Couples being encouraged to participate in premarital education programs often asked what the benefits of doing so what be.
Several years ago, Scott M. Stanley (Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver) reviewed a wide range of theoretical and research publications and argued in a significant policy paper that engaging in broadly applied premarital education can lead to significant effects.
Four key benefits of premarital education were identified:
- it can slow couples down to foster deliberation
- it sends a message that marriage matters
- it can help couples learn of options if they need help later
- it can lower some couples’ risks for subsequent marital distress or termination provided that the program has evidence of effectiveness associated with it (as is the case for the PREPARE/ENRICH programs)
These observations represent a good clear summary of benefits that could be shared with couples when marriage and relationship educators are encouraging couples to participate in premarital education programs.
Reference: Scott M. Stanley (2001). Making A Case for Premarital Education, Family Relations, 50, 272–280.
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