Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 232–246 | Cite as

PREP for Strong Bonds: A Review of Outcomes from a Randomized Clinical Trial

  • Elizabeth S. AllenEmail author
  • Galena K. Rhoades
  • Howard J. Markman
  • Scott M. Stanley
Original Paper


To help address the relationship needs of service members, there have been a number of programs offered within active duty and veteran contexts. One program, offered within the Strong Bonds portfolio delivered by Army Chaplains, is PREP for Strong Bonds (PREP = the Prevention and Relationship Education Program). PREP has a number of empirically based and tested variants. This article reviews the disseminated research regarding results from a large randomized clinical trial designed to test the effectiveness of PREP for Strong Bonds. From a sample of 662 Army couples drawn from two sites, outcome papers have focused on different subsamples, marital outcomes, follow up time points, and moderators. Reviewing these disseminated outcomes, we conclude that PREP for Strong Bonds has significant divorce reduction effects at one site; these divorce effects were found at both 1 and 2 years post intervention, and were moderated by factors such as minority status, economic strain, and cohabitation history of the couple. In terms of marital quality outcomes, some modest overall effects were found pre to post intervention, but there were no overall marital quality outcome effects 2 years post intervention. However, marital quality outcomes are significantly moderated by infidelity and cohabitation history, with couples reporting these risk factors showing greater positive marital quality outcomes. These results to date are discussed in terms of clinical and research implications as well as directions for future work, such as examining longer term preventative effects.


Military Couples Relationship education 



Research reported in this publication was supported by NICHD of the National Institutes of Health under award number RO1HD048780. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth S. Allen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Galena K. Rhoades
    • 2
  • Howard J. Markman
    • 2
  • Scott M. Stanley
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Colorado DenverDenverUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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