Sociology Mind
2013. Vol.3, No.2, 131-136
Published Online April 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 131
Role of Religious Orientation in Predicting Marital Adjustment
and Psychological Well-Being
Taiebeh Yeganeh1*, Hassan Shaikhmahmoodi2
1Young Researchers Club, Tonekabon Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon, Iran
2Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon, Iran
Email: *
Received October 25th, 2012; revised December 27th, 2012; accepted January 18th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Taiebeh Yeganeh, Hassan Shaikhmahmoodi. This is an open access article distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any
medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Considering indices such as dynamism and complexity of modern societies, advances in psychology sci-
ence, and increasing growth of spiritual needs of human against physical ones, also with respect to in-
creasing rate of divorce in Iran, current research was done in order to study the relationship between Reli-
gious Orientation and Marital Adjustment and Psychological Well-Being. The method of current research
is descriptive-correlation. Statistic population includes all married teachers of Langroud city in 2012,
which 150 individuals were selected as sample via multi level cluster sampling. Alport Religious Orienta-
tion Scale (1950), Spanir Marital Adjustment Scale (1976) and Ryff Psychological Well-Being question-
naire (1998) was used. Data analysis shows that there is meaningful relation between internal religious
orientation and marital adjustment (p = .000, r = .436) and also between internal religious orientation and
psychological well-being (p = .000, r = .506). In addition, results showed that internal religious orienta-
tion is able to meaningful predictions of Marital Adjustment and Psychological Well-Being. These find-
ings show that internal religious orientation can predict the psychological well-being and marital adjust-
ment meaningfully. So from scientific dimension, application of religion with the meaning of inner faith
is suggested in prevention and medical interferences in this area.
Keywords: Psychological Well-Being; Marital Adjustment; Religious Orientation
According to comprehensive role of religious in improving
mental health and level of psychological well-being, impor-
tance of spirituality and its growth in human being in recent
decades has attracted attention of psychologists and psychia-
trists (Kezdy et al., 2010; Aten & Worthington, 2009; Aten &
Schenck, 2007). Many researches show that religious experi-
ences have a great effect on Psychotherapy. At the same time,
therapist schedule for making fundamental changes in charac-
teristic structure of patients is related directly to these religious
moods. In fact, religion as a mediator can effect on mental pro-
cedures and evaluation of daily events. Thus some researchers
believe that confronting stresses and social situations are facili-
tated via religious believes. Furthermore, notice that attitudes of
family members about religious will continuo and transfer reli-
gious values and behaviors to other generations, thus relation
between religious and family is considered an interactive one
(Mehoney et al., 2001).
Marital adjustment is harmony and sympathy between hus-
band and wife in achieving common goals in life which lead to
satisfaction from marriage. Marital adjustment let both sides
ignore conflicts and solve them with a suitable method and
achieve a positive feeling (Chen et al., 2007). Simply, marital
adjustment is a method which two married person are adjusted
with each other to keep their marriage (Bar-On & Parker, 2006).
Importance of adjusted marital relationships is due to its role
as one of the main factors in stability and strength of this rela-
tionship (Gaal, 2005). Unclear and ambiguous condition of
couples (Alois & Bruno, 2009), problems in social relationships,
tendency toward social and moral delinquency and falling of
cultural values between couples are some results of marital
unadjustment. Spanier (1976) define it as procedure that its
results are become clear via degreasing serious problems be-
tween couples, interpersonal stresses, personal anxiety and
increasing couples satisfaction from each other, stability and
consultation about important marital problems (Gong, 2000).
Halford et al. (2007) notice that effective factors on marital
adjustment include: personal characteristics, situational factors
and life events. Mutual love, take care each other, accept and
understand each other and satisfying needs. Among these, reli-
gious commitment as one of the basics of happy life is effective
on marital adjustment. Many researches show these findings, as
in Demaris et al. (2010) religiosity is reported to be the most
important factor in marital adjustment and here results show
that positive effect of religious in couples’ relationship is unde-
So undeniable role of religious commitment in achieving
marital adjustment and goal in life, having positive relation
with each other and totally, psychological well-being is clear.
According to Ryff and Keyes’ pattern of psychological well-
being (1995), there are 6 main basic factors as follows: purpose
in life, positive relationship with others, personal growth, self
*Corresponding author.
acceptance, autonomy, domination on environment. In this
point of view, health is not the same as having no disease, in
other word the emphasis is on “being well” instead of “being
bad or ill” (Ryff et al., 2004). Characteristics such as adjust-
ment, happiness, self confidence and other positive ones show
healthy and psychological well-being. In this situation religious
can be mentioned as a useful unifying principle and a big sup-
port for mental health. World Health Organization (WHO) uses
physical, mental social and spiritual aspects in his definition for
human and the latest, spiritual, is said to be effective in growth
and promotion of the man (American Psychiatric Association,
2000). Thus, spirituality is an important part of peoples’ life
and has important effect on health and well-being. Previous
researches in this filed show a stable relation between religious
and psychological well-being. Result of the same researches
such as Kezdi et al. (2010) reports that religious training in
childhood will lead to tendency toward religion in teenagers
and youths and has positive effects on their mental health.
Findings of Williams (2010) express a strong relation between
doing religious behavior and psychological well-being. Also,
Koeing (2007) believes that mental and physical health of hu-
man has positive relation with his spiritual life and those with
higher religious commitment have higher adjustment in differ-
ent conditions. Hills & Francis (2004) and Hackney & Sanders
(2003) show that those who have stronger religious/ spiritual
believes, achieve higher points in mental and physical tests.
Faith, doing religious customs and attending related ceremonies
prevent mental problems and with its therapeutic role, improve
health level and psychological well-being.
Considering indices such as dynamicity and complexity of
modern societies, advances of psychology science, increasing
growth of spiritual needs of human vs material one, also num-
ber of divorces in Iran as a symbol of marital disorder (Halford
et al., 2007). Iran is placed in 4th placed after US, Denmark and
Egypt for the large number of divorces (Gholami & Beshlideh,
2012). Current research aims to study the relation between reli-
gious orientation and marital adjustment and psychological
well-being in order to determine the role of religious commit-
ment and use it as a complement beside other psychological
The Sample and Sampling
The method of current research is descriptive correlation.
Statistical population includes all married teachers of Langrud
City in 2012 year, which 150 of them selected as sample. First
of all, the population was divided in to 5 geographical regions:
North, South, Center, East and West via multi level cluster
sampling (1 × 5 = 5). Then from each region, 3 schools were
selected randomly (1 × 5 × 3 = 15). And finally, all teachers
were gathered (1 × 5 × 3 × 10 = 150).
Research Tools
Allport Religious Orientation Scale: Allport and Ross in
1950 introduced this scale for evaluation of religious inward
and outward orientation. Based on Allport theory, an inward-
oriented religious is a comprehensive one with a organized
principles, in other word it is a motivated comprehensive com-
mitment which is a goal not a mean for that. On the other hand,
outward-oriented religious is something for satisfying person
needs such as position and security. This test with 21 question
measures the inward- and outward-religious orientation. Pri-
mary researches by Allport and Ross show that the Correlation
between inward- and outward-orientation is .21. In Iran, Inter-
nal Consistency for the test is reported as .71 by Jan Bozorgi
(1999) and retest reliability as .74.
Spanier Marital Adjustment Scale (D.A.S): Marital ad-
justment was measured by Spanier Scale which consist of 23
multi choice questions (always agree, almost always agree,
sometimes disagree, often disagree, almost always disagree,
always disagree). Spanier calculated the reliability of the ques-
tionnaire by Cronbach’s Alpha about .96 and the validity tested
by Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Scale. The correlation
coefficient of these two scales for married and divorced couples
were .86 and .88, respectively. In other research by Spanier &
Tampson, Cronbach’s Alpha was reported as .91. In Iran,
Cronbach’s Alpha is .92 and Validity is .94 (Quoted by Yar-
Mohammadyan, 2011).
Carol Ryff Psychological Well-Being Questionnaire: It
concludes 82 questions and measures 6 separate aspects of
psychological well-being. Each question has 6 choices and
reported Cronbach’s Alpha is .83 up to .92.
Ryff (1989) study the reliability of the test by calculation of
correlation coefficient of positive psychological performance
(convergence validity) and negative psychological performance
(divergence validity). Results show that there is positive mean-
ingful correlation between 6 factors of this questionnaire and
those who study the positive psychological performance (p
< .001) and correlation domain is .25 up to .73 which con-
firmed the validity. At the same time, there is negative mean-
ingful correlation between 6 factors of this questionnaire and
those who study the negative psychological performance with
the range of .03 to .060. He also prove that these 6 factors
are independent but with internal correlation (p < .001) and
range of .32 up to .76 and measure the psychological well-
being (Quoted by Maddahi, 2011).
Result Analysis
The data obtained in the research were analyzed by using
appropriate statistical techniques, then explained and inter-
preted by forming charts. Frequency calculations were made,
“Pearson r Coefficient” and stepwise Multiple Regression was
calculated. When the statistical data of the study were evaluated,
the significance coefficient was taken as p < .01.
Data analyze was done by Frequency, Mean, Standard devia-
tion, Pierson Correlation Coefficient and Stepwise Multiple
Regression. There were 150 participants and the age average
and Std was (40.32 ± 7.28), respectively.
Descriptive indexes of research variables are shown in Table
According to Table 1, there is a meaningful relation between
inward religious orientation and marital adjustment (r = .436, p
= .000) and inward religious orientation and psychological
well-being (r = .506, p = .000) but there wasn’t any meaningful
relation between outward religious orientation and any of vari-
Stepwise Multiple Regressions was used for determining the
role of “inward religious orientation” in predicting “marital
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Table 1.
Correlation matrix of research variables.
R Variables MeanSD 1 2 3 4
1 Inward Religious Orientation 35.777.82 1 - - -
2 Outward Religious Orientation 29.385.81 .005 1 - -
3 Marital Adjustment 106.53 8.85 .062 .436** 1 -
4 Psychological Well-Being 302.25 26.49 .008 .506**.305** 1
Note: **Correlation is significant at the .01 level (2-tailed).
adjustment”. Tables 2-4 show the results.
According to Table 2, Correlation Coefficient of inward re-
ligious orientation and marital adjustment is .43 Also Coeffi-
cient of determination is .19 which means that .19% of Variances
of the “marital adjustment” variable can be determined by “in-
ward religious orientation”.
As is shown in Table 3, F = 34.66 for “inward religious ori-
entation”, and according to significant level the variable can
predict marital adjustment (p = .000).
Based on Variance results and Stepwise Regression, calcu-
lated T in Table 4 between marital adjustment and inward reli-
gious orientation is meaningful and we conclude that “inward
religious orientation” with 99.9% reliability can predict “mari-
tal adjustment”.
The Regression equation for prediction of marital adjustment
by inward religious orientation is as follows:
Marital Adjustment = 65.037 + 1.412 (Inward Religious Ori-
Stepwise Multiple Regression analyze was used for determi-
nation of “inward religious orientation” in prediction “psycho-
logical well-being”. Results are shown in Tables 5-7.
According to Table 5, Correlation of inward religious orien-
tation and marital adjustment is .506. Also Coefficient of de-
termination is .25 which means that .25 % of Variances of the
“psychological well-being” variable can be determined by “in-
ward religious orientation”.
As is shown in Table 6, F = 51.02 for “inward religious ori-
entation”, and according to significant level the variable can
predict “psychological well-being” (p = .000).
Based on Variance results and Stepwise Multiple Regression,
calculated T in Table 7 between psychological well-being and
inward religious orientation is meaningful and we conclude that
“inward religious orientation” with 99% reliability can predict
“psychological well-being”. On the other hand, impact factor of
inward orientation is which predict 7.13 of psychological
well-being positively, i.e. the more inward orientation, the more
improve in level of psychological well-being.
The Regression equation for prediction of psychological
well-being by inward religious orientation is as follows:
Psychological Well-Being = 92.508 + 7.13 (Inward Religious
Results show that there is positive correlation between in-
ward religious orientation and marital adjustment which means
that inward religious orientation can predict “marital adjustment”.
Research of Demaris et al. (2010), Nathaniel & David (2006),
Orathinkal & Vansteewegen (2006), Hunler & Gencoz (2005),
Mahoney (2005), Marsh & Dallos (2000) are in consistency
with this research, i.e. all of them confirm a positive relation
Table 2.
Correlation Coefficient.
Independent VariableR R2 Adjusted R
Square Std. Error of the
Inward Orientation.436a.190 .184 17.031
Note: aPredictors: (Constant), Inward Religious Orientation.
Table 3.
Results of variance prediction of Marital Adjustment by predictor var:
Inward Religious Orientation.
Variable Source of
Changes Sum of
Squares DF Mean
Square F Sig.
Regression10052.94 1 10052.94 34.66.000a
Residual42926.38 148 290.04
Total 52979.33 149
Note: aPredictors: (Constant), Inward Religious Orientation; **p .01; bDependent
Variable: Marital Adjustment.
Table 4.
Variance regression of Marital Adjustment.
Coeffici ents
Dependent Variable
B Std. Error Beta
t Sig.
(Constant)65.0377.18 9.05.000
Adjustment Inward
Orientation 1.412.240 .436 5.88.000
Note: aDependent Variable: Marital Adjustment **p .01.
Table 5.
Correlation coefficient.
R2 Independent VariableR Adjusted R
Square Std. Error of the
Inward Orientation .506a .256 .251 70.943
Note: aPredictors: (Constant), Inward Religious Orientation.
Table 6.
Results of Variance prediction Psychological Well-Being by predictor
var: Inward Religious Orientation.
Indep VarSource of
Changes Sum of
Squares DF Mean
Square F Sig.
Regression 256818.61 1 256818.61 51.02.000a
Residual 744879.26 148 5032.968
Total 1001697.87 149
Note: aPredictors: (Constant), Inward Religious Orientation; **p .01; bDependent
Vriable: Psychological Well-Being. a
Table 7.
Variance Regression of Psychological Well-Being.
Dependent Variable
B Std. Error Beta
t Sig.
(Constant)92.509. 27 3.09.002
Orientation7.13.999 .506 7.14.000
Note: aDependent Variable: Psychological Well-Being; **p .01.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 133
between religious commitment and marital adjustment.
Allport & Ross (1967) believes that inward religious orienta-
tion is comprehensive with organized principles. People with
inward religious orientation believe their religious training
honestly and their behaviour comes from their thought and
esoteric science. On the reverse, outward religious orientation is
a tool for satisfying needs such as position and security. In
other word in outward religious orientation, religious is in con-
cern about unhealthy needs and aspect of human so the more
outward religious orientation increase, the more marital ad-
justment growth. As religious give directions for life and be-
lieves, can effect on marital life positively (Hunler & Gencoz,
2005). In marital life these directions include principles about
sexual relationships, sex roles, self-sacrifice and solving con-
flicts (Mahoney et al., 2003).
Another aspect is effectiveness of religious on couple think-
ing, i.e. people with higher religious commitment, probably may-
be have more spiritual life (Mahoony, 2005). While a conflict
appears, religious can appear in form of common values and
concepts and solve the couples’ problems (Mahoney et al., 1999).
From inter-personal point of view, religious customs enable
person to control his anger physiologically and emotionally,
also help him accept his responsibility while conflict appears.
Religious provide situations that the person pay more attention
to God and act as a support for both couples to avoid conflicts.
Thus relationship with God is somehow an interactive role in
marital adjustment.
Another finding of current research is the positive meaning-
ful correlation between inward religious orientation and psy-
chological well-being which means that inward religious orien-
tation can predict “psychological well-being”. Research of
Newton & Mcintosh (2010), Williams (2010), Kezdy et al.
(2010), Rodriguez & Henderson (2010), McCullough & Wil-
loughby (2009), MacGregor (2008), Sorajjakol et al. (2008),
Marks (2008) are in consistency with this research, i.e. all of
them confirm a positive relation between religious commitment
and psychological well-being.
Allport believes that it is just inward religious orientation
that improves mental health. Religious provide a suitable con-
dition for answering basic questions of human such as identity
and choosing life style in order to get perfection so contribute
to adjustment and psychological well-being. In inward religious
orientation person gain the pleasure of connecting to the source
of perfection and promotion and motivated for promotion. This
motivation encourages them for living better (Allport, 1950,
Religious effect on improving level of psychological well-
being can be expressed as providing a supportive space and
“social unity source”. In fact religious increases level of self
confidence, adjustment and self-esteem, which are basic factors
of mental health and psychological well-being, via providing
social support and understanding.
Adler believes that comparison of human with the source of
perfection and promotion is an important factor in psychologi-
cal well-being, also accept the effect of religious in social en-
vironment and express that it is more advanced than sciences as
he thinks that religious motivated people more actively. Ac-
cording to his point of view, religious and knowledge are the
same for peoples only when knowledge can create the same
enthusiasm as religious and provide the well-being of whole
components of the society (Nelson & Jones, 1957; Nelson,
1990; Nielsen, 2001).
Frankel define religious as a “search for final meaning” and
believes that human nature consist of three components: spiri-
tuality, freedom and responsibility and achieving to perfection
is possible only through spirituality. He thinks that main role in
promotion of person and society belongs to coordination be-
tween physical, mental and religious aspect (Frankel, 1975).
Religious behaviors and beliefs with positive effect make the
life meaningful. Internal relaxation mechanism via religious
happens through actions such as trust in God and worship
which create hope and motivate person for positive attitude.
Religious functions in facing with complex situations of life
will be effective through feeling of belonging to an unlimited
source of power, hope to God help, benefit from social support
and having goal in live (Yang & Mao, 2007). Thus religious
with important functions in peoples’ life such as relaxation,
giving hope, create happiness, giving meaning to life and satis-
faction is useful for improving psychological well-being.
Another finding of current research is the positive meaning-
ful correlation between marital adjustment and psychological
well-being which is in consistency with researches of Vander-
bleek et al. (2011), Yalcin BM, Karahan (2007), Stutzer et al.
(2006), Wilson & Oswald (2005), DePaulo & Bella (2004),
Diener et al. (2002).
Vanderbleek et al. (2011) show that those couples which
spent more times with each other and have common entertain-
ment will have more verbal and emotional communication,
therefore it affects their physical and psychological health.
Yalcin & Karahan (2007) believe that training components of
psychological well-being such as sympathy, responsibility and
self-analysis increases marital adjustment.
Adjustment between husband and wife let them avoid con-
flicts and solve them in a proper way with common positive
feelings and improve their level of psychological well-being
(Chen et al., 2007). Emotional and psychological needs of per-
son such as biological ones are created in family and satisfied
or suppressed by family members’ reactions. In an adjusted
marital relationship, satisfying mental and sexual needs is a
basic factor in providing the most suitable condition for promo-
tion and perfection of peoples’ well-being.
According to the results of this research, commitment to reli-
gious can create and promote level of marital adjustment and
psychological well-being. Thus besides other common methods
of prevention and treatment of psychological problems, impor-
tant role of spirituality in marital adjustment and psychological
well-being is become highlighted.
As religious and spiritual treatment methods have not gained
their proper scientific position, and then such researches are
necessary. It is suggested that in future researches, level of re-
ligiosity and other related factors to be evaluated in both wife
and husband, also relation between religious orientation and
marital adjustment and psychological well-being in other reli-
gious and various faith to be studied.
We appreciate all who helped us in this research.
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