Title

Useful premarital counseling topics among Ghanaian couples

Presenter Information

Leah HarleyFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Theatre

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Esther Malm

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Premarital counseling is a program many soon-to-be married couples use to assist them in preparing for married life. During premarital counseling, couples ask questions, think through life scenarios, work through sensitive discussions together with a professional counselor. The goal of these sessions is to promote conversations and equip couples with strategies that can facilitate healthy marriages and relationships. This research sought to examine topics that participants who had received premarital counseling found useful in their marriage. In a study of 241 Ghanaian couples living in Ghana (74%) or abroad (26%), 99% attended premarital counseling at some point before marriage. Participants (61% Female) had an average age of 36 years (Range = 31-76) with majority having a minimum of college level education (98%). The average number of weeks of attending premarital counseling was 15 weeks. The average number of sessions participants received was 13 sessions. In the time of taking part in the study 69% of participants were married, 28% in a relationship, 2% separated/divorced, 1% widowed. Each participant gave up to three responses to the key question. The qualitative data was coded using the Thematic Analytic approach (Maguire & Delahunt, 2017). Results showed that fourteen themes emerged. The top five themes (in order of responses) were: Finances, Values in Marriage, Sex/Intimacy, Marital Relation, and Communication. Findings from this study will benefit marriage counselors by providing empirical data on topics to prioritize during premarital counseling sessions. Secondly, findings will help develop/improve on current premarital counseling training manuals.

Key Words: Premarital Counseling, Ghana, Marriage, Relationships, Intimacy, Thematic Analytic Approach, Qualitative Research

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Useful premarital counseling topics among Ghanaian couples

Premarital counseling is a program many soon-to-be married couples use to assist them in preparing for married life. During premarital counseling, couples ask questions, think through life scenarios, work through sensitive discussions together with a professional counselor. The goal of these sessions is to promote conversations and equip couples with strategies that can facilitate healthy marriages and relationships. This research sought to examine topics that participants who had received premarital counseling found useful in their marriage. In a study of 241 Ghanaian couples living in Ghana (74%) or abroad (26%), 99% attended premarital counseling at some point before marriage. Participants (61% Female) had an average age of 36 years (Range = 31-76) with majority having a minimum of college level education (98%). The average number of weeks of attending premarital counseling was 15 weeks. The average number of sessions participants received was 13 sessions. In the time of taking part in the study 69% of participants were married, 28% in a relationship, 2% separated/divorced, 1% widowed. Each participant gave up to three responses to the key question. The qualitative data was coded using the Thematic Analytic approach (Maguire & Delahunt, 2017). Results showed that fourteen themes emerged. The top five themes (in order of responses) were: Finances, Values in Marriage, Sex/Intimacy, Marital Relation, and Communication. Findings from this study will benefit marriage counselors by providing empirical data on topics to prioritize during premarital counseling sessions. Secondly, findings will help develop/improve on current premarital counseling training manuals.

Key Words: Premarital Counseling, Ghana, Marriage, Relationships, Intimacy, Thematic Analytic Approach, Qualitative Research