An investigation of the relationship among self-concept, communication, and marital adjustment

Archie D Carden, Tennessee State University


This study investigated the relationship between self-concept, communication and marital adjustment within marital relationships. Both spouses did not have to participate. They must be currently married and living together for one year. Subjects were divided into clinical and nonclinical groups. Clinical subjects (43) came from a local mental health center who requested marital counseling. The non-clinical group (59) were volunteers from area churches. Both groups were administered three instruments. (1) The Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS) was used to measure each subject's global self-concept. (2) The Marital Communication Inventory (MCI) measured the level of communication in the marital relationship. (3) The Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) determined overall marital adjustment. Statistical analysis of the data was based on the Pearson r to determine a correlation between the instruments administered to the subjects, males versus females, and clinical versus nonclinical. Mean averages were also computed for the subjects. A t test was used to determine whether a significant difference existed between the Pearson r and mean averages. The data analyzed showed a significant correlation between the TSCS and DAS. Marital communication was added as a third variable, and correlated at a significant level with both self-concept and marital adjustment. Of the three correlations, marital communication and marital adjustment were the strongest, even though there was no significant difference among the three and each correlation was at the.01 level of significance. Further analysis was made for the relationship between the mean averages of the instruments for the clinical and nonclinical groups. All three variables had a significant difference at the.01 level between the mean averages for the clinical and nonclinical groups. The primary variables and the specific self-concepts also showed a significant correlation at the.01 level. The results demonstrated that one's self-concept, marital communication and marital adjustment were all significantly related. A strength of this study, along with the high correlations between the three instruments tested, was the significant difference between the clinical and nonclinical groups when mean averages were compared. Thus, the instruments could be useful as valid predictors for a couple's level of marital satisfaction based on levels of self-concept and communication.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Archie D Carden, "An investigation of the relationship among self-concept, communication, and marital adjustment" (1987). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI8802630.