MARRIAGE ENRICHMENT: AN EMPIRICAL ASSESSMENT OF GROUP-ORIENTED, COUPLE-ORIENTED, RETREAT, AND NON-RETREAT PROGRAM VARIABLES FOR EARLY MARRIAGES
The goal of this research is to contribute to the marriage enrichment field by responding to the disparity between rapid expansion of enrichment programs and the under development of outcome research. This study examines two components of enrichment's format: participant interaction (group-oriented vs couple-oriented) and program location (retreat vs non-retreat). Parallel marriage enrichment programs for couples married between 6 months and 5 1/2 years were developed. Each program was delivered in a retreat and a non-retreat setting for the weekend portion of the treatment. All four groups subsequently met for one evening per week for three weeks. Twenty-eight couples participated in one of the four treatment groups or the wait-list control group. The group oriented retreat condition was compared to the other three alternative treatment conditions and the no-treatment control group on various aspects of marital satisfaction and communication. Only the husbands' acceptance of their wives conveyed in their verbal response to their wives' communication, as measured by the Acceptance of Other Scale (Guerney, 1977), was significant at the posttest and three month follow-up. The control group was not significantly different from the four treatment condition on any of the measures other than in this instance of the husbands' acceptance of their wife's communication at both posttest and follow-up. Otherwise, the results do not reflect strong trends in the hypothesized direction. Thus, with a greater possibility of Type I error, the significant results need to be viewed cautiously. Three major limitations contributed to the inconclusiveness of this research: A small sample size, couple absenteeism due to extraneous factors, and inadequate instrumentation within enrichment. Overall, the enrichment programs and the research incorporated many strengths. With modifications of the limitations, a replication of this study would be beneficial to the emerging field of marriage enrichment.
Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our