Date of Award:

2003

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Kathleen W. Piercy

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes, participation in, and potential effectiveness of premarital education as a vehicle to promote more satisfying marriages. A retrospective survey instrument, including existing measures of religious values, willingness to invest in marriage, and marital satisfaction, was used to gather data to answer research questions related to couples' participation in, and attitudes about premarital education, and their influence on marital adjustment and satisfaction. Information about the amount of Time spent in premarital education, breadth of Topics covered, Training of the provider, and whether or not Testing was performed also was gathered and called Four T's of premarital education. Sample couples were identified by comparing marriage license information to current telephone listings from Cache County, Utah. One hundred forty-five couples returned usable surveys. Statistical analysis revealed that most couples participated in little or no premarital education even though most couples had favorable attitudes towards such marriage preparations. Further, no significant relation was found between participation in any type of premarital education and marital adjustment or satisfaction. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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