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J Fam Psychol. 2006 Mar;20(1):117-26.

Premarital education, marital quality, and marital stability: findings from a large, random household survey.

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  • 1Center for Marital and Family Studies, Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208, USA.


One of the limitations of experimental studies on the effectiveness of premarital education is the reliance on samples of mostly White, middle-class couples. In contrast, although survey methods allow only weak inferences about causal relations, representative surveys can yield important information about use and estimated effects across a diverse population. Using a large random survey of 4 middle American states, the authors found that participation in premarital education was associated with higher levels of satisfaction and commitment in marriage and lower levels of conflict-and also reduced odds of divorce. These estimated effects were robust across race, income (including among the poor), and education levels, which suggests that participation in premarital education is generally beneficial for a wide range of couples.

Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

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