PREPARE couple types are highly predictive of separation/divorce, unhappy or happy marriage

Following on from the definition of the four types of premarital couples based on PREPARE - Vitalised, Harmonious, Conventional, and Conflicted (plus Devitalised for married couples) - it was found that the couple types are highly predictive of which couples eventually become separated/divorced, unhappily married or happily married (Fowers, Montel, and Olson, 1996).

The couple typology was created by using the Positive Couple Agreement (PCA) scores from the PREPARE and ENRICH Inventories using cluster analysis. Using data from 5,030 premarital couples who took PREPARE and 6,267 married couples who took ENRICH.

In order to validate the four premarital types, 328 premarital couples were followed for three years after marriage to assess their marital success (Fowers, Montel and Olson, 1996). These 328 couples were classified into the four premarital types and outcome measures focused on whether they were happily married, separated/divorced and a group that canceled their wedding plans.

The most significant validation of the value of the typology was the finding related to the marital outcomes of the premarital couples. As hypothesised, the Vitalised types of couples had the highest percentage of happily married couples (60%) and a low percentage of separated and divorced couples (17%). Conversely, the Conflicted types of couples had the most separated/divorced couples (49%) and least number of happily married couples (17%). The Traditional types had the lowest percentage of separated/divorced couples (6%), but the highest percentage of unhappily married couples (50%).

There were 89 couples who canceled their wedding plans as a result of taking PREPARE and receiving feedback. As predicted, the highest percentage of those who canceled their wedding were from Conflicted types (35 couples; 40%) followed by Traditional types (23 couples; 26 %), then Harmonious types (20 couples; 22%) and least often were Vitalized types (11 couples; 12%).

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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