Self-directed, therapist-directed, and assessment-based interventions for premarital couples

Dean M. Busby, David C. Ivey, Steven M. Harris, Chance Ates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In this study, we present the findings of an investigation of the effectiveness of 3 models of premarital education. The study compares the outcomes between a workbook-only self-directed program, a therapist-directed (unstructured) program, and an assessment-based (RELATE) relationship enhancement program. Results revealed significant differences in effectiveness between the 3 approaches at the 6-month follow-up. The assessment-based program had more influence than the therapist-directed and self-directed programs on problem areas and was better than the therapist-directed program at improving communication and relationship satisfaction. Participants indicated that the most helpful aspects of these programs were the opportunity to discuss previously undiscussed issues, improvements in communication, and the perspectives provided by the facilitator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-290
Number of pages12
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007


  • Communication
  • Marriage enrichment
  • Premarital assessment
  • Relationship satisfaction


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