Scott Michael Stanley

Research Professor

Professional Biography

Scott Stanley, Ph.D., is a research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. He has published widely with research interests including commitment, cohabitation, communication, conflict, risk factors for divorce, the prevention of marital distress, and couple development before marriage. Along with Dr. Howard Markman and colleagues, he has been involved in the research, development, and refinement of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) for over 30 years.Among various projects, Stanley and colleagues (Elizabeth Allen, Howard Markman, & Galena Rhoades) are conducting a large, randomized trial of a variant of PREP in the U. S. Army, funded by NICHD. Stanley, Galena Rhoades, and Howard Markman have also conducted a longitudinal study of cohabitation and couple development that was funded by NICHD. Various studies are in progress with this national data set of individuals involved in serious relationships but who were not married at the start of the study. Stanley has authored or co-authored various books including Fighting for Your Marriage, The Power of Commitment, and A Lasting Promise. He is a founder of PREP and co-author of the Within Our Reach, an experiential-based curriculum for couples, and the Within My Reach, an experiential-based curriculum for individuals.


  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Denver, 1986
  • MS, Clinical Psychology, Ohio University, 1981
  • BS, Psychology, Bowling Green State University, 1979

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Psychologist