Distressed Couples and Marriage Education

Rita DeMaria
Family Relations
Volume 54 Issue 2 Page 242 - April 2005

Abstract:
Professionals generally believe that couples who choose to attend marriage education programs are not as distressed as are clinical couples and that distressed couples are not good candidates for marriage education. We examined these assumptions in 129 married couples who enrolled in a PAIRS, Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills (Gordon, 1994), marriage education course. Using the Enriching Relationship Issues, Communication and Happiness Inventory (Olson, 2002) typology classification with other measures of relationship adjustment, participants were classified as highly distressed, conflicted, and devitalized. Findings suggest that highly distressed married couples are among those who seek a marriage education experience. Implications for marriage education providers are discussed.

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