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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 25, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 21Jun00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

"> BYU Professor's Book Seeks To Help Newlyweds
BYU NewsNet 19Jun00 A2
By Daniel Davis: NewsNet Staff Writer

PROVO, UTAH -- BYU Professor Jeffrey H. Larson believes that many marriages can be improved before they even start. Larson has compiled the results of 60 years of social science research and more than 100 studies into a new book, "Should We Stay Together." In it, Larson identifies 25 factors that can improve a marriages long-term success.

"Most marriage problems can be traced back to the premarital relationship," Larson said. "It is so important for couples to take a comprehensive inventory of their relationship and address important issues before they marry,"

Larson, a professor and chairman of the Family and Marriage Therapy Program at BYU, says that today many people are wary of marriage or are nervous about marriage because of preconceived ideas. Others think that love will overcome any obstacle. But, he says, the studies show these things are simply not true.

This book can help lower the divorce rate, hopes Larson, because he says it shows couples where they need to strengthen their relationship before marriage, so that it can withstand the inevitable stresses and strains of marriage. "There are those instances when the red lights indicate marriage at this time, or to this person may not be the wisest decision," says Larson, and some of the factors listed in the book identify those red lights.

For example, among the factors that Larson says are important is the wife's age at marriage. "Research has shown women that marry after the age of 23 decrease their chances of getting a divorce," he said. Another factor that is important is how long the couple has been together and dated before marriage. The studies Larson cites show that the longer a couple has been together and dated before marriage, the more successful a marriage will be.

But Larson doesn't say that even marriages with older women can't succeed. He gives a three-dimensional model that serves as a roadmap to guide couples toward a happy marriage. Larson says that the couple understanding their strengths and weaknesses can lead to long-term stability for a marriage.

Larson's co-worker, Dr. Bob Stahmann, a professor of marriage and family therapy at BYU, endorsed Larson's book. "This book is based on the best of what is known about predicting marital satisfaction," he said. "Its style and content are unique and directly applicable to couples."


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See also:

Should We Stay Together? More about Jeffrey H. Larson's "Should We Stay Together?" at

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information