Predicting marital status outcome and satisfaction based on an empirical typology of engaged couples

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Blaine J. Fowers - Committee Chair


Previous research has identified four types of engaged couples using the premarital relationship inventory PREPARE (Olson, Fournier & Druckman, 1987). The four couple types are Vitalized, Harmonious, Traditional and Conflicted. The present study investigated the marital status outcomes and marital satisfaction of these empirically-derived engaged couple types 2-3 years following marriage. The purpose of this research was to assess the external validity of the PREPARE based typology. As hypothesized, it was found that the couple types differed significantly with respect to both marital status outcomes and satisfaction.The Vitalized couples had the highest levels of satisfaction. They were also least likely to be separated or divorced. Conversely, the Conflicted couples were the least satisfied and most often separated or divorced. The Harmonious couples were more satisfied than Traditional couples; however they were also more likely than the Traditional couples to have separated or divorced. The Traditional couples were the least likely to separate or divorce but also the most likely to be dissatisfied in their marriage.An examination of the changes in demographic variables yielded little information, indicating that demographic changes were not nearly as important as was couple type in the prediction of marital status and satisfaction. These findings suggest that it may be useful to develop premarital intervention programs based on the PREPARE typology of engaged couples.


Psychology, Social; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

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