THE IMPACT OF AN ONLINE EVIDENCE-BASED COACHING PROGRAM ON GOAL STRIVING, SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING, AND LEVEL OF HOPE
The purpose of this study was to measure the effectiveness of an online evidence-based coaching program in terms of goal attainment, subjective well-being and level of hope. Both the coaching industry and use of the Internet have grown dramatically, and some coaches have added online communication to traditional face-to-face and telephone- based interactions with their clients. This research sought to contribute empirical findings to the nascent field of online coaching. The study's research design was a posttest, random assignment, two-group comparison study. The researcher recruited a sample of adult Internet users in the United States by asking various website owners to mention the study to their audiences. Participants were randomly assigned to either a waitlist control group or to an experimental treatment group that participated in an 8-week online coaching program. The coaching program was an evidence-based coaching program that drew from a variety of validated psychological studies. The program was delivered exclusively online through a series of structured exercises and open discussions. A certified coach with more than 5 years professional coaching experience led the program, and participants interacted with the coach and other participants over the program's duration. Measures in the present study included a goal attainment questionnaire, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and the State Hope Scale. Responses were collected from all participants following the completion of the program or waitlist assignment. After a review of prior research, a hypothesis was developed stating that results from the experimental coaching group would be significantly different from those of the waitlist control group. To test the hypothesis, results from the two groups were compared using a One-Way MANOVA with associated post-hoc tests. Omnibus MANOVA results were
significant, and a post-hoc ANOVA test was subsequently conducted for each of the study's dependent variables. Post-hoc univariate tests of goal attainment and subjective well-being were significant. A post-hoc univariate test of hope was nonsignificant. Online coaching was observed to be effective in terms of the identified coaching outcomes. Implications of these findings and recommendations for future research are presented.