Online Marriage Education During COVID-19 Home Lockdown: A Multiple-Baseline Single-Case Experimental Design


  • Jennifer Harley Chalmers Orcid


Flexible-delivery marriage education (ME) has many advantages over traditional alternatives in reaching couples during the time of COVID-19 lockdown or other national emergencies. In an effort to add to the research of flexible-delivery ME, this exploratory study evaluated an online class adapted from an empirically-validated, marriage curriculum (Four Gifts of Love Class, [FGL]) under home lockdown conditions lasting over 2 months caused by COVID-19 government restrictions. Using a concurrent multiple-baseline single-case experimental design, three distressed couples residing in the Philippines completed seven online lessons over 7 weeks while experiencing home lockdown. Visual analysis of the data suggested that all three couples responded positively to the intervention. The Tau-U and SMDall analyses for each couple ranged from a small to large effect size on measures of marital adjustment (weighted average Tau-U = .50, p < .05; BC-SMD = 0.34) and romantic love (weighted average Tau-U = .52, p < .01; BC-SMD = 0.31), with increases reaching clinical and statistical significance for one couple out of the three. In addition, there was no attrition. The promising results from this preliminary study suggested that the online adaptation of FGL as a flexible-delivery ME could mitigate marital decline, especially during times of calamity when traditional-delivery ME is unavailable and marital decline is predicted. Further study of this program and other online ME programs are recommended to expand the limited research in this area of flexible-delivery ME.