The Added Benefits of Phone Coaching to Relationship Education: A Pilot Study

A newly published study by Healthy Relationships California (HRC), a leader in the field of Relationship and Marriage Education (RME), provides evidence of benefits for participants when they participate in individualized Phone Coaching after the RME course.

Previous research has found that participants completing a Relationship Education (RE) course report higher levels of positive communication with their intimate partner, increased relationship satisfaction, and greater conflict resolution skills. These positive effects have been shown to persist for thirty days, and even six months, following the completion of the course. Our latest study looks at additional benefits from participants receiving Phone Coaching after they’ve completed the RE course. HRC designed a Phone Coaching protocol tailored to the content of our most popular RE course, which enables couples to receive personalized coaching via phone on how to apply the skills they learned in the RE class to the realities of their daily lives.

During RME courses, if participants requested additional relationship information or if they reported their relationship was in distress, they were contacted by phone 30 to 60 days after completing the course and given the opportunity to participate in this pilot Phone Coaching study, which gave them access to a Phone Coach for up to eight 30-minute sessions over a period of eight weeks. The study was a waitlist control design, in which participants who could not immediately receive Phone Coaching were asked to complete a waitlist survey and then were placed on a Phone Coaching list. These waitlist participants were called, on average, 8 weeks after being placed on the list. This time frame was similar to the amount of time it took to complete the Phone Coaching program.

After 8 weeks of Phone Coaching, Phone Coaching participants improved their marital satisfaction by an average of 103%, while waitlist participants improved by only 11%. Phone Coaching participants also experienced greater improvement in communication and relationship efficacy than the waitlist, although these differences were not statistically significant.

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30 participants in the wait-list group eventually participated in Phone Coaching and completed additional surveys. Following their progress over time provides some additional evidence that Phone Coaching lead to increased benefits overtime:

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To download the full brief, visit our Downloads Store. We’ll be offering Phone Coaching in our R3 Academy programs for Fathers starting in Spring 2016. Contact us if your father-serving organization would like to be included in our work, at info@relationshipsca.org.

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  1. […] In this study, we look at what additional benefits come from participants receiving Phone Coaching after they've completed the RE course. HRC designed a Phone Coaching protocol tailored to the content of our most popular RE course, which enables couples to receive personalized coaching via phone on how to apply the skills they learned in the RE class to the realities of their daily lives. This brief discusses the impact of this pilot program and the potential additive benefits Phone Coaching may have when paired with an HRC skills-based Relationship Education course.  […]



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