Examining the Early Evidence for Self-directed Marriage and Relationship Education: A Meta-analytic Study


School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, 2086 JFSB, Provo, UT 84602 (shelecemcallister@gmail.com).


This meta-analysis examines the efficacy of self-directed marriage and relationship education (MRE) programs on relationship quality and communication skills. Programs combining traditional face-to-face learning with self-directed elements are also examined, and traditional programs' effectiveness is included as a comparison point. Sixteen studies focused on self-directed interventions; 13 studies focused on programs combining self-directed and traditional components. For self-directed programs, the effect size for relationship quality was small and not significant (d = .032, ns); a small, significant effect size was found for communication skills (d = .160, p < .05). For blended programs, effect sizes were significant for relationship quality (d = .429, p < .01) and communication skills (d = .715, p < .05), and blended programs produced larger effect sizes than traditional programs.