An empirical evaluation of the Dyadic adjustment scale: Exploring the differences between marital "satisfaction" and "adjustment"

J. Mark Eddy, Richard E. Heyman, Robert L. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two fundamental issues concerning the most widely used measure of marital satisfaction, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) are tested empirically: 1) Is the DAS a measure of unidimensional "satisfaction" or is it a measure of multidimensional "adjustment"? and 2) How well does the DAS classify spouses as "distressed" or "nondistressed?" Confirmatory factor analyses, maximal decomposition factor analysis, and classification analyses were conducted on archival samples drawn from community (n = 1,307 men; n = 1,515 women) and clinic (n = 140 couples) settings. A multidimensional model fit the data better than a one-factor model. "Satisfaction" accounted for between 19% and 25% of the variance in the DAS. The DAS classified distressed and nondistressed couples well. Discussion focuses on the appropriateness of using the DAS to classify couples, the inappropriateness of using satisfaction and adjustment as synonyms, and the questionable clinical significance of the DAS items.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-220
Number of pages22
JournalBehavioral Assessment
Volume13
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

Keywords

  • Dyadic Adjustment Scale
  • marital distress
  • marital satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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