Dyadic Adjustment Scale

The Dyadic Adjustment Scale is a 32-item measure of dyadic adjustment, or the relationship quality of cohabiting couples, married or unmarried. Different aspects of dyadic adjustment captured by the scale are represented in 4 subscales: dyadic consensus, dyadic satisfaction, dyadic cohesion, and affectional expression.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


Most persons have disagreements in their relationships. Please indicate below the approximate extent of agreement or disagreement between you and your partner for each item on the following list.

  1. Handling family finances

  2. Matters of recreation

  3. Religious matters

  4. Demonstrations of affection

  5. Friends

  6. Sex Relations

  7. Conventionality (correct or proper behavior)

  8. Philosophy of life

  9. Ways of dealing with parents or in-laws

  10. Aims, goals, and things believed important

  11. Amount of time spent together

  12. Making major decisions

  13. Household tasks

  14. Leisure time interest and activities

  15. Career decisions

    Response Options:
    Always Agree - 5
    Almost always agree - 4
    Occasionally disagree - 3
    Frequently disagree - 2
    Almost always disagree - 1
    Always disagree - 0

  16. How often do you discuss or have you considered divorce, separation, or terminating your relationship?

  17. How often do you or your mate leave the house after a fight?

  18. In general, how often do you think that things between you and your partner are going well?

  19. Do you confide in your mate?

  20. Do you ever regret that you married? (or live together)

  21. How often do you and your partner quarrel?

  22. How often do you and your mate “get on each other’s nerves?”

    Response Options:
    All the time - 0
    Most of the time - 1
    More often than not - 2
    Occasionally - 3
    Rarely - 4
    Never - 5

  23. Do you kiss your mate?

    Response Options:
    Every day - 4
    Almost every day - 3
    Occasionally - 2
    Rarely - 1
    Never - 0

  24. Do you and your mate engage in outside interests together?

    Response Options:
    All of them - 4
    Most of them - 3
    Some of them - 2
    Very few of them - 1
    None of them - 0

    How often would you say the following events occur between you and your mate?

  25. Have a stimulating exchange of ideas

  26. Laugh together

  27. Calmly discuss something

  28. Work together on a project

    Response Options:
    Never - 0
    Less than once a month - 1
    Once or twice a month - 2
    Once or twice a week - 3
    Once a day - 4
    More often - 5

    These are some things about which couples sometimes agree and sometime disagree. Indicate if either item below caused differences of opinions or were problems in your relationship during the past few weeks.

  29. Being too tired for sex

  30. Not showing love

    Response Options:
    Yes - 0
    No - 1

  31. The dots on the following line represent different degrees of happiness in your relationship. The middle point, “happy”, represents the degree of happiness of most relationship. Please circle the dot which best describes the degree of happiness, all things considered, of your relationship.

    Response Options:
    Extremely Unhappy - 0
    Fairly Unhappy - 1
    A Little Unhappy - 2
    Happy - 3
    Very Happy - 4
    Extremely Happy - 5
    Perfect - 6

  32. Which of the following statements best describes how you feel about the future of your relationship?

    Response Options:
    I want desperately for my relationship to succeed, and would go to almost any length to see that it does - 5
    I want very much for my relationship to succeed, and will do all I can to see that it does - 4
    I want very much for my relationship to succeed, and will do my fair share to see that it does - 3
    It would be nice if my relationship succeeded, but I can’t do much more than I am doing now to help it succeed - 2
    It would be nice if it succeeded, but I refuse to do any more than I am doing now to keep the relationship going - 1
    My relationship can never succeed, and there is no more that I can do to keep the relationship going - 0

Scoring Procedures

To calculate the score sum the values of each answer. The scale has a range of 0-151 with a higher number indicating greater levels of dyadic adjustment.

Original Citation

Spanier, Graham B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: new scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage and Family, 38(1). 15-28.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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