The Missing Link: Marital Virtues andtheir Relationship to Individual Functioning, Communication, and Relationship Adjustment

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Journal of Positive Psychology



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Relationship adjustment research is being expanded beyond established connections with communication and individual functioning. In recent years, researchers have looked to positive psychology and virtues. That research shifts the focus from psychopathology and communication to more core values and ways of being. The present study seeks to expand this knowledge base using Blaine Fowers (2000) framework of marital virtues. His framework views what a person puts into an intimate relationship as an important predictor of relationship adjustment. The present study uses this framework in conjunction with previous research to examine the direct and indirect links amongst individual functioning, marital virtues, communication, and marital adjustment. Data were collected from a sample of 422 married and cohabitating individuals using a self-report survey. Marital virtues and communication were found to partially mediate the relationship between individual well-being and relationship adjustment. In addition, communication was found to partially mediate the relationship between marital virtues and relationship adjustment. Findings provide initial support for the notion that character strengths matter to both communication and relationship adjustment.

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