Psychometrics for the Relationship Checkup

The Gottman Relationship Checkup measures specific strengths and challenges that couples face in their relationship and in their individual lives. Dr. Gottman's lab began designing many of these assessment questionnaires in 1980 and it has taken decades of diligent research to harness this knowledge into a streamlined assessment tool.

Before this tool was built, Dr. Gottman needed to know that The Sound Relationship House questionnaires, which are included in the Gottman Relationship Checkup, accurately measure what they purport to measure. For example, if there is a challenge in Fondness and Admiration for one partner but not the other, he needed to be confident that we would actually see less respect and more contempt in a SPAFF coding of the couple’s Conflict Interaction and/or a Buehlman Coding of the couple’s Oral History Interview. He is delighted to report that this is indeed the case.

The Gottman Relationship Checkup contains several additional questionnaires, some of which are in the process of being tested and validated. Below is a chart, with a list of the questionnaires used in the Gottman Relationship Checkup, which show whether cutoff scores are based on psychometric data or on clinical experience while normative data is being collected. Cutoff scores may change as new data is collected. An asterisk indicates that the questionnaire is a Gottman Sound Relationship House scale. Every questionnaire needs to be interpreted in the context of all the other information gained during the assessment process.


Relationship Checkup Questionnaire

* Gottman Sound Relationship House scales. Psychometric properties are available at
Cut off scores are based on: Subsection
Psychometric Data Clinical Experience
  Close Icon Global Relationship Satisfaction Inventory
Close Icon   Weiss-Cerreto Relationship Status Inventory
Close Icon   * Love Maps
Close Icon   * Fondness and Admiration System
Close Icon   * Turning Towards or Away
  Close Icon Satisfaction with Passion and Romance in Your Relationship
  Close Icon Satisfaction with the Quality of Your Sex Life
  Close Icon Satisfaction with the Frequency of Sex in Your Relationship
Close Icon   * Emotional Disengagement and Loneliness
    The Detour Scales Subsection
  Close Icon Chaos and Control
  Close Icon Trust in the Relationship
  Close Icon Commitment
  Close Icon Meta-Emotions
    The Conflict Scales Subsection
Close Icon   * Harsh Startup
Close Icon   * The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Close Icon   * Flooding
Close Icon   * Accepting Influence
Close Icon   * Compromise
Close Icon   * Negative Sentiment Override
Close Icon   * Repair Attempts
  Close Icon My Family History
  Close Icon Areas Scale One: Emotional Connection
  Close Icon Areas Scale Two: Stress
  Close Icon Areas Scale Three: Relatives and Extended Family
  Close Icon Areas Scale Four: Jealousy
  Close Icon Areas Scale Five: Emotional or Sexual Affairs
  Close Icon Areas Scale Six: Basic Values and Goals
  Close Icon Areas Scale Seven: Housework and Childcare
  Close Icon Areas Scale Eight: Financial Issues
  Close Icon Areas Scale Nine: Having Fun Together
  Close Icon Areas Scale Ten: Spirituality, Religion, Ethics
  Close Icon Areas Scale Eleven: Children
  Close Icon Areas Scale Twelve: Distressing Events
Close Icon   *Gridlock On Perpetual Issues
    Shared Meaning Subsection
Close Icon   *Rituals of Connection
Close Icon   *Shared Meaning - Roles in Life
Close Icon   *Shared Meaning - Goals
Close Icon   *Shared Meaning - Symbols
    Individual Areas of Concern Subsection
Close Icon   Drug & Alcohol Abuse
  Close Icon Drug & Alcohol Frequency Screening
  Close Icon Suicide Potential
  Close Icon Domestic Violence Situational
  Close Icon Domestic Violence Characterological
  Close Icon Social Isolation
  Close Icon Degradation and Humiliation
  Close Icon Sexual Coercion
  Close Icon Property Damage
Close Icon   Somatization
Close Icon   Obsessive-Compulsive
Close Icon   Interpersonal Sensitivity
Close Icon   Depression
Close Icon   Anxiety
Close Icon   Anger-Hostility
Close Icon   Phobic Anxiety
Close Icon   Paranoid Ideation
Close Icon   Psychoticism
Close Icon   Poor Appetite
Close Icon   Trouble Falling Asleep
Close Icon   Awakening Early Morning
Close Icon   Restless or Disturbed Sleep
Close Icon   Thoughts of Death or Dying
Close Icon   Overeating
Close Icon   Feelings of Guilt

Psychometric properties may be found in the following references:

Connor JP, Grier M, Feeney GF, Young RM. (2007). The validity of the Brief Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (bMAST) as a problem drinking severity measure. J Stud Alcohol Drugs, 68(5), 771-79.

Derogatis LR, Lipman RS, Covi L. (1973). SCL-90: an outpatient psychiatric rating scale--preliminary report. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 9(1), 13-28.

Gottman, John. The reliability and validity of the sound relationship house questionnaires. Unpublished document. The article is available here.

Whiting, J.B. & Crane, D.R. (2003). Distress and Divorce: Establishing Cutoff Scores for the Marital Status Inventory. Contemporary Family Therapy, 25(2), 195 – 205.