An experimental study of the "Growing Together" marriage preparation program

Mark Wayne Davis, Purdue University


The purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term effect of the Growing Together Marriage Preparation Program on perceptions of relationship satisfaction, communication quality, change in relationship quality, and change in ability to handle problems. The sample consisted of 94 individuals recruited from Purdue University and the Greater Lafayette, Indiana community. None of the couples in the sample had been previously married and all were seriously dating or engaged. Twenty-two couples were randomly assigned to the treatment group and 25 couples formed a waiting list control group. Treatment couples participated in an 8-week small group marriage preparation program called Growing Together. Posttest scores were analyzed with a 2 x 2 ANOVA to determine the effects of treatment, gender, and the interaction between treatment and gender. Significant gender differences were not found on any of the dependent measures. No interactions were found between gender and the treatment variable. No significant differences were found in self-reports of relationship satisfaction or communication quality between the treatment and control groups. Significant differences were found, however, on self-reports of change in relationship quality and ability to handle problems. Treatment couples reported a change for the better in their relationship quality and ability to handle problems. Finally, subjective feedback on the Growing Together Program indicated that the program was helpful and enjoyable and that participants would recommend the program to friends who were seriously dating or engaged.




Segrist, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Academic guidance counseling|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

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