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The ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale Essay

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Updated: Jul 21st, 2022

Presently, there are numerous trait scales that are developed in order to assess the psychological well-being of individuals in a specific area of life. For instance, the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale (EMS) was initially created with the purpose to determine the level of marital satisfaction taking into consideration family satisfaction and the possibility of divorce. In spite of the fact that this scale was originally developed in the U.S., it has been used in a variety of other countries, including Finland and Iran, lately.

Developed by Fowers and Olson in 1993, this scale is widely used by scientists and researchers in different parts of the world. In fact, creators of this scale take into account multiple essential elements related to marriage, such as communication, conflict resolution, financial management, sexual relationship, and personality compatibility. As a result, Fowers and Olson highlight that this tool can be used to predict potential cases of divorce with 85% of accuracy (Alipour et al., 2020). This 15-item questionnaire requires responses ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” using a five-point Likert scale. At the same time, considering that this scale has such a high level of reliability, a completely online program called PREPARE/ENRICH was developed based on the main principles of the marital satisfaction scale (Alipour et al., 2020). Therefore, couples preparing to marry have the opportunity to improve their relationship skills in terms of personality traits, relationship skills, stress reduction, and financial issues.

Additionally, this tool is frequently used for the assessment of the environment in families that face considerable problems. For instance, one of the latest research studies examined the relationship satisfaction of parents with children with congenital heart disease in Finland. Subsequently, an analysis of responses given by 104 parents of heart children was provided on the basis of the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale (Riikonen et al., 2019). Findings demonstrate that the majority of parents were satisfied with the quality of their relationships with the other partner even though their children were diagnosed with congenital heart disease. However, when it comes to gender differences, men were more satisfied with their relationships with spouses than women (Riikonen et al., 2019). It can be explained by the fact that women usually experience a higher amount of stress than men in the context of a child’s health status. This cross-sectional study provides information that the main part of parents of children suffering from congenital heart disease is satisfied with their marital relationships.

The other cross-sectional research study took place in Iran. In fact, researchers aimed to assess the marital satisfaction level among male married couples. Moreover, the association between their mental health and personal relationships was identified. In order to achieve this goal, researchers took into account 100 married male students (Riahi et al., 2017). In turn, the use of the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale has helped identify that marital dissatisfaction significantly depends on the quality of relationships between partners. Depression and anxiety disorders are expected to have the most considerable influence on the marital satisfaction level. Taking into consideration that anxiety is likely to cause interpersonally destructive behavior, family relationships are predicted to be affected. Furthermore, individuals suffering from mental health issues usually decrease their communication with family and society. Therefore, numerous couples will need high-quality psychological help to address this problem.

Accordingly, the general rationale for cross-validation studies mentioned above is based on the idea to assess the effectiveness of the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale. Simultaneously, the psychometric soundness (reliability/validity) of the scale as developed in the original country is based on the fact that it has strong correlations with other measures of marital satisfaction, indicating a high level of validity. Considering that the majority of predictions that were developed with the help of this scale were true, thereby demonstrating that researchers can rely on this model.

Hence, if researchers seek a valid and reliable measure of marital quality, they should pay attention to the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale in the first place. Currently, over more than 100,000 facilitators in the U.S. and worldwide use this scale on a regular basis (Alipour et al., 2020). Consequently, despite the fact that there are numerous trait scales that are developed to assess the psychological well-being of individuals in relationships with a partner, the scale developed by Fowers and Olson can be considered the most reliable one.

At present time, researchers pay a vast amount of attention to scales that are based on individuals and dyadic satisfaction scores. The ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale belongs to the list of these scales. It consists of 15 statements that are used to evaluate marital satisfaction and idealistic distortion. They cover a variety of essential topics, including communication issues, financial management, sexual relationships, and parenting. As a result, researchers have the opportunity to assess the quality of relationships from different perspectives. Once specific issues are identified, it is crucial to ask for psychological help and follow the recommendations provided by a highly qualified specialist. In case these recommendations are ignored, there is a high likelihood that the couple will divorce.

References

Alipour, Z., Kazemi, A., Kheirabadi, G., & Eslami, A. (2020). Reproductive Health, 17(1), 1-20. Web.

Riahi, F., Khajeddin, N., & Izadi-Mazidi, L. (2017). Evaluation of the relationship between mental health and marital satisfaction in male married students. Jentashapir Journal of Health Research, 23(2), 1-15. Web.

Riikonen, A., Aho, A., & Rantanen, A. (2019). Interpersonal: An International Journal on Personal Relationships, 13(1), 57-71. Web.

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