Couple relationship standards in Pakistan

Shahid Iqbal, Nadia Ayub, Fons Van De Vijver, William Kim Halford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Relationship standards are the beliefs people hold about what a good relationship should be like, which vary substantially across Western and Chinese cultures. The current study extends the assessment of couple relationship standards to Pakistan, a large, developing Muslim majority country with a distinctive collectivistic, hierarchical, religious, and tight culture. We administered the Cross-Cultural Couple Relationships Standards Scale to 354 Pakistanis and compared their standards with those of 312 Westerners living in Australia and 286 Chinese living in Hong Kong, China. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed an acceptable fit of a model of two positively correlated latent factors, Couple Bond and Family Responsibility, in each sample. We added two standards hypothesized likely to be of importance to Pakistanis: Religion and Relationship Self-Regulation. Pakistanis endorsed all standards as important; they endorsed Couple Bond standards more than Westerners or Chinese, and Family Responsibility standards a lot more than Westerners or Chinese. Gender differences were of very small effect size. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-220
JournalCouple and family psychology-Research and practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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