There has been an increasing momentum in the field of marriage and family therapy to attune the therapy process to the client’s socio-culture influences; however when this socio-cultural influence includes spirituality there is often a restraint in the attuning. While there are several explanations for this, two rationales rise to the surface: therapist not feeling adequately trained to attune to spirituality and lack of validated tools to effectively measure this socio-cultural influence of spirituality. When working with couple’s this can be even more complicated as validated dyadic measures are limited and those that exist usually measure spirituality through a global measure such as church attendance. Additionally, these measures were created and are often operationalized as individual assessment of spirituality/religion. The Marital Selflessness Scale (MSS) is a dyadic measure that was validated through an exploratory factor analysis revealing three latent factors: Relational Expectations; Relational Empowerment; Relational Selflessness. A therapist can utilize the MSS with confidence when working with a couple who are part of a Christian socio-cultural influence. The results of the dyadic MSS attune the therapist to the couple’s values of unconditional love and selflessness in the marriage, provides direction for developing couple goals, and gives the therapist a language into creating effective interventions.
Marital and Family Therapy
Counseling and Family Sciences
School of Behavioral Health
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Self Psychology; Marriage - Psychology; Interpersonal Relations; Religion and Psychology; Personality Inventory; Self-Assessment; Spirituality; Self Concept
Subject - Local
Socio-culture Influences; Marital Selflessness Scale (MSS); Relational Expectations; Relational Empowerment; Relational Selflessness
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Buchholz-Castronova, Marj, "Marital Selflessness Scale (MSS): An Exploratory Factor Analysis" (2014). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. Paper 231.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives