Dyadic Adjustment in Couples: How Partners' Social Value Within Couple and Emotional Competences Predict It


  • Gérald Delelis
  • Mathilde Heuschen


Knowing the determinants of couple adjustment is a challenge, both for predicting this adjustment and for helping couples in therapy in the best possible way. We based this study on the Person’s Social Value Theory (Beauvois, J.-L. [1976]. The topic of social conduct evaluation. Connexions, 19, 7-30) which postulates that two dimensions – social utility and social desirability – support self- and other- descriptions. This study aimed to evaluate the way the evaluation of own social value within couple and the evaluation of social value within couple of the partner influence the dyadic adjustment of the spouses. In addition, we took into account the duration of the couples and the emotional competences of the spouses (using the PEC). Participants were the spouses of 152 voluntary heterosexual couples who completed a booklet of questionnaires. The results showed that the two dimensions of person’s social value within couple influence partners' dyadic adjustment but in a different way for men and women and according to the duration of the couples’ relationship. Furthermore, the effect of social value within couple seems to cover partially the classic effect of emotional competences on couple experience and satisfaction. The discussion underlines the relevance and interest of using the social value within the couple in the study of conjugal relationships as well as in counselling couples.