CoupleCARE for Parents

Placement on the Continuum of Evidence Unclear Ø Download icon Download PDF
Target Population: 
Communication, Emotional Competency, Parenting, Relationships
Target Audience 

This program is intended for expectant couples.


The CoupleCARE for Parents program is designed to encourage couples to strengthen their relationship and improve their parenting abilities through skills training. A combination of group workshops; home visits with trained educators; and self-directed, home-based exercises presented on DVD and used in conjunction with workbook exercises and telephone consultations are used to distribute and teach information.


Two randomized controlled trials conducted on the program found mixed results. One study found significant decreases in negative communication rates for both partners and improvements in relationship adjustment and self-regulation for female partners. However, no significant improvements in parenting stress were found for either partner. Another study found significant decreases in negative communication and parenting stress for female partners but demonstrated no changes in sensitive parenting and parenting intrusiveness for female partners and no changes on parenting outcomes for male partners.


Couples participate in six sessions that provide information on proper infant care and promote relationship skills through instruction as couples adjust to parenthood.

  • Session 1: Six weeks before birth, couples attend a group workshop that focuses on parenting expectations and couple communication.
  • Session 2: Four weeks before birth, couples have a home visit with a trained educator who further discusses couple communication and conflict management.
  • Session 3: Three weeks postpartum, couples receive a second home visit. Topics include infant care and stress management.
  • Session 4: Six weeks postpartum, couples complete a self-directed activity that involves caring for each other, affection, and sexuality.
  • Session 5: Nine weeks postpartum, couples complete a self-directed activity that emphasizes mutual partner support; social support; and shared, positive couple activities.
  • Session 6: Twelve weeks postpartum, couples complete a self-directed activity that highlights ways to manage stressful change, prevent problems, and sustain a relationship.
Previous Use 

A public search failed to identify any information about previous use of the program.


Training is not currently available for this program.


An important consideration when implementing this program is understanding this program is not actively disseminated by the developers. Facilitators who wish to utilize the program should contact the developers to inquire about future opportunities for program implementation.

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185, or email


If you are interested in implementing CoupleCARE for Parents, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you! Please call 1-877-382-9185, or email


The program consists of six sessions implemented over an 18-week period; each session lasts up to 6 hours.


The program is not currently available for purchase.

Evaluation Plan 

To move the CoupleCARE for Parents program to the Promising category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence, at least one evaluation should be performed demonstrating positive effects for both partners lasting at least six months from program completion.

The Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals. Please call 1-877-382-9185, or email


Contact the Clearinghouse with any questions regarding this program. Phone: 1-877-382-9185 or by email:

You may also contact the developers of the parent program, CoupleCARE, by email or visit


Halford, W., Petch, J., & Creedy, D. K. (2010)

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.