Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Raphael J. Becvar

Second Advisor

Patrick Openlander

Third Advisor

Marian Allbee


The construct of differentiation of self, a key concept in the family theory of Murray Bowen, is examined with the purpose of testing Bowen's hypothesis that married couples are differentiated to the same degree. The Differentiation of Self Scale was used with 45 recently married couples from St. Louis County ranging in age from 20 to 71. Results of this study demonstrate that there is no significant correlation between the wives' and husbands' scores.