Prediction of dyadic adjustment from perceived behavior exchange patterns

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Bruce Forman - Committee Chair


This study investigated the Behavior Exchange Inventory (BEI) as an instrument in assessing dyadic adjustment. Research questions looked at the pattern among the BEI intimate scales in predicting the level of dyadic adjustment. Further research questions employed the full BEI (intimate and other scales) to determine if the instrument could measure adjustment levels effectively within the context of complementary and symmetrical relationships.The Behavior Exchange Inventory (BEI) and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) were given to 40 couples, half who were in couple counseling and half who were not. Multiple regression, discriminant analysis, and t-tests were used to assess the relationship among perceived behavior exchange, dyadic adjustment, treatment status, and gender.Results supported the predictive utility of the BEI intimate scales vis-a-vis their relation to dyadic adjustment. The degree to which partners perceived themselves to be sending and receiving positive messages was positively related with couple adjustment. Negative associations were suggested between couple adjustment and partners' perception of negative input and output.Difference scores of the full BEI, as regards couple complementarity and symmetry, did not appear to be a suitable conceptualization in determining dyadic adjustment.


Education, Educational Psychology

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