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Predicting Marital Success after Five Years: Assessing the Predictive Validity of FOCCUS
Lee Williams, University of San Diego, Joan Jurich, Purdue University
Engaged Couples who took a premarital inventory called FOCCUS were contacted 5 years later to see if their scores would predict their future marital success. Results showed that FOCCUS successfully predicted the future marital success of most couples, supporting the predictive validity of FOCCUS. The results also indicate that FOCCUS and PREPARE are roughly comparable in terms of their predictive validity.
A Review of Three Comprehensive Premarital Assessment Questionnaires
Jeffrey Larson, Kenneth Newell, Glad Topham and Sheldon Nichols
Three comprehensive assessment questionnaires (PAQs) are described, evaluated on their psychometric characteristics and compared. These include PREmarital Preparation and Relationship Enhancement (PREPARE) QUESTIONNAIRE, The Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study (FOCCUS) questionnaire, and the RELAtionship Evaluation. Recommendations for using each PAQ are discussed.
An Empirical Approach to Designing Marriage Preparation Programs
Lee Williams, Univ. of San Diego; Lisa Riley & Gail Risch, Creighton University
Individuals married 1-8 years were surveyed to assess their perceptions of the helpfulness of marriage preparation and specific aspects of their experience. Two-thirds of the respondents perceived marriage preparation as a valuable experience, but the perceived value declined with the length of marriage. Aspects of marriage preparations rated most helpful included providing time for couples to learn about each other, process (inventory rated highly, especially by men), using a team of providers, addressing the Five C's (communication, commitment, conflict resolution, children and church), and having 8-9 sessions.
Making a Case for Premarital Education
Scott M. Stanley, University of Denver
This article advances the argument that engaging in broadly applied premarital education efforts can reduce marital distress and divorce. Because of the complexity of design issues and difficulties inherent in outcome studies, researchers will reasonably continue to debate the effectiveness of premarital education regimens. Furthermore, there is a great deal more to be discovered that will guide prevention efforts in ways that will improve the effectiveness of those efforts in the future. Using a combination of rational argument and empirical findings, 4 key benefits of premarital education are discussed: a) it can slow couples down to foster deliberation, b) it sends a message that marriage matters, c) it can help couples learn of options if they need help later, and d) there is evidence that some couples with some types of premarital training can lower their risks for subsequent marital distress or termination.