This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Front Porches and Freeways: Does Rural or Urban Residence Matter for Couple Relationship Education Outcomes?




Fuller, Sarah

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Human Development and Family Studies


The purpose of this study was to advance explorations of the possible differential effects of rural versus urban residence and income on individuals’ couple relationship outcomes following participation in a couple relationship education program. The study used measures of couple quality, positive interactions, and negative interactions as indicators of relationship outcomes both at baseline and at post-test to capture a better picture of possible factors involved in change. Results of this study indicated that, at baseline, urban individuals report statistically significant, higher scores of couple quality than rural individuals. Higher couple quality was also reported by higher income individuals, with lower income individuals reporting lower couple quality. Baseline levels of positive and negative interactions did not differ by residence or income. At Time 2, statistically significant effects of income were found for males’ negative interactions, with lower income males reporting statistically significantly more change than other income groups. No other statistically significant effects emerged at Time 2. These results indicate that participants, regardless of rural/urban residence or level of income, benefit similarly from CRE programming. Baseline results indicating that urban individuals report higher couple quality than rural individuals suggest a need for further exploration into relational differences between rural and urban populations.