Other Studies and

Brief Research Reports

Personality and Couple Satisfaction  (click here)

Kaufman & Larson (2011)

The goal of the study was to examine the relationship between personality and marital satisfaction and partner pairing. A national sample of 10,000 married couples took the PREPARE-ENRICH couple assessment and the results were examined to determine whether couples with similar personalities were more satisfied in their marriage than couples with dissimilar personalities and whether individuals were more likely to pair with someone with a similar personality or different personality. Couple types were divided into four categories: those both scoring high, both scoring low, both scoring moderate, and one scoring high-one scoring low on each of the five scales of personality. Results indicate that there is no relationship between personality similarities/differences and marital satisfaction, and that individuals are 66% more likely to pair with someone with a different personality than their own. However, personality similarities/differences do play a role in judgment of marital satisfaction, as those couples who both score high in each of the five dimensions of personality were significantly more satisfied in their relationship than those who both scored low.

 
 

Birth Order and Couple Satisfaction  (click here)

Raetz (2011)

The effects of birth order in marital satisfaction and intimacy were investigated using a national sample of 10,000 married couples who had taken the PREPARE/ENRICH Inventory. Birth order pairs studied were first, only, second-, and third-born. It was hypothesized that couples of the same birth order would have a less satisfying relationship than couples (who were married to someone) of dissimilar birth orders. It was found that birth order does not have an effect on marital satisfaction - so the hypotheses were unsupported.

 
 

Commitment in Marriage  (click here)

Larson & Olson (2010)

With the Customized Version of PREPARE/ENRICH, a new section of questions was created addressing the Commitment levels for both partners. We recently began analyzing some of the data gathered from married couples.

 
 

Forgiveness in Marriage  (click here)

Larson & Olson (2010)

We analyzed 7,034 married couples to investigate how well forgiveness differentiated healthy from unhealthy marriages. In comparing healthy Vitalized couples with struggling Devitalized couples, the forgiveness results were compelling. Over 86% of the Vitalized couples had forgiveness as a relational strength, but less than 1% of the Devitalized couples reported a healthy ability to forgive one another and move forward in their relationship. For Devitalized couples, forgiveness was a relational growth area over 86% of the time.

Reference: Mouttet, K. L. R. (2009) Unpublished doctoral dissertation. A Comparative Analysis of Three Scales Intended to Measure Forgiveness. Regent University.

 
 

Top Stressors for Couples  (click here)

Larson & Olson (2009)

In today's fast paced society, it is impossible to avoid stress in our lives. A recent poll of 1,000 U.S. adults and found 47% of respondents feel more stress today than they did 6 months ago. The number one source of stress cited in the poll was "personal finance concerns" (Booth Research, 2008).

References: Neff, L.A., and Karney, B.R., (2009). Stress and reactivity to daily relationship experiences: How stress hinders adaptive processes in marriage. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97 (3), 435-450.

 
 

Couple Checkup: Tuning Up Relationship  (click here)

David Olson, Peter Larson & Amy Olson-Sigg (2009)

There is considerable evidence that marriage is good for both adults and children and marriage education programs are designed to help build stronger marriages. However, these programs have a variety of problems that limit their effectiveness and impact and the Couple Checkup overcomes some of those limitations. The Couple Checkup can also be used by a couple on their own or used with marriage education programs to improve its impact. The Couple Checkup is based on the PREPARE/ENRICH Program, and it customizes the assessment for each couple. The couple can view and print their Checkup Report and a Couple Discussion Guide. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own, and to emphasize prevention over remediation. The Couple Checkup can also be used in a group setting and group leaders can create a Group Summary to help them better understand and work with the couples in a group.

Reference: Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy: Innovations in Clinical and Educational Interventions, 1533–2683, Volume 8, Issue 2, 2009, Pages 129–142

 
 

Distressed Couples & Marriage Education  (click here)

Rita DeMaria (2005)

Professionals generally believe that couples who chose to attend marriage education programs are not as distressed as are clinical couples and that distressed couples are not good candidates for marriage education. These assumptions were tested with 129 married couples who enrolled in a PAIRS marriage education course. Using the ENRICH couple assessment, it was found that 59% of the couples were "Devitalized" and 34 were "Conflicted" which are the two most unhappy and distressed couple types. This surprising finding suggests that highly distressed married couples are common among those who seek marriage education programs.

Reference: Distressed Couples and Marriage Education. Family Relations, 54, 252–253 (2005)


 

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