Brochure | Project
Overview | FAQ | Informed
Consent | The
Spirit of ProSAAM
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you have
2. What is the
source of your funding?
The John Templeton Foundation. They
are interested in research that looks at the intersection of science
3. What is the eligibility
An African American adult between the ages of 21 and 60 years of
age who has a mate (of any age or any race) who is also willing
to participate. The couple must be legally married and living with
the mate or planning to marry within the next 12 months. Couples
must be willing to pray and have others pray for them as a couple.
Couples must be willing to spend three Saturday mornings in an educational
4. Are interracial couples eligible?
Yes. Our eligibility
criteria states that any African American adult between the ages
of 21 and 60 years of age who has a mate (of any age or any race)
who is also willing to participate is welcome to take part in
5. Can I view a copy of the DVDs?
Unfortunately no because
we are still in the testing phase of the program. However, ProSAAM
will be available in the spring of 2007 for those that are interested
in reviewing the curriculum and adopting it for their use.
6. Tell me about your curriculum.
The curriculum for the educational
program is based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement
Program (PREP). PREP is one of the most comprehensive and well
respected divorce-prevention/marriage enhancing programs in the
world. PREP is a skills and principles-building curriculum designed
to help partners say what they need to say, get to the heart of
problems, and increase their connection with each other. The program
has been in existence for over 30 years.
7. What happens if I enroll today?
We will collect contact
information for you and your mate and ensure that you meet the
eligibility criteria for the program. Once we begin working with
couples in your area, you will receive a letter in the mail that
will provide detailed information to you and your mate about next
8. Can you come to my church?
Thank you for the invitation
to worship with you and your congregation. I will be sure to record
the information and we will get back to you about possible dates
and times that we would visit your church.
9. What measures, if any, are taken to ensure that my information
First, all interviewers are required to
sign a note of confidentiality. Second, you are only referred
to by a generic number after we collect your contact information.
Third, only the research team has access to your information.
Fourth, all of your information is stored in locked rooms or on
password-protected computer servers. Fifth, and lastly, we do
not look at individual data in the analyses but rather only look
at data across individuals at the group-level.
10. “The couples in my church do not
does not offer counseling but rather is an educational program
that seeks to enrich couples’ relationships regardless
of where they are in their marriage. In addition, we do not work
with couples on an individual basis during the program, but rather
at the group-level. Therefore, ProSAAM is more like a marriage
ministry at a church rather than counseling at a doctor’s
11. Who’s in charge of the project?
Dr. Steven Beach
is the lead investigator (i.e., principal investigator). He is
joined by a team of other investigators (i.e., co-investigators)
that include Drs. Frank Fincham of Florida State University, Velma
McBride Murry of the University of Georgia, and Lily McNair of
Spelman College. We also are fortunate to have the support
of three theological advisors: Rev. Dr. Kenneth Board of Pilgrim
Baptist Church in Rockford, IL, Rev. Dr. Jerry Alexander of Springfield
Baptist Church in Athens, GA, and Elder Terris Thomas of Timothy
Baptist Church in Athens, GA.
12. How many couples have your worked with?
300 across northeast Georgia, middle Georgia, and metropolitan
13. “Men won’t buy this.”
Men do have some reservations
about participating in research and we learned about their concerns
in a focus group in November 2005. For men that are unsure about
participating, we ask one of our ProSAAM Ambassadors to contact
them. ProSAAM Ambassadors are a group of men that are committed
to the project and to the importance of strengthening marriages.
Often times, after the ambassadors reach the prospective men,
the couple decides to enroll.
14. What’s special about the curriculum?
First, the PREP
curriculum shortened from a 15 weeks program to a course that meets
on three mornings, in hopes of appealing to couples who often times
must balance work and family. Second, by including material and
activities that recognize how institutional and implicit racism
affects and works against the success of African American marriages,
the curriculum has been adapted to an African American audience.
Third, we recognize that prayer is part of the cultural tradition
of many diverse groups and is widely understood to be an important
avenue for personal spiritual growth and development. Therefore,
by providing skill-based training and encouraging prayer for one’s
partner, we believe that praying for the well being of one’s
partner can engender feelings of closeness to the partner at the
same time that it anchors one’s relationship in a religious
framework. In this respect, regularly praying for one's partner
marital relationships and increase individual resilience. Lastly,
in collaboration with prayer providers in Rockford, Illinois,
we will determine if couples’ marital relationships improve
when others pray for them by name only.
15. Why have you focused with working with
far, our efforts have focused on a certain segment of churches
because we have not yet taken the steps to determine the limits
in acceptability of our program for others of different religious
backgrounds. We will begin to take these steps before we disseminate
the program early next year.
16. What is P.R.A.I.S.E.?
It represents the six ways in which
we desire to partner with churches—prayer, recruitment,
advertisement, information, sponsorship, and endorsement.
17. What’s the in-home interview?
are conducted four times over the couple of a one year period.
Couples are interviewed in their homes at a convenient time for
them. Each interview lasts approximately 2.5 hours. Laptop computers
and video cameras are used to collect information on health and
well-being, daily routines, marital relationship quality, and
18. Why is important to assign couples to different groups?
purpose of ProSAAM is to test whether or not the educational program
works. The program is structured this way to allow us to
find out if adding components increases the ability of the ProSAAM
program increases its effectiveness.
19. What are the three groups?
The three groups are a group that
involves no meetings, a second group that involves meetings, and
a third group that involves meetings and the information is presented
in a religious framework.
20. Who are your facilitators?
They are a group of married
African American adults that are well-respected members of their
community. The mean years of marriage among the facilitators is
21. What will you do with the
The information provided by each individual couple is
kept very confidential. After all the couples have been interviewed,
all of the information is grouped together and analyses are conducted
for the whole sample. Ultimately, the information from this study
about couples will be used to inform service agencies, policy makers,
and other marriage scholars and those interested in relationship
enhancement programs that are uniquely designed for the African
22. Can I get a copy of the
Unfortunately, no. We adhere to strict guidelines from
the university’s Institutional Review Board that ensures that
confidentiality is maintained to protect study participants. We
would be happy though to provide you with published material that
describes our findings when they become available.
23. What changes have you seen
We have conducted preliminary analyses on the
first group of 40 couples. Early results suggest that after participating
in ProSAAM couples report handling their disagreements differently and better.
This speaks well of the program in that these data were collected
shortly after the conclusion of their educational program sessions.
We are collecting additional data to find out if these effects remain
true at one year.
24. What kind of media attention
have you received?
A press release was featured in a variety
of newspaper outlets in September 2005. Jet Magazine contacted us
regarding their interested in printing an article once findings
were available. We also recently release a second article to newspaper
outlets in counties surrounding Milledgeville and Greensboro in
July 2006 and Atlanta in September 2006. We have also appeared on
several radio stations in the metropolitan area.
25. How many additional couples
do you need?
We desire to recruit an additional 200 couples
to account for those couples that we will never be able to contact.
26. What kind of services do
you offer for the educational program?
Child care, transportation,
and food (breakfast and lunch).
27. Where will the sessions
For enrolled couples that are randomly selected to
participate in the educational program, they will receive information
about location at their first in-home interview. We make an effort
to ensure that sites are centrally located for the population that
we are working with.
28. “I am not available
I thank you for your interest in the
program but it appears that you may not be eligible to participate
in ProSAAM. Our eligibility criteria states: Couples must be willing
to spend three Saturday mornings in an educational program.
29. “Your program states
that it is for African American couples, but there is White couple
depicted on the front of your book. Why?”
We often get
many questions about the couple that appears on the outside of the
book. We considered many options for the educational program, but
ultimately decided on this book because it was easier to read than
other books we reviewed (including a few that were geared towards
African American couples). Our objective was to present a program
that works well for today’s working couples. You will note
that the book is divided into twelve short sections or hours complete
with examples, exercises, and text that is easy to comprehend.
30. Who authored “12
Hours to a Great Marriage?”
Howard Markman, Scott Stanley,
Susan Blumberg, Natalie Jenkins, and Carol Whiteley.
31. What is your phone number?
32. I want to see a copy of
Unfortunately no because we are still in the testing
phase of the program. However, ProSAAM will be available in the
spring of 2007.
33. Has anyone complained about
We have not received any formal complaints about
the program. Any mild concerns have been addressed by offering additional
information to couples and effectively solved.
34. Has anyone dropped out
of the program?
Approximately 100 couples have started but
not been able to complete the program for various reasons their
life situation (e.g., couple separated, too busy to participate,
mate will, mate unwilling to take part).
35. When will the program the
ready and how can I get a copy?
You may go to the PREP, Inc.
website at http://www.prepinc.com/ around
late spring 2007.