Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Glen O. Jenson


Glen O. Jenson


Brent C. Miller


Cecelia H. Foxley


The purpose of this study was to determine if participation in a marriage enrichment program had an impact on couple's relationships in the areas of regard, empathy, congruence, dyadic adjustment and self-esteem. Seven independent variables were also analyzed to see if they had any impact on the five outcome measures. A survey was given at four different time periods (pretest, immediately before the enrichment experience; posttest, immediately after the enrichment experience; three months following; and six months following the enrichment experience) to determine if change did occur and if it was maintained over time. There was no control group and the experimental group had an N of 36, or 18 couples.

The results showed a significant increase in regard, empathy, congruence, and dyadic adjustment from pretest to posttest. Self esteem increased slightly but not at a significant level. From posttest to the three-month followup, regard, empathy, congruence and dyadic adjustment declined significantly and self-esteem increased significantly. From the three-month followup to the six-month followup there was no significant difference indicating a stablizing effect. Age and dyadic adjustment were significantly related. The older the couple, the better the marital adjustment. (Number of children approached significance in explaining level of regard.) This relationship was negative, meaning the lower the number of the children the higher the level of regard. None of the other independent variables had any impact on the outcome measures. Although the mean scores for the five outcome measures significantly declined from posttest to six- month followup, they were still higher than pretest mean scores.