Increasing Marital Adjustment in Graduate Students and their Spouses through Relationship Enhancement
Shollenberger, Matthew Alan
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Graduate school for most students can be quite stressful. When combined with the responsibility of being a spouse, parent, and/or employee, the stress is elevated. Research has indicated that the greatest area of discord for married graduate students and their nonstudent spouses is communication. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of a relationship enhancement program on the marital adjustment of graduate students and their spouses. The sample consisted of 28 married graduate students and their nonstudent spouses. These couples were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups or a control group. Some of the treatment group participants received one-on-one training by a therapist certified in Relationship Enhancement (RE while others received the training through an RE self-study manual (Guerney, 1987). Marital adjustment was measured pre and post test to intervention by the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test (Locke & Wallace, 1959). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed significant differences between treatment group and control group as measured by scores of marital adjustment. This study also provides suggestions for how institutions of higher education can provide support to married students and their spouses on college campuses.
- Doctoral Dissertations