Couple relationship education (RE) is the provision of structured education intended to promote healthy couple relationships, and prevent future relationship distress. There is a well-replicated finding that 9-20 hours of curriculum-based RE produces short-term improvements in couple communication and relationship satisfaction, but that established finding does not test whether RE helps couples maintain high relationship satisfaction. The current paper summarizes 17 published studies evaluating RE that have follow up assessments of at least 1 year, of which 14 studies found RE helped maintenance of relationship satisfaction. Couples with elevations of modifiable risk factors benefit substantially from RE, while benefits for couples with low risk have not yet been reliably demonstrated. Couples with elevations on risk factors not readily modified by current forms of RE are likely to show little or no benefit. Future research needs to clarify the mediators of RE effects, and how those mediators are moderated by couple risk profiles. (Author abstract)
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Effects of Relationship Education on Maintenance of Couple Relationship Satisfaction.