The Family Wellness model for parent education was developed in 1980 and continues into the present, having served over 1,000,000 participations worldwide since its inception. Research of program efficacy was important from the beginning. Early efforts at research were conducted in terms of asking participants to document what they learned and how the curriculum impacted their lives. Overwhelmingly, participants loved the Family Wellness program and provided encouragement regarding positive impact.

The first study of the Family Wellness Program was conducted by the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Project in Santa Cruz, California, in 1987. This was a six-month follow-up telephone study that was conducted to understand the lasting nature of the knowledge and change resultant from participation in the program. That study showed 70% improvement in communication skills, 45% reduced or eliminated drug use, 80% increase in “closeness” and 25% believed their families were solving problems better.

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The five dimensions included (1) the level of support and affection partners felt toward each other, (2) their avoidance of destructive conflict behaviors, (3) their use of constructive conflict behaviors, (4) their level of commitment and (5) the level of happiness they felt toward their relationship.

In a one-year follow-up, an exploratory subgroup analysis suggested that there was increased marriage among initially unmarried couples.

Family Wellness Associates, LLC is indebted to the amazing PARENTING CENTER staff in Fort Worth Texas for believing in the Family Wellness Program for many years. It was an honor to be selected for inclusion in this five-year study of Empowering Families.

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