Four types of premarital couples based on PREPARE

PREPARE couple types are highly predictive of which couples eventually become separated/divorced, unhappily married or happily married (Fowers, Montel, and Olson, 1996). These four types are called Vitalized, Harmonious, Conventional, and Conflicted. Five married couple types were identified using ENRICH (Olson and Fowers, 1993). The five types are called Vitalized, Harmonious, Conventional, Conflicted, and Devitalized.

Vitalised couples: The Vitalized couples were the happiest couple type because they had the highest positive couple agreement (PCA) scores on many of the areas. They had many strengths (high PCA scores) and few growth areas (low PCA scores).

Harmonious Couples: The Harmonious couples had many strengths, but not as many as the Vitalized couples. They like many areas of their relationship, but often have low scores in the Children & Parenting area.

Conventional Couples: These couples are called traditional because they had more strengths in traditional areas including Children & Parenting, Family & Friends, Traditional Roles and Spiritual Beliefs. However, they had lower scores on more internal dynamics where they indicated problems with Personality Issues, Communication, and Conflict Resolution.

Conflicted Couples: These couples had numerous growth areas and few relationship strengths. They were called conflicted since they seemed to disagree about many areas and they had low scores on communication, conflict resolution and many of the other areas. As premarital couples, they are high risk for divorce and for married couples; they are a common type that seeks marital therapy (Fowers, Montel, & Olson, 1996).

Devitalized Couples (only from ENRICH): These couples had growth areas in almost all aspects of their relationship. They are typically very unhappy and have few strengths as a couple, although they might have had strengths earlier in their relationship. These couples are also a common type that seeks marital therapy.

PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on the use and analysis of the five couple types or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: or call today (02) 9520 4049, #prepareenrich

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