University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
UOM Main Page
Campus Map button


TITLE Couple Relationships in Contemporary Society

LEVEL I - Introductory Level


DEPARTMENT Centre for the Liberal Arts and Sciences

DESCRIPTION This Unit will further the participants’ understanding of how our intimate relationships are of vital importance to the well-being of adults, children and to society as a whole. It will offer a deeper appreciation of key couple dynamics including processes involved in partner choice, attachment bonding, and constructive resolution of couple conflict, taking a life cycle perspective. The Unit will also take into account the diversity of partner relationships in contemporary society.

In addition, this Unit will offer participants the opportunity to reflect on their own partner relationships and to be engaged in discussions which link clinical thinking with research knowledge.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Appreciate how intimate relationships work;
- Contextualize couple relationships in the midst of some of the global, demographic, economic, social and cultural changes in our Maltese society.

2. Skills:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Identify communication skills that enhance and hinder relationships;
- Apply the theoretical concepts to their personal relationship contexts and become more reflexive of their input in relationships.

Main Text/s:

- Abela, A., & Walker, J. (2014). Contemporary issues in family studies. Global perspectives on partnerships, parenting, and support in a changing world. London: Wiley Blackwell.

Supplementary reading:

- Balfour, A., Morgan, M., & Vincent, C. (2012). How couple relationships shape our world: clinical practice, research and policy perspectives. London: Karnac .
- Gotmann, J. M. & Levenson, R. W. (1999). What predicts change in marital interaction over time. A study of alternative models. Family Process, 38(2), 143- 158.
- Rauer, A. & Volling, B. (2013). More than one way to be happy. A typology of marital happiness. Family Process, 52, 519- 534.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Angela Abela
Charlene Duca
Tania Farrugia
Thomas Galea
Ingrid Grech Lanfranco
Clarissa Sammut Scerri
Elaine Schembri Lia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
PLAS Applications are now being received
Click here to apply for PLAS Units commencing in February 2018
PLAS Testimonial Videos

Click here to view PLAS Testimonial Videos.

Apply now for PLAS Units on offer. 

PLAS Gift Voucher Facility
A mindful gift - short courses for relatives, friends & colleagues.
Parking Permit for PLAS Students
PLAS students can apply for a parking permit through the KSU website. Click here for more info.
Statute, Regulations Guidelines
Click here for Centre's Statute, Programme's Regulations, and Liberal Studies Awards Guidelines
PLAS Nature Photography Exhibition
Click here for more information on the PLAS Nature Photography Exhibition
LAS2100 Research Project
For more information click here
PLAS Introductory Meeting Presentations

Click here to access the presentations delivered during the PLAS Introductory Meeting.

The Programme in the Liberal Arts and Sciences
The University of Malta’s new flagship Programme in the Liberal Arts and Sciences ...

Log In back to UoM Homepage