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The Role of Participant-Facilitator Demographic Match in Couple and Relationship Education


Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Auburn University, 203 Spidle Hall, Auburn, AL 36849 (


Offerings of couple and relationship education in recent years have included more diverse populations of participants, as well as more diverse facilitators in community-based program delivery. As a result, the opportunity has emerged to examine contextual factors that may impact program effects. This study examined the relationship between participant-facilitator demographic match of ethnicity, sex, education, and relationship status on reported facilitator quality and program outcomes, as well as the relationship between facilitator quality and program outcomes. Results indicated that sex match was related to facilitator quality. Relationship status match was related to change in couple functioning, and education match was related to change in individual functioning. Additionally, facilitator quality was related to program outcomes. Findings suggest the value of adopting an additive approach to program implementation, in which facilitation quality and skills and similarity between participant and facilitator are considered.