FOCCUS, Inc. USA
began with the groundbreaking marriage preparation inventory,
FOCCUS©, which was developed in 1986 by three marriage and family therapists: B. Markey, Ph.D., M. Micheletto, M.A. and A. Becker, A.C.S.W, with these goals in mind:
- user-friendly, couple-centered inventory
- designed for lay individuals and professionals
- aid to preparing couples for marriage
- emphasize a facilitation process rather than counseling
- address issues important for engaged couples to discuss and understand
- affordable and flexible instrument
- based on research and sound psychometrics
- adjusted over time to continue to address developing issues (such as dual career marriage, cohabiting couples entering marriage in 1997 and challenges to shared spirituality in 2000)
In service of these goals,
the FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory was further developed by the following team:
SRI Research Center, Lincoln, Nebraska/The Gallup Organization, Omaha, Nebraska. SRI/Gallup conducted all psychometric tests on the FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage instrument in 1986, 1997, 2000. (See Psychometric Qualities of FOCCUS.)
A copyright firm. From 1995 on, a private copyright firm was retained to oversee the development of FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory as an independent work. The copyright lawyers required verification that all content came from "the body of common knowledge" and not from any previous instrument; the work of SRI/Gallup with pilot couples to determine reliability and validity was verified, as was the independent work on the FOCCUS©Couple Report by the design specialists at the Creighton University Computer Center.
Practitioner and academic consultants. Over 40 consultants and readers provided their responses to the original FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory items, and similar specialists provided feedback again in 1997 and 2000, as items were added and adjusted to address developing societal issues pertinent to engaged and married couples.
Creighton University College and University Computing Center. The design and redesign of the FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory was conducted with Creighton Computing staff. They also initially designed and maintained the database of couples who agreed to provide responses to future questions for the purpose of follow-up research after taking FOCCUS.
Since 1986, over 500,000 couples have taken FOCCUS©, many of whom have agreed to have their data stored and have participated in studies on the effectiveness of marriage prep and the concerns of newly married couples.
FOCCUS, Inc. USA subsequently began developing additional marriage and family related products, using a team approach. The REFOCCUS© Marriage Enrichment Inventory was prepared in 1988, the REFOCCUS© Guide for Couple and Group Discussion in 1990, and FOCCUS© for the Future in 2000, in collaboration with The Center for Marriage and Family at Creighton University.
In 2008, lead by psychologist and director, Lynda Madison, Ph.D., FOCCUS, Inc USA conducted further research evaluating the responses of more than 80,000 couples who took the FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory. Results showed that the inventory continues to assess important dimensions of couple relationships and communication. FOCCUS, Inc. USA continues to update its products and develop new relationship resources that further its organizational goal of "Facilitating Open, Couple Communication, Understanding and Study."
The FOCCUS© Catholic Convalidation Inventory will be available in the near future.