Please answer each of the following questions in terms of your relationship with your "mate" if married, or your "partner" if dating or engaged. We recommend that you answer these questions by yourself (not with your partner), using the ranges below for your own reflection.
Use the following 3 point scale to rate how often you and your mate or partner experience the following:
1 = almost never
2 = once in awhile
3 = frequently
1 2 3 Little arguments escalate into ugly fights with accusations, criticisms, name calling, or bringing up past hurts.
1 2 3 My partner criticizes or belittles my opinions, feelings, or desires.
1 2 3 My partner seems to view my words or actions more negatively than I mean them to be.
1 2 3 When we have a problem to solve, it is like we are on opposite teams.
1 2 3 I hold back from telling my partner what I really think and feel.
1 2 3 I think seriously about what it would be like to date or marry someone else.
1 2 3 I feel lonely in this relationship.
1 2 3 When we argue, one of us withdraws...that is, doesn't want to talk about it anymore; or leaves the scene.
For more information on danger signs and constructive tools for strong marriages, see: Markman, H.J., Stanley, S.M., & Blumberg, S.L. (1994) Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps For A Loving and Lasting Relationship. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, Inc. (PREP 1-303-759-9931 ext. 932)
(C) PREP, Inc. 1997. All Rights Reserved. See Item #4 below.
1. We wrote these items based on an understanding of many key studies in the field. The content or themes behind the questions are based on numerous in depth studies on how people think and act in their marriages. These kinds of dynamics have been compared with patterns on many other key variables, such as satisfaction, commitment, problem intensity, etc. Because the kinds of methods researchers can use in their laboratories are more quite complex, this actual measure is far simpler than many of the methods we and others use to study marriages over time. But the themes are based on many solid studies. Caution is warranted in interpreting scores.
2. The back of the measure gives rough guidelines for interpreting the meaning of the scores. The ranges we suggest for the measure are based on results from a nationwide, random phone survey of 947 people (85% married) in January 1996. These ranges are meant as a rough guideline for helping couples assess the degree to which they are experiencing key danger signs in their marriages. The measure as you have it here powerfully discriminated between those doing well in their marriages/relationships and those who were not doing well on a host of other dimensions (thoughts of divorce, low satisfaction, low sense of friendship in the relationship, lower dedication, etc.). Couples scoring higher on these items are truly more likely to be experiencing problems (or, based on other research, are more likely to experience problems in the future).
3. This measure in and of itself should not be taken as a predictor of couples who are going to fail in their marriages. No couple should be told they will not "make it" based on a higher score. That would not be in keeping with our intention in developing this scale or with the meaning one could take from it for any one couple. While the items are based on studies that assess such things as the likelihood of a marriage working out, we would hate for any one person to take this and assume the worst about their future based on a high score. Rather, we believe that the measure can be used to motivate high and moderately high scoring people take a serious look at where their marriages are heading--and take steps to turn such negative patterns around for the better.
4. The material here is copyrighted and not for distribution. Further, this measure or the items from it are not to be reprinted in print form or electronic form without expressed, written permission. However, if you would like a version of this measure that you can copy and use, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to PREP, Inc., P.O. Box 102530, Denver, CO 80231 and ask for the Relationship Dynamics Quiz. We will send you a form that we approve for you to copy 'as is' for your use.
8 to 12 "Green Light"
If you scored in the 8 - 12 range, your relationship is probably in good or even great shape at THIS TIME, but we emphasize "at THIS TIME" because relationships don't stand still. In the next 12 months, you'll either have a stronger, happier relationship, or you could head the other direction.
To think about it another way, it's like you are traveling along and have come to a green light. There is no need to stop, but it is probably a great time to work on making your relationship all it can be.
13 to 17 "Yellow Light"
If you scored in the 13 - 17 range, it's like you are coming to a "yellow light." You need to be cautious. While you may be happy now in your relationship, your score reveals warning signs of patterns you don't want to let get worse. You'll want to be taking action to protect and improve what you have. Spending time to strengthen your relationship now could be the best thing you could do for your future together.
18 to 24 "Red Light"
Finally, if you scored in the 18 - 24 range, it's like approaching a red light. Stop, and think about where the two of you are headed. Your score indicates the presence of patterns that could put your relationship at significant risk. You may be heading for trouble--or already be there. But there is GOOD NEWS. You can stop and learn ways to improve your relationship now!
If you have questions about this measure and the meaning of it, please email or write to us at:
PREP, Inc. �2000
P.O. Box 102530
Denver, Colorado 80250-2530
Scott M. Stanley, Ph.D.
Howard J. Markman, Ph.D.
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