Communication, cohesiveness and adaptability in Spanish speaking married couples
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The promotion of well established interaction in the family subsystem, system and environment need to be included as one of the principal goals for mental health nursing. Communication skills of the marital system adequately assessed and diagnosed will promote the basis for the promotion of better marital interaction in the facilitation of better family relationship. The cultural components are elements of important input in the interaction of the couple/family system. Cultural components of the Puerto Rican couple/family were discussed in relation to their history and development of the value system. This was a correlational survey research study which provided: (1) descriptive information regarding couples' cohesion and adaptability dimensions, (2) level of communication, and (3) evidence for or against the construct validity of the Spanish version of the instruments. The problem of this study was to determine if there was a difference in the level of communication between couples in the balanced level of cohesion and adaptability and couples in the extreme unbalanced level of cohesion and adaptability. The sample consisted of 52 couples (N = 52) recruited on a voluntary basis from the university setting at the Southwestern area of Puerto Rico. All subjects were Puerto Ricans. The criteria for couples as subjects included: (1) first marriage for both and (2) at least one of the couple was enrolled at the university during the academic year 1982-1983. The age range of the participants was: females 18-38 years and males 20-46 years. The subjects responded to two self administered instruments: Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale and the Marital Communication Inventory. Both instruments were translated to Spanish for the purpose of this study and tested in a Spanish population. This study produced data related to means and standard deviations for both instruments in a Spanish population. Findings related to couple relationships are significant when assessing Puerto Rican couples. Positive correlation was found for the variables cohesion and adaptability, with communication. The couples in the balanced level of communication were significantly related to the balanced level of cohesion as measured by Chi-Square statistics. There is a need to refine and expand upon and perfect the instruments in their Spanish version that were utilized in the study.