Prevention of the decline of marital satisfaction during the transition to parenthood: A pilot test of a marital skills training workshop

Kelly Michelle Carpenter, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Abstract

Previous research has indicated that couples typically experience a decline in marital adjustment during the year after their first baby is born. This study was designed to investigate the effectiveness of the Prevention Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP{dollar}\rm \sp{TM}{dollar}), a research-based marital skills workshop, in preventing this decline in marital adjustment; Participants were 70 married couples expecting their first child. All participants completed the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), Marital Instability Index (MII), and the Communication Patterns Questionnaire (CPQ). The couples were randomly assigned to one of two groups: Workshop or control. Couples in the workshop group were invited to attend a modified format of the PREP{dollar}\rm \sp{TM}{dollar} program; Control and workshop couples were given follow-up administrations of the DAS, MII, and CPQ three months postpartum. Results indicate that sample couples did evidence a decline in marital adjustment. There was no difference between groups on the DAS, MII, or the CPQ at the follow-up.