Junior enlisted Marines are getting married at a faster rate than their civilian counterparts and nearly twice that of senior personnel (Gomulka, 2010; Cohen, Passel, Wang, & Livingston, 2011). With the high rate of marriage, these same junior Marines have a disproportionately high divorce rate. While the high rate of divorce is a significant issue, divorce in the Marine Corps population is complex as it affects the individual’s and family’s well-being, and the Marine’s unit level of readiness (Karney & Crown, 2007; United Stated Marine Corps, 2014). As a result of this high rate of divorce, a group of Navy chaplains created the Intimate Relationships Awareness, Training, and Enrichment (iRelate) program (Lloyd, Munoz, Tremblay, Foskett, Hallett, & Distelberg, 2015). This program was developed as an educational approach intended to prepare young Marines for success in relationships, with a focus on marriage preparation and enrichment. iRelate is a psychoeducational approach that integrates the Family Resilience Model, Life-Cycle Perspective, and the Human Ecological Model to conceptualize relationship education. The current study was designed to analyze the overall effectiveness of the iRelate program. The study uses a longitudinal design with four treatment conditions (treatment groups 1, 2, 3 and treatment as usual) to follow the Marine and their significant other as their relationship progresses through the three stages of iRelate, for a period of up to 36-months. Marine Corps bases in Arizona, California, and Hawaii will be used to recruit participants. The data that is collected from the study will be used to examine the overall effectiveness of iRelate over time, using a Multivariate Analysis of Variance method (Aim I). A second analysis using Dyadic Data Analysis and Actor Partner Interdependence Models will be employed to test the mechanism by which marital satisfaction effects suicide-related behavior over time (Aim II).

LLU Discipline

Marital and Family Therapy


Counseling and Family Sciences


School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Distelberg, Brian J.

Second Advisor

Blow, Adrian

Third Advisor

Huenergardt, Douglas

Fourth Advisor

Montgomery, Susanne B.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

United States Marine Corps - Enlisted personnel; Marital Quality; Marital Therapy; Divorce - Therapy; Military Personnel - Therapy - United States;

Subject - Local

Intimate Relationships Awareness; Training; and Enrichment Program; iRelate Program; Family Resilience Model; Life-Cycle Perspective; Actor Partner Interdependence Models



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


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Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives