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Premarital Assessment Tests. A Review of the PREPARE, FOCCUS, and RELATE Tests. Ana Moraga, Sandy Escobar, Katie McKeon, and Page Patten. Why Premarital Assessments?. These tests have increasingly become important since divorce rates continue to rise in the U.S.

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premarital assessment tests

Premarital Assessment Tests

A Review of the PREPARE, FOCCUS, and RELATE Tests.

Ana Moraga, Sandy Escobar, Katie McKeon, and Page Patten

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

why premarital assessments
Why Premarital Assessments?
  • These tests have increasingly become important since divorce rates continue to rise in the U.S.
  • Premarital assessments are not used to predict relationship success, but rather as a guide to inform couples which areas of the relationship need work.

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

prepare
PREPARE

PREmarital Preparation And Relationship Enhancement questionnaire

  • 195 items in 20 scales
    • 4 personality
      • Personality scales are used to help the counselor understand the individuals in the relationship
    • 15 relationship
    • 1 idealistic distortion scale
      • Idealistic distortion is used to correct social desirability

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

prepare4
PREPARE
  • Four types of premarital couples:
    • Vitalized
      • Greatest marital satisfaction
    • Harmonious
    • Traditional
    • Conflicted
      • Highest divorce rate
      • Intervention is recommended at this stage

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

prepare5
PREPARE
  • Strengths
    • Short
    • Extensive analysis
    • Easy to administer and interpret
    • Multiple languages
    • “Has multiple measures of reliability and validity” (Larson et al., 2002, p 236)

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

prepare6
PREPARE
  • Concerns
    • Does not measure three factors that predict marital satisfaction:
      • Parental mental illness
      • Similarity of intelligence
      • Similarity of absolute status
        • “Overall similarity of the partners based on age, socioeconomic status, intelligence, religion, and race” (Larson et al., 2002, p 234)
    • Most expensive of the three tests

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

foccus
Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study questionnaireFOCCUS
  • 156 items
  • Optional 33 items for interfaith couples, cohabiting couples, and couples in which one or both partners are remarrying
  • Widely used by Catholics and Protestant churches as well as nondenominational counseling services

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

foccus8
FOCCUS
  • Strengths
    • Contains several different versions for those who do not speak English or have problems reading
    • Can be scored 3 different ways
      • Computer
      • Hand
      • PC program
    • Problem areas are all on one scale

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

foccus9
FOCCUS
  • Concerns
    • Does not measure the three factors that predict marital satisfaction
    • Validity for preferred response is unknown

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

relate
RELATE

RELATionship Evaluation questionnaire

  • 271 items
  • Internet version

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

relate11
RELATE
  • Strengths
    • Two of the three premarital instruments are presented
    • Easiest of the three to interpret and to use in a large group setting
    • Cheapest and most comprehensive
    • Only test available on the internet

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

relate12
RELATE
  • Concerns
    • Does not measure the other third premarital instrument

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

which test should i use
Which test should I use?
  • PREPARE: for couples who want structured exercises
  • FOCCUS: for couples who also have financial problems and wish to see a counselor
  • RELATE: for couples who do not want to see a counselor or have limited economic funds

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

critical review
Critical Review
  • Agree
    • Marital tests should be used since divorce rates are high
    • More research should be done for the study of these tests
    • These three components predict a successful marriage
      • Parental mental illness
      • Similarity of intelligence
      • Similarity of absolute status

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

critical review15
Critical Review
  • Disagree
    • Marital satisfaction should predict success
    • There should be more than 4 personality scales used in the PREPARE test
    • Test should be interpreted by a counselor and not just taken alone by the couple

Larson, J.H., Newell, K.,Topham, G., & Nichols, S. (2002). A review of three comprehensive premarital assessment questionaires. "Journal of Marital and Family Therapy," 28, 233-249.

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