Premarital counselling interventions in sustaining marital stability among couples in Langata and Dagoretti South Constituences, of Nairobi county, Kenya


Marriage is regarded as the primary relationship between men and women in many societies and cultures of the world. Considering this reality, this study assessed premarital counselling in sustenance to marriage stability. Specifically, the study sought to determine current status of marriage stability, explored influence of communication skills, examined spousal romance and investigated financial management skills, among couples; who undertook Premarital Counselling. The study was anchored on Rational Emotive Behaviour Theory as advanced by Albert Ellis (2005) and Contextual Family Therapy theory by Boszormenyi-Nagy, (1987). Mixed methods research design comprising of Survey, Phenomenological and ex-posto facto Causal Comparative; were used in gathering statistical elements of data, which enriched the research with the behavioural characteristics of respondents. The study sample comprised of 416 married men and women participants, identified from Langata and Dagoretti South Constituencies of Nairobi County. Probability sampling technique through systematic random sampling identified the participants. Research tools included questionnaires for gathering quantitative data and fill-in section for qualitative data. To ensure validity of the research instruments, the researcher personally generated the instruments and submitted them for expert judgement on content validity. Reliability was ascertained by carrying out a pilot study (test and retest) with fifteen participants. Results obtained repeatedly, ensured the instruments were reliable and acceptable; with Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient above 0.7. Regarding qualitative instruments the researcher ensured reliability by submitting them to experts in marriage counselling. Quantitative data was subjected to Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS); for analysis. Results were expressed statistically and presented in tables, percentiles, pie charts and bar graphs. Qualitative data was analysed thematically and presented in narratives. Key findings at the completion of the study indicated that couples who went through premarital counselling experienced greater commitment to spouse, enhanced affective communication, cordial co-existence and couple cohesion; culminating in marriage stability and longevity. The study further established that romance created cooperation and sexual intimacy leading to spousal fulfilment and contentment. About financial management skills, budgeting, trust in handling family finances, openness in savings, investment and living within one’s means; contributed to stabilityof marriages. The study recommended that premarital and marriage counsellors should be trained in counselling psychology, among other qualifications. Consideration on age, religious beliefs, culture and attitude to life partner should be considered before marriage. Mentor couples and implementation of post marital counselling was also recommended, within the area of study.

Marriage, Premarital Counselling, Relationship