Predicting divorce potential has been of interest to researchers and clinicians. The Marital Status Inventory (Weiss & Ceretto, 1980) was developed to provide information about clients' perceived divorce potential. The MSI has been widely used but there have been complaints about the negatively worded items from clients, therapists, and researchers. Therefore, this study compared a revised form of the MSI (MSI-R has no negatively worded items) with the original format. There were three purposes of the study. The first was to assess the reliability and validity of the MSI-R. The second purpose was to see if the MSI-R continued to distinguish between types of therapy couples attended (marital versus other therapy). The third and final purpose of the study was to assess the ability of the MSI-R to assess divorce potential with a remarital sample. It was found that the MSI-R is on face value equally as valid as the original MSI. There was a lack of support for discriminate validity. The MSI-R was found to be internally consistent (alpha = .83), therefore reliable. Clients found the revised items to be more easily understood and readable than the original items. The MSI and MSI-R were significantly correlated indicating that they apparently measure the same concepts. Results showed that both groups scored on the low end of the scale indicating that the sample was not a very divorce prone group. There did not appear to be any difference with regards to mean scores on the MSI and MSI-R between marital and remarital groups. While the MSI-R appears to be a promising replacement for the MSI, further research is warranted to provide sufficient evidence of validity.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy



Date Submitted


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divorce, remarriage, MSI, Marital Status Inventory, RDAS, Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale, divorce potential