Predictors of dyadic adjustment in wives/cohabitating partners of men who sustained very severe closed head injury

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Bruce Forman - Committee Chair


This study investigated nurturance as a predictor of dyadic adjustment in wives/cohabiting partners of men who had sustained very severe closed head injury. A post hoc analysis utilized the BEI Intimate scales to examine which patterns of scores could differentiate between adjusted and nonadjusted wives/cohabiting partners.The Adjective Checklist (ACL), Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), and Behavior Exchange Inventory (BEI) were given to 24 wives/cohabiting partners of men who had sustained very severe closed head injury. Regression procedures and discriminant analysis were employed to assess the relationship between nurturance and dyadic adjustment, and the BEI Scales and dyadic adjustment.Results did not support nurturance as a predictor of dyadic adjustment. Length of time since the injury was the most significant factor in predicting dyadic adjustment. The smaller the length of time since injury the more likely the wife/cohabiting partner will perceive her relationship as adjusted.Results also supported the ability of the BEI to discriminate between adjusted and nonadjusted wives. The adjusted group is characterized by a combination of filtering out negative messages from the head injured, seeing the head injured as giving them positive messages, and seeing themselves as giving more positive messages to the injured. Because this sample is non-representative of the general head injured population demographically, caution should be exercised in generalizing beyond the immediate sample.


Psychology, Social; Psychology, General

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