Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Maurice Macdonald

Second Advisor

Tahira K. Hira


This study investigates the relationship quality of 32 couples who were enrolled in a personal finance management course called Financial Peace University. The purpose of the study is to understand the influence of the 13-week course on the couples' relationship quality. Two research questions guided this study. The first asks whether couples who attend Financial Peace University report an improvement in their relationship quality, accounting for time living together and income. The second asks whether couples report an increase in their adherence to the recommendations of the course, conceptualized as "involvement," accounting for time living together and income. Two self-report survey measures were used to collect the data. An involvement measure was developed based on the content of the course to determine whether participants were implementing the financial practices recommended in the course, such as having an emergency fund, keeping a budget, and balancing their checkbook. Relationship quality was measured using the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. There were three waves of data collection. The first data were collected during the first class, the second at the last class 13 weeks later, and a follow-up was conducted 6 months after the last class. Data analysis was conducted using a General Linear Model procedure. Results indicate a statistically significant improvement in relationship quality over time. Involvement in the course was found to be associated with relationship quality. Implications for those who might enroll in the course, for family therapists, and for financial counselors are explored.


Copyright Owner

Kevin John Zimmerman



Date Available


File Format


File Size

78 pages