Who Will Attend? Characteristics of Couples and Individuals in Marriage Education


family life education, marketing, marriage education, training


There are two purposes of this marriage education marketing study: (1) to compare the self-reported intra- and interpersonal qualities of 121 married couples (n ¼ 242 individuals) attending a marriage education program with 46 married couples (n ¼ 92 individuals) who were contacted through marketing promotional materials to attend the program but did not participate and (2) to determine if intra- and=or interpersonal qualities would predict the likelihood of marriage education attendance versus nonattendance. Results showed that compared with program nonparticipants, program participants reported lower levels of self-esteem, marital communication quality, marital commitment, marital satisfaction, family strengths, less consensus and intimacy, less fulfillment of marriage expectations, and increased levels of marital conflict. Levels of religiosity and fusion were the same for participants and nonparticipants. Wald logistic regression analysis indicated communication was the only significant predictor of marriage education participation. Implications for marriage education programming and practitioners are outlined.

Original Publication Citation

Morris, M. L., McMillan, H. S., Duncan, S. F., & Larson, J. H. (2011). Who will attend? Characteristics of couples and individuals in marriage education. Marriage and Family Review, 47, 1-22.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



Marriage & Family Review




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor