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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1997 Feb;65(1):24-30.

Are premarital prevention programs reaching couples at risk for marital dysfunction?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, UCLA 90095-1563, USA.


In 2 studies, newlyweds reported whether they had participated in premarital counseling and provided data on known risk factors for marital dysfunction. Couples who participated in premarital programs were not at greater risk for marital difficulties, and in some cases participating husbands were at lower risk for marital difficulties compared with husbands who did not participate. Longitudinal data indicated that couples who participated in premarital programs did not have better marital outcomes than couples who did not participate. The present article also addresses the need to develop procedures that will increase at-risk couples' participation in premarital programs and to improve the effectiveness of these programs in community settings.

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