Adolescents in rural and small city high schools in the western United States (N = 159) reported their perceptions of marriage and marriage education. They considered preparation for marriage important, but expressed lower familiarity with and lower intentions to attend programs than college students assessed previously. Youth valued parents, peers, volunteer couples, and personal experience as sources of information on marriage and were most interested in a brief, low-cost program led by a volunteer couple that focused on communication and conflict-resolution skills and issues. Youth attitudes toward and expectations of marriage reflected some realistic but many unrealistic expectations, consistent with their developmental stage. Implications for programming, research, and policy are discussed. (Author abstract) over 50 references.
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Adolescents' perceptions of marriage and premarital couples education.