Differential Use of Premarital Education in First and Second Marriages

Brian D. Doss, Galena K. Rhoades, Scott M. Stanley, Howard J. Markman, Christine A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Although second marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages, and thus represent an important target for intervention, there have been no detailed examinations of the use of premarital education in second marriages. Using random-digit dialing methods, 398 individuals currently in a second marriage and 1,342 individuals currently in a first marriage participated. Compared with those in first marriages, individuals in second marriages were significantly less likely to receive premarital education for their current marriage. This difference was fully mediated by differences between individuals in first and second marriages in pre-engagement cohabitation, education level, having children from a previous relationship, and being married by a religious leader. In both first and second marriages, those couples at most risk for subsequent marital distress and divorce were less likely to receive premarital education. Results suggest that more needs to be done to understand the barriers to the use of premarital education for second marriages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-273
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • divorce
  • help-seeking
  • premarital education
  • remarriage
  • second marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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