Effectiveness of Positive Psychology in Improving the Quality of Married Women’s Life: Spiritual Intelligence as a Moderator

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Educational Science and Psychology, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran


The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of training in positive psychology on quality of married women’s life referring to family centers in Isfahan, Iran. It was also taken into account the moderating effect of spiritual intelligence using a quasi-experimental method by selecting two groups (an experimental group and a control one) with pretest, post-test, and a follow-up stage. The population of interest comprised of all married women seeking family counseling throughout the Isfahan city. Thirty (30) people from the above population were selected using the convenience sampling method.  Then these people were randomly divided into two groups of fifteen (15), which one was called experimental and the other one control group.  The research tools used for this study included the WHO’s 26-question questionnaire on quality of life (1998) and King’s 24-question questionnaire on spiritual intelligence (2008). A training course on positive psychology was held for the experimental group. This course consisted of ten sessions by weekly and each session was 90-minutes. The control group did not participate in any training sessions. Findings from covariance analysis revealed that training for positive psychology had significant effect on increasing married women’s quality of life in the post-test period (p < .05). However, this observation was not seen during follow-up period. Likewise, the spiritual intelligence as a moderating variable was found to increase the degree at which conducting training on positive psychology affected the quality of life among married women within post-test and follow-up stages (p < .05).


Amram, Y. (2007). The Seven Dimensions of Spiritual Intelligence: An Ecumenical Grounded Theory. (pdf)   Paper presented at the 115th Annual (August 2007) Conference of theAmerican Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.  
Ardalan, M., Sarchehani, Z., & Sarchehani, M. (2014). The Relationship of Teachers’ Spiritual Intelligence to Quality of Work Life and Maturity. Quarterly Journal of New Approaches in Educational Administration, 5, 81-102.URL: http://en.journals.sid.ir/ViewPaper.aspx?ID=382261.
Bhattacharyya, M. R., Whitehead, D. L., Rakhit, R., & Steptoe, A. (2008).  Depressed mood, positive affect, and heart rate variability in patients with suspected coronary artery disease.  Psychosom Med, 70, 1020-7. Doi: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18941130/doi/10.1097/PSY.0b013e318189afcc.
Bonomi, A. E. (2000). Validation of the United States’ version of the world health   organization quality of life (WHOQOL) instrument. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 20(3), 485-493.
Busseri, M. A., Choma, B. L., & Sadava, S. W. (2011). Subjective temporal trajectories for subjective well-being. Journal of Positive Psychology, 7(1), 1-15. Doi: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2011.565784
Davidson, K. W., Mostofsky, E., & Whang, W. (2010). Don't worry, be happy: Positive affect and reduced 10-year incident coronary heart disease: The Canadian Nova Scotia Health Survey. Eur Heart, 31, 1065–1070.Doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehp603
Elkins, M., & Cavendish, R. (2004). Developing a plan for pediatric spiritual car. Holistic Nursing Practice, 18, 179-186. Doi: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15346712
Emmons, R. A. (2000). Is spirituality intelligence? Motivation  cognition, and the psychology of ultimate concern. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10, 3-26. Doi: 10.1207/S15327582IJPR1001_2
Fincham, F. D., &  Beach, S. (2007). Forgiveness and marital quality: Precursor or consequence in well-established relationships? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2, 260-268. Doi: 10.1080/17439760701552360
Forster, J. R. (1991). Facilitating positive changes. International in Self-Constructions. Journal of Personal Construct Psychology, 4, 281-292. Doi: 10.1080.8936039108406120
Hagerty, M. R., Cummins, R. A., Ferriss, A. L., Land, K., Michalos, A. C., Peterson, M., Sharpe, A., Sirgy, J., & Vogel, J. (2001). Quality of life indexes for national policy: Review and agenda for research. Social Indicators Research, 55, 1, 1-96. Doi: 10.1023/A:1010811312332
Haverman, M.,  Westerhof, G., Riper, H., Smit, F., & Bolier, E. (2013). Positive psychology interventions: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies. BMC Public Health, 13, 119- 131.  Doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-119.
Hildebrandt, L. S., (2011). Spiritual intelligence: is it related to a leader's level of ethical development? A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy Capella University.URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/34/43/3443322.html
Hossein Dokht, A. et al. (2013). Relationship between spiritual intelligence and spiritual wellbeing and quality of life and marital satisfaction. Psychology and Religion, 22, 59-77. URL : http://www.noormags.ir/view/fa/articlepage/996758.
Isen, A. M., Daubman, K. A., & Nowicki, G. P. (2000). Positive affect facilitate creative problem solving (Electronic version). Journal of personality & social psychology, 52, 1122-1131. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037.022-3514.52.6.1122
King, D. B. (2008). Rethinking claims of spiritual intelligence: A definition, model, measure. MA Thesis, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Retrieved January 7, 2013 from International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 28, 68-85.
Koszycki, D., Raab, K., Aldosary, F., & Bradwejn, J. (2010). A Multifaith Spiritually Based. Intervention, Intervention for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Pilot Randomized Trial, Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 66, 438-439. Doi: 10.1002/jclp.20663, URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed /20143382
Liu, L. (2006). Quality of life as a social representation in china. A qualitative study. Social Indicators Research, 75, 217-240 Doi: 10.1007/s11205-004-3198-z
Luthans, S. M., & Jensen, M. (2002). Hope: A New positive strength for human resource development. Human Resource Development Review, 1, 304-322. Doi:10.1177/ 1534484302013003
MacLeod,  A. K., & Salaminiou, E. (2001). Reduced positive future thinking in depression: Cognitive and affective factors. Cognition and Emotion, 15(1), 99–107. Doi: 10.1080.2699930125776
MacLeod, A. K., & Conway, C. (2007). Well‐being and positive future thinking for the self versus others. Cognition & Emotion, 21, 1114–1124. Doi:  10.1080.2699930601109507
MacLeod, A. K., Tata, P., Tyrer, P., Schmidt, U., Davidson, K., & Thompson, S. (2005). Hopelessness and positive and negative future thinking in parasuicide. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, 495–504. Doi:10.1348. 14466505X35704
McNulty, J. K., & Fincham, F. D. (2012). Beyond Positive Psychology? Toward  a  contextual view of psychological processes and well-being. American Psychological Association, 67, 101–110. Doi:10.1037/a0024572
Nejat, S., Montazeri, A., Holakouie Naieni, K., Mohammad, K., & Majdzadeh, S. R. (2006). The World Health Organization quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire: Translation and validation study of the Iranian version . Journal of School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, 4, 1-12 URL: http://sjsph.tums.ac.ir /article-1-187-en.html.
Newacheck, P. W., & Taylor, W. R. (1992). Childhood chronic illness: prevalence  severity and impact. American Journal of Public Health, 82, 364-371.
Peterson, C., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. (2005). Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: the full life versus the empty life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 6, 25–41. Doi:  10.1007/s10902-004-1278-z
Poursardar, N., Poursardar, F., Panahandeh, A., Sangari, A., & Abdi Zarrin, S. (2013). Effect of Optimism on Mental Health and Life Satisfaction: A Psychological Model of Well-being. Hakim Research Journal, 16, 42- 49. URL: http://hakim.hbi.ir/browse.php?a_id=1128&sid=1&slc_lang=en
Rahman, T., Mittelhammer, R. C., & Wandschneider, P. R. (2011). Measuring quality of life across countries: A multiple indicators and multiple causes approach. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 15, 63-74. Doi: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053535710000752
Rostami Ravari, M., & Rostami Ravari, M. A. (2014). The effect of positive psychology based on the model Prema Seligman on life style of psychosomatic workers with heart palpitations in Sarcheshmeh copper mine. Journal of Birjand University of Medical Sciences, 20, 224.  URL: http://journal.bums.ac.ir .
Seligman, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. Journal of American psychologist, 55(1), 5-14. Doi: org/10.1037.003-066X.55.1.5
Seligman, M. E. P., Rashid, T., & Parks, A., C. (2006). Positive Psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 61(1), 774-788
Seybold, K. S., & Hill, P. C. (2001). The role of religion and spirituality in mental and physical health. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 21-24. Doi: 10.1111/1467-8721.00106
Shoshani, A., & Steinmetz, S. (2013). Positive Psychology at School: A school-based intervention to promote adolescents’ mental health and well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 15, 1289-1311.  Doi:  10.1007/s10902-013-9476-1
Steptoe, A., & Wardle, J. (2005). Positive affect and biological function in everyday life. Neurobiology of Aging, 26, 39-49. Doi: org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.08.016
WHOQOL Group. (1993). Measuring Quality of life. World Health Organization.
WHOQOL Group. (1998). The World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL): Development and general psychometric properties. Social Science and Medicine, 46, 1585- 1596.
Yazdani, M., Etebarian, A., & Abzari, M. (2013). The Moderating Effect of Organizational Commitment on the Relationship between Employees' Perceptions of Workplace Spirituality and Spiritual Intelligence in Isfahan steel company. Knoeledge & Research in  Applied Psychology, 14, 79-88. URL:http://journals.khuisf.ac.ir/jsr-p/browse .php? a_id=971& sid=1&slc_lang=fa.