the development of healthy intimate relationships (Halford, Markman, Kling, & Stanley, 2003). There are hundreds of relationship enrichment programs available in the United States, alone (smartmarriages.com, 2013). Weekend to Remember is a faith-based relationship enrichment program which has not yet been the subject of empirical evaluation. This is not unusual. A select few of these types of interventions have received research attention, and little of this research has been published in peer reviewed journals. This study aims to contribute to this small body of existing literature by examining the effectiveness of the Weekend to Remember program on couples’ relationship satisfaction, communication, conflict resolution, and forgiveness. Maintenance of these changes, and the influences of gender, length of marriage, and level of religiosity on the study variables were also examined. The relationship between forgiveness and conflict resolution was also of interest. This was measured through pre, post, and follow-up assessment of couples, using comparisons between a wait list control group and treatment group. Participants included 49 straight couples. The present study used a longitudinal and correlational design to observe changes in participants after engaging in the Weekend to Remember relationship enrichment program. Analyses involved repeated measurement of the same subjects compared to a wait list control group at two (two surveys administered one month apart before attending Weekend to Remember) and three (pre, post, and follow-up assessment) time points. Analyses also examined the relationship between demographic and study variables. Both the couple and individuals were the units of analysis. Results indicated that participation in Weekend to Remember increased healthy conflict resolution and this gain was maintained at eight week follow-up. Results did not support an increase or maintenance of relationship satisfaction or forgiveness. Over time, communication did significantly improve, and this gain was maintained. Relationship satisfaction upon entering the intervention, gender, length of relationship, and religiosity were not found to predict significant differences in the study variables. Conflict resolution and forgiveness significantly correlated with one another at pre and follow-up, but not at post assessment.
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