Dismantling study of prevention and relationship education program: The effects of a structured communication intervention

Jesse Owen*, Megan Manthos, Kelley Quirk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Couples Relationship Education (CRE) programs have been shown to improve many facets of relationship functioning; however, less is known about the specific effects of various components of CRE programs. The current study examined two versions of the Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP), one where a structured communication intervention was taught and one where it was not. Outcome variables included couples' communication behaviors, communication patterns, and overall relationship adjustment. Twenty six couples (52 participants) completed a 4-week, 12-hr PREP workshop. Generally, the couples reported low to moderate relationship distress. Study measures were completed preintervention, 4-6 weeks post, and 6 months post. Couples in the structured communication condition reported more positive and fewer negative communication behaviors at 6-month follow up and they reported faster gains in positive communication behaviors compared with the no structured communication group. Both groups reported decreased negative communication patterns and no change in relationship adjustment; these changes were statistically similar for both groups. Implications for couples' communications and relationship education programs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-341
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Common factors
  • Communication
  • Couple relationship education
  • PREP
  • Specific factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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