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Psychology Department

Center for Marital and Family Studies

The Center for Marital and Family Studies (CMFS) opened in September of 1980, founded and directed by Professor Howard Markman. Under the guidance of Dr. Markman and Dr. Scott Stanley, the Center has grown steadily in the range of studies over the years, with hundreds of resulting publications and presentations to scholars in the field of research on couples. The Center is the home for studies in three broad categories:

Building knowledge of risk and protective factors for marital distress and divorce;
Development of knowledge on the effectiveness of marriage/relationship education (including knowledge of the internationally known Prevention and Relationships Enhancement Program (PREP);
The study of couple development, including a strong focus on commitment dynamics and cohabitation.
The Center is currently home for four large, federally supported studies. Three of these are large, randomized effectiveness trials of relationship education and one is a study of relationship development (and cohabitation dynamics) using a large, longitudinal, national sample of couples at key developmental stages. (See Current Studies for details.)

Our research team, as well as others, is using this information to continue developing intervention programs to enhance the quality of marital and family relationships. The Center currently operates under the direction of Howard Markman, Scott Stanley, Galena Rhoades, and Elizabeth Allen.

couple-relationship education Survey