Longitudinal research results from nearly 800 graduates of PAIRS brief marriage education classes in South Florida show statistically significant, lasting improvements in six areas key to measuring marital cohesion, strength, and resiliency.
Six months after completing an intensive nine to 12 hour PAIRS class:
- The percentage of participants who demonstrate affection always or almost always increased 24%;
- The percent who always or almost always agree on aims, goals, and things believed important increased 20%;
- The percent who rarely or never consider divorce or separation increased 27%;
- The percent who confide in their mates most of the time or everyday increased 30%;
- The percent who never, occasionally or only rarely quarrel with their partner increased 22%;
- The percent who calmly discuss something with their partner at least weekly increased 31%.
In 2006, PAIRS Foundation was awarded a multi-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, to provide marriage education and relationship skills classes to adults and high school students in South Florida (Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties). To date, nearly 5,000 individuals and couples have participated, including participants of diverse ethnic, cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Amanda Falciglia, PAIRS Foundation’s Research Director, says the ongoing evaluation project includes assessing the quality and key attributes of participants relationships prior to enrollment, after completion, and again six and 12 months following completion. Assessments utilized in PAIRS research include national standards such as the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, Child Behavior Checklist, and PAIRS Relationship Pleasure Scale.
Seth Eisenberg, President and CEO of PAIRS Foundation, says the research results provide important validation of the impact of marriage education.
“Relationship skills training founded on emotional literacy, empathy and bonding has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life for millions of American couples, families, and children,” Eisenberg says. “Our work with diverse populations — from prisoner re-entry to individuals recovering from addictions, the formerly homeless, families struggling to overcome poverty, new immigrants, expectant parents, adoptive families, couples impacted by a spouse’s combat deployment, couples raising special needs children, couples considering separation or divorce, fathers, and others in all stages of relationship consistently demonstrates a lasting, positive impact of evidence-based relationship skills education.”
PAIRS Foundation, established in 1983, is one of the nation’s oldest and leading providers of relationship skills training classes. The 501(c)(3) non-profit develops educational curricula, delivers courses for the public and professionals nationwide, and conducts research.