Revising Premarital Relationship Interventions for the Next Generation


social trends, generations, marriage, engagement


In this article, we review research on contemporary social trends that influence the next generation's ability to form and sustain a healthy marriage. As a result, we argue for greater attention to premarital interventions for engaged couples to help the next generation address the potential challenges created by these trends. After we briefly review the current state of premarital education and counseling, we examine four general, interrelated social trends: individualism and commitment ambivalence, changing attitudes about marriage, premarital relationship histories, and the omnipresent media environment. In addition, we offer four general proposals corresponding to these trends that we believe will enhance the future effectiveness of premarital interventions. We urge premarital educators and counselors to evaluate their current interventions with these proposals in mind.

Original Publication Citation

Clyde, T. L., Hawkins, A. J., Willoughby, B. J. (2020). Revising Premarital Relationship Interventions for the Next Generation. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 46, 149– 164.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Marital and Family Therapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor