Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Williams, Sarah Elizabeth, 1956-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communicative Disorders


Aphasia; Marriage


The primary purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between spouses' knowledge of aphasia and their marital satisfaction. Other factors such as severity of aphasia, the length of time post-stroke, and the length of the marriage were also examined. The subjects, sixteen spouses of aphasic patients, were grouped according to severity of their spouse's aphasia (mild, moderate, severe) which was determined through the administration of several subtests of the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination. The spouses completed a Knowledge of Aphasia questionnaire and pre- and post-stroke forms of the Marital Satisfaction Scale (MSS). The Knowledge of Aphasia questionnaire, a list of true/false statements about aphasia, measured the spouses' understanding of aphasia. The MSS examined changes that occurred in spouses' attitudes toward their marriages after the patients became aphasic. Statistical analyses revealed that neither the spouses' knowledge of aphasia nor the severity of aphasia was related to the spouses' satisfaction with their marital relationships. However, there was a significant difference between the pre- and post-stroke MSS scores. The change in subjects' perception of their marriages was in a negative direction; they were not as satisfied with their post-stroke marriages as they were with their pre-stroke marriages. Examination of the spouses' responses to individual MSS items revealed areas about which the spouses perception changed most in a negative direction. Overall, these changes revealed the spouses' decreased satisfaction with the marriages, perceived lack of emotional support from the aphasic patients, more difficulty getting along with the aphasic patients, and changes in their lifestyles and sexual relationships. A finding pertaining to knowledge of aphasia was that the spouses of mildly impaired aphasic patients were less knowledgeable about aphasia than were spouses of severely impaired aphasic patients. Responses to individual items on the Knowledge of Aphasia questionnaire were examined. The responses revealed the topics about which the spouses knew the least: factors which affect the communication skills of the patient, auditory comprehension, recovery and community services. The results of this study are discussed in terms of the counseling needs of families and aphasic patients.


Bibliography: pages 81-84.


vii, 84 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type