Can Interventions that Strengthen Couples' Relationships Confer Additional Benefits for their Health? A Randomized Controlled Trial with African American Couples

Allen W. Barton, Justin A. Lavner, Steven R.H. Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the effects of the Protecting Strong African American Families (ProSAAF) prevention program on adults’ self-reported health outcomes 25 months after enrollment. ProSAAF is a couple-focused prevention program specifically designed to meet the needs of African-American families residing in the rural South. African-American couples (N = 346) with an early adolescent child participated in a randomized controlled trial of the program. Dyadic data analyses indicated significant direct effects on changes in couple functioning post-intervention as well as significant indirect effects of ProSAAF on changes in health through post-intervention improvements in couple functioning. These benefits were documented for men’s and women’s general health, depressive symptoms, and problematic sleep. There were no significant direct effects of ProSAAF participation on changes in health. Findings provide tempered optimism regarding the potential benefits of couple-focused programming for adults’ physical, mental, and behavioral health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-396
Number of pages11
JournalPrevention Science
Volume22
Issue number3
Early online dateOct 3 2020
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Couples
  • Health
  • Prevention
  • Relationship satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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