Title

Do Premarital Education Programs Really Work? A Meta‐analytic Study

Keywords

family life education, meta-analysis, premarital education

Abstract

Previous studies (J. S. Carroll & W. J. Doherty, 2003) have asserted that premarital education programs have a positive effect on program participants. Using meta‐analytic methods of current best practices to look across the entire body of published and unpublished evaluation research on premarital education, we found a more complex pattern of results. We coded 47 studies and found that premarital education programs do not improve relationship quality/satisfaction when unpublished studies are included in the analysis, although studies that follow couples past the honeymoon stage to detect prevention effects are rare. In contrast, premarital education programs appear to be effective at improving couple communication, with studies that employed observational measures rather than self‐report measures producing large effects. Still, given the mixed, modest results, there is ample room and a real need to improve the practice of premarital education.

Original Publication Citation

Fawcett, E. B., Hawkins, A. J., Blanchard, V. L., & Carroll, J. S. (2010). Do premarital education programs really work? A meta-analytic study. Family Relations, 59, 232-239.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2010-07-08

Publisher

Family Relations

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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