Background of the FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory

The FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory is a comprehensive, user-friendly tool for use by lay individuals, couples or professionals who are helping couples prepare for marriage, and who become trained as FOCCUS Facilitators.The FOCCUS© Inventory is designed to help engaged couples appreciate their unique relationship, learn more about themselves, and discuss topics important to their lifelong marriage.

Overview of FOCCUS© 4th Edition Pre-Marriage Inventory

The FOCCUS© 4th Edition Pre-Marriage Inventory

is a 151-item marriage preparation tool, which includes additional, optional items for interfaith couples, cohabiting couples, remarriage couples and couples with children. The Inventory was developed in 1986, updated with cohabiting couple items in 1997,  revised in 2000 and updated to the 4th edition in 2013 with new research-based items in areas related to internet use, pornography, prayer in marriage and pets. All editions have strong psychometric characteristics of reliability, content, construct and predictive validity.

FOCCUS stands for...
  • Facilitating
  • Open
  • Couple
  • Communication
  • Understanding, and
  • Study

Psychometric Qualities of FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory

An independent research firm, SRI Research Center, Inc. of Lincoln, Nebraska conducted analysis of the FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory to determine the Construct Validity of the instrument., SRI is nowa unit of the Gallup Organization.

The March 1985 analysis of FOCCUS© Pre-marriage Inventory was based on 222 protocols. Becausethe FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventorywas designed to facilitate maximum couple discussion on key topics, only items that resulted in different answers between members of 10% or more of the couples were retained in the final instrument. Item 95 as retained is an exception because the content was deemed particularly important. Most items retained in the instrument had significantly more than 10% variance, indicating that they could elicit a high degree of couple discussion.

The Internal Consistency of the three original subscales (Basic Instrument, Interfaith Marriages and Second Marriages) was estimated using the Kuder Richardson Formula 21 procedure. The reliability was established to be .86 for the Basic instrument, .98 for Interfaith Marriages section, .94 for Second Marriages section. These reliability estimates for the FOCCUS© Pre-marriage Inventorywere markedly in excess of the guideline coefficientof .75 established by SRI. ("An Internal Analysis of the FOCCUS Attitude Scale," March 1985, prepared by SRI Research Center, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska)

In 1991, Williams and Jurich from the Department of Family Studies at Purdue University reported the predictive validity of FOCCUS to be comparable to or higher than other commonly used marriage preparation inventories. Of 410 engaged couples that took FOCCUS in 1985 333 participated in the research.The Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) by Spanier (1976) was chosen to measure marital quality. Results indicate that scores on the initial FOCCUS© Pre-marriage Inventorywere highly predictive of relationship quality after five years of marriage with classification rates 80% and 82%. (Williams, Lee; Jurich, Joan. "Predicting Marital Success After Five Years; Assessing the Predictive Validity of FOCCUS,"Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 21, (1995) 141-153.) The categories of FOCCUS items with the highest predictive value are Problem Solving and Personality Match.. In June 1996, The Gallup Organization studied the internal consistency of the newly developed Cohabiting Couples subscale of the FOCCUS© Pre-marriage Inventory. They followed the same procedures used in the 1985 analysis of FOCCUS. Items were retained or deleted on the basis of item descriptive statistics, item subscale correlation, and KR-20 Reliability. A reliability coefficient of .79 was reported for the final Cohabiting Couples subscale. ("An Internal Analysis of a Cohabitation Subscale to the FOCCUS Attitude Scale", June 1996, The Gallup Organization, Lincoln, Nebraska).

In 2000, revisions were made in three scales: Religion and Values, Marriage Covenant and Interfaith Marriages. Changes were designedto strengthening the questions in these areas based on national research done in the previous five years. The Gallup Organization conducted an internal analysis of these scales. Construct Validity was established. KR-20reliability was .88 for males and .83 for females.

In 2009, FOCCUS, Inc. USA conducted a factor analysis of all items on the FOCCUS Pre-Marriage Inventory. Initial factoring used a random sample of 2,000 couples who had completed the inventory between 1996 and 2005 and were cross validated using a second, equally large random sample. Among others, the following factors were identified as particularly salientconstructs measured by the FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory and are factors identified by other research as being important to marital satisfaction: Respect and support for partner, Concern about (negative) habits, Disagreement on spiritual practices, Reservations about the marriage, Unresolved relationship conflict, Financial issues and roles/responsibilities, Belief that spirituality and values are integral to the relationship, Conflict Avoidance, and Acceptance by extended family.