Biosci. Biotech. Res. Comm. 10(3): 365-371 (2017)
Effect of premarital counseling on shyness and
expectations from marriage among medical
science students
Iman Seyyed Moharrami
, Malihe Pashib
*, Anahita Zandi
, Seddigheh Abbaspour
Abbas Ghodrati Torbati
MSc Consultant, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran
MSc Clinical Psychology, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran
MSc Nursing Faculty Member Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran
MSc Faculty Member, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran
Faculty Member Medical University of Torbate Heydariyeh, Torbate Heydariye, Iran
The period before from marriage is the one of the sensitive and critical periods in life and also is very in uential
period in preventing marital problems after marriage. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of premarital
Counseling on shyness and expect from marriage among students of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran. This
quasi-experimental study was conducted on 30 single students of Medical Sciences in Torbat Heydariyeh Iran. The
assessment tools was shyness and expect from marriage scales that were complete d in the pre-test and post-test
by participants. The intervention group participated in 8 sessions of premarital Counseling and the control group
received no intervention. Data were analyzed using descriptive and Analytic statistics. The mean age of participants
in control and intervention groups was 19.33±0.61 and 19.92±1.07 years, respectively. There was no signi cantly
different between background variables of two groups (p>0.05). In the control group there was no signi cant differ-
ence in shyness and expect from marriage, before and after the study, but there was a signi cant difference between
two mentioned variables in the intervention group (p<0.05). According to the results, it is suggested that premarital
Counseling used for students before Choice of spouse until to reduce the disturbing factors in spouse selection pro-
cess. Premarital Counseling improves shyness, cynical and idealistic expectations from marriage.
*Corresponding Author:
Received 27
June, 2017
Accepted after revision 27
Sep, 2017
BBRC Print ISSN: 0974-6455
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Online Contents Available at: http//
DOI: 10.21786/bbrc/10.3/5
Iman Seyyed Moharrami etal.
Formal legal marriage is a contract that is closed
between men and women and Considers for each person
special place and role (Houlgate, 2017). In recent years
the use of pre-marital counseling program to strengthen
marriage is common. Premarital counseling for couples
preparation and prevent dissatisfaction and failure in
marriage has a signi cant impact and people learn how
to be a successful and stable marriage, so premarital
counseling have aspects of preventive, educational and
therapeutic (Parhizgar etal., 2017). The research shows
that traditional counseling before marriage is not ben-
e ting for married life and had not a positive impact on
the stability of marriage (Moeti etal., 2017).
Premarital period is one of the sensitive and criti-
cal points in life and is a very effective period in the
continuity of life and prevention of marital problems
after marriage (Vural & Temel, 2009). In post marital
period, one of the factors that cause a basic change in
the process of marriage and its path is expect of peo-
ple from marriage, roles and marital needs (Bagarozzi,
2014). According to the  ndings of researchers, having
optimum belief, attitude and expect from marriage is the
best and most important capital in marriage and guar-
antees more happiness of people in the common marital
path. Expects and beliefs of people from marriage affect
the perception of people from each other and probability
of marriage or non-marriage and determination of mar-
riage time (Parrott & Parrott, 2005).
Expectations from marriage is a set of realistic, ideal-
istic and cynical expects that shows the beliefs of people
to triple  elds of marriage namely intimacy, agreement
and equality. expect from marriage shows the expects of
people from the level of intimacy and closeness to the
spouse, type of personality and attractiveness of future
spouse, type of activities inside and outside of family,
and the rate of responsibility and equality of couples in
the affairs related to home and children (Nilforooshan,
Abedi, Ahmadi, & Navidian, 2011). Expectations from
marriage in people in premarital period has a signi cant
relationship with married life and life satisfaction like
the level of intimacy, distance, division of labor, and
the nature of the relationship between husband and wife
with the main family (Holman, 2006). Theoretically, the
primary experiences of the persona and relationships,
whether as the observer of a relationship or participant
in it, has a main role in the formation of expect from
marriage. According to the Bowlby’s attachment theory,
the primary experiences of person in relationship with
the beliefs and expects of people from the next relation-
ships (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007).
The study of expectations from marriage in premari-
tal period is very important so that the researchers in a
study examined and graded the areas of couples prob-
lems and mentioned the unrealistic problems and expect
from marriage and lack of intimacy and interest as the
most important marital problem (Mazlomi, Dolatshahi,
& Nazari, 2010). One of the other important issues that
can affect the decisions of people in marriage is shyness.
Shyness is associated with several distinct behavioral
antecedents and biological correlates across develop-
ment, including early behavioral inhibition and neu-
roendocrine dysregulation, (Poole etal., 2017).
Shyness has become the main concern of different
societies during the recent years and has become an
important issue, so that it has led the researchers toward
understanding this problem (Koydemir & Demir, 2008).
Shyness is considered as a kind of social anxiety that
is de ned with the features like anxiety in front of an
audience, distress and worry and shyness from being
seen by others (Botvin & Kantor, 2000). Paying too much
attention to the words and behaviors of oneself and fear
of interaction with others, fear of not being con rmed
by others and worry of being judged is the main features
of shy people. These people make conditions stressful
and while being exposed to new situations or new peo-
ple with illogical and automatic thoughts and usually
avoid asking questions or even answering the questions
of others (Shahri etal., 2014).
The study results of Afrooz show that the increase
of the people who have problem in relationships with
others, those who have fear of social contacts and are
shy, the young people who do not know what to say and
how behave when they enter a group, sense of inabil-
ity to talk to people and lack of cooperation with them,
depression and social isolation and  nally rejection
by society (Afroz, 2002). Studies show personality and
therefore also shyness is in uenced by various sociode-
mographic variables, social roles and important events,
which affect stability and lead to changes in personality
(Van Zalk, Lamb, & Jason Rentfrow, 2017). Also Poole,
Van Lieshout & Schmidt believe emerging evidence sug-
gests that con icted shyness (combination of shyness
and sociability) places individuals at risk for maladjust-
ment in childhood, adolescence, and emerging adult-
hood (Poole, Van Lieshout, & Schmidt, 2017).
Since expectations from marriage is one of the most
important factors to guarantee post marital satisfac-
tions and on the other hand shy people are susceptible
to make wrong decisions for marriage, without a doubt
these two areas of evaluation have an important role in
the guarantee of right decisions for marriage. For this
purpose, today it is attempted to use the premarital pro-
grams for single people. Premarital counseling is a new
approach that presents some education in order to pre-
vent the post marital dissatisfaction (Salarvand, Bahri,
Heidary, & Khadive, 2011).
Iman Seyyed Moharrami etal.
The experts of family area are suing about the ef -
ciency of premarital counseling and teach people how
to have a successful and durable married life (Fathzadeh
etal., 2008). To  nal purpose of premarital counseling is
to help the strength and stability of marriage, the reduc-
tion of divorce rate and promotion of marriage quality.
Premarital counseling program with the study of effec-
tive factors in successful marriage and the role of these
factors in the supply of adjustment and marital life sat-
isfaction deal with some approaches to select the appro-
priate spouse and successful marriage and also prevent
frustration in married life and study of its dimensions
and factors through the mutual understanding of
spouses, understanding the needs of both sides, mutual
understanding, love, kindness and mutual commitment
(MirMohammad Sadeghi, 2010). Although the effective-
ness of premarital counseling to promote the level of
life has been examined but its effect on expect from
marriage and shyness of single students has been les
studied. Thus, the present study aims to investigate the
effect of premarital counseling on shyness and expect
from marriage among students of Medical Sciences, Tor-
bat Heydariyeh, Iran.
The present study was a quasi-experimental interven-
tion with pre-test, post-test and control group. The sta-
tistical population includes all single and new arrival
students of Torbat Heydarieh university of medical sci-
ences in 1394 (n=110). After taking the licenses from
Torbat Heydarieh university of medical sciences and
taking conscious consent of the participants, 30 single
students were selected by random-strati ed method and
were placed in the intervention group and control group
(groups of 15) by random allocation method. The inclu-
sion criteria of participants to the study were gaining
high score and very low score in the scale of expect from
marriage and gaining a score more than 67 in shyness
test. At the beginning of the study, the scale of expect
from marriage and shyness scale was completed by the
participants of intervention group and control group.
Premarital counseling was performed in 8 sessions of
2 hour for the intervention group. During this time, the
control group did not receive any education. The sum-
mary of activities in intervention sessions are as follows:
The  rst session; teaching concepts familiar, attrac-
tive, familiar theories, advantages and limitations of
familiarity, ten mistakes in the process of dating and
Second session; Training love triangle theory, the ele-
ments of love, the effect of the issue on love, choose love
and complete un nished love children and facilitate
donors.Third session; Life skills training including asser-
tiveness skills, effective communication skills, asser-
tiveness, stress management, anger management, etc.
Fourth Session; Training process of mate selection, right
and wrong reasons to marry, false expectations of mar-
riage, people who are not suitable for marriage, person-
ality disorder and inappropriate for marriage, good rela-
tionships that are not marriage, married warning signs,
criteria of successful marriage. Fifth Session; De ning
engagement, the marriage, the difference candidate with
familiarity, forced marriage, commitment concepts, bor-
ders and boundaries, and the time of engagement. Sixth
Session; the Marriage period, de nition of marriage
period, difference between marriage and engagement,
requirements and functions of marriage period. Seventh
session; Issues related to family, wife, threads between
family, family issues related to the main economic issue,
dowry, dowry, etc., division of labor in the process of
marriage and expectations associated with these con-
ditions and preparing participants for sessions. Eighth
Session; Informing students about early marriage and its
challenges, build con dence, balance between the need
for af liation and need for independence, competitors,
marriage, having children and sessions. After the end
of training secessions, the participants of intervention
and control groups completed the questionnaires again.
The measurement tool was the standard questionnaire
of Jones and Nelson expect from marriage and Stanford
Marriage expectation scale (MES) includes 40 items
and 3 sub scales of cynical expect, realistic expects and
idealistic expects. Its scoring range was graded accord-
ing to Likert 5-point scale as totally disagree with 1 to
totally agree with 5. The minimum score in this scale
is 40 and maximum score is 200. Lower scores show
cynical expect from marriage and higher scores show
idealistic expect from marriage. Average scores show
realistic expects (Nilforooshan et al., 2011). Jones and
Nelson reported the reliability of questionnaire for the
total scale by Cronbach’s Alpha as 0.79 to 0.80 and
Dilon as 0.80 (Dillon, 2005; Jones & Nelson, 1997). The
reliability of this questionnaire in the present study was
obtained as 0.74.
Stanford shyness scale includes 40 items that was
made in Stanford University and measures the shyness
of people. Stanford shyness scale is in all questions with
Likert 4-point scale including never (code 1), sometimes
(code 2), often (code 3), and always (code 4). The mini-
mum score is 40 and maximum score is 160. The score
from 40 to 60 shows low shyness. 67 to 100 average
shyness and more than 100 shows high shyness. In the
study of Najaf Abadi etal., the validity of shyness was
0.74 and its reliability was obtained as 0.87 by Cron-
bach’s Alpha method ( Najaf Abadi etal., 2013). In the
Iman Seyyed Moharrami etal.
present study, the reliability of the tool was con rmed
as 0.77 for Cronbach’s Alpha. The statistical data of the
study were analyzed by using SPSS statistical software
version 21.
The man age of participants in the control group was
19.33±0.61 and in intervention group was 19.92±1.07. In
the control group 7 subjects (47.7%) and in intervention
group 6 subjects (40%) were women. The frequency of
medical emergencies was 5 subjects (33.3%), midwifery
7 subjects (46.7%) and anesthesiology was 3 subjects
(6.7%) that this number is equal in both groups of con-
trol and experimental. In terms of economic status, the
maximum frequency was related to average economic
status with 10 subjects (66.7%) in control group and 8
subjects (53.3%) in the experimental group. The use of
Chi-2 statistical tests for the variables of gender, eco-
nomic status, education and independent T-test for age
showed that there is not a signi cant difference between
the mentioned variables in the two groups of control
and experimental (p>0.05). It means that the two groups
were homogenous in terms of the mentioned variables.
To compare the amount of shyness between the two
groups of control and intervention before and after
intervention, the Mann–Whitney test was used. This test
did not show any signi cant difference between the two
groups before intervention in terms of shyness in stu-
dents. (p=0.96) But after the intervention, there was a
signi cant difference between the two studied groups
in terms of shyness (p=0.01). To study the two groups
before and after the intervention of the Wilcoxon test
was used. The results show that in the control group
after the intervention, there was no statistically signi -
cant difference in the degree of shyness (p=0.31). But
there was a statistically signi cant difference in inter-
vention group (p=0.01). So that at the beginning of
the study, 4 subjects had severe shyness (26.7%) and 9
subjects had average shyness (60%) in the experimental
group but after the intervention, the number of shyness
reduced to 0 subjects (0%) and average shyness reduced
to 6 subjects (40%) (Table 1).
The second hypothesis of the present study claimed
the signi cant difference between the intervention group
and control group in terms of expect from marriage. The
obtained score of any sub scale, the relevant questions
were added together and since the score range for each
sub scale is different, each range was considered as 0
to 100 for the better understanding of scores range. The
results of kolmogrov-smirnov showed that expect from
marriage and its sub scales (realistic expects, cynical
expects, idealistic expects) are normal in the control and
experimental group before and after the intervention
(p>0.05). Accordingly, the parametric tests were used for
The results of independent t-test showed that the
intervention and control group had no signi cant dif-
ference at the beginning of the study in terms of the
score of expect from marriage (p>0.05). It shows the
assimilation of sample in the two groups according to
the intended variables, but these were a signi cant dif-
ference after the performance of premarital counseling
for intervention group (p<0.05) (Table 2).
To study the two groups before and after the inter-
vention, the Paired t-test was used. The results of paired
T-test showed that the mean score of expect from mar-
riage in students after holding premarital sessions in
intervention group (p<0.05). This difference was not
seen in the control group. (p>0.05) (Tables 3, 4 and 5).
According to the obtained results, premarital coun-
seling has a signi cant effect on the shyness of students.
Bashirpoor etal in a study compared the effect of group
counseling with cognitive – behavioral approach and
existential approach on the decrease of shyness in stu-
dents. Both approaches had a signi cant effect on the
shyness of male students but in their study, the interven-
Table 1. The comparison of shyness between the participants before and after the
intervention in the two groups of control and experimental
Variable time Variable classes Control Experimental
Before intervention
Weak 1(6.7) 2 (13.3)
0.96, z=-0.05
Average 11 (73.3) 9 (60)
Severe 3 (20) 4 (26.7)
After intervention
Weak 2 (13.3) 9 (60)
0.01, z=-2.7
Average 11 (73.3) 6 (40)
Severe 2 (13.3) 0 (0)
0.31, z=-1 0.01, z=2.49
Values are expressed as N (%).
Mann-Whitney test results
Wilcoxon test results
Iman Seyyed Moharrami etal.
Table 2. The comparison of the mean score of realistic expect from marriage in
participants before and after intervention in the two groups
variable time Control experimental
Realistic expects
Before intervention 51.17±7.46 49.31±6.21 0.46, t=-1.67
after intervention 49.31±7.39 68.23±14.10 <0.001, t=-2.72
0.08, t=1.47 <0.001, t=4.56
Values are expressed as mean (SD).
Independent t-test results
Paired t-test
Table 3. The comparison of the mean score of idealistic expect from marriage in
participants before and after intervention in the two groups
variable time Control experimental
Idealistic expects
Before intervention 70.95±15.06 75.83±14.33 0.46, t=-0.9
after intervention 73.45±12.51 59.16±18.38 0.02, t=-2.40
0.09, t=-1.78 0.006, t=3.25
Values are expressed as mean (SD).
Independent t-test results
Paired t-test
Table 4. The comparison of the mean score of cynical expect from marriage in
participants before and after intervention in the two groups
variable time Control experimental
Cynical expects
Before intervention 65±13.65 73.6±9.02 0.06, t=3.25
after intervention 57.73±8.86 45±8.01 <0.001, t=-6.21
=0.09, t=-1.76 <0.001, t=4.29
Values are expressed as mean (SD).
Independent t-test results
Paired t-test
Table 5. The comparison of the mean score of general expect from marriage in
participants before and after intervention in the two groups
variable time Control experimental
Expects from marriage
Before intervention 54.41±24.11 65.91±11.22 0.13, t=-1.56
after intervention 61.41±11.54 54.29±4.81 p<0.001, t=-4.22
0.1, t=1.64 0.03, t=2.2
Values are expressed as mean (SD).
Independent t-test results
Paired t-test
tion method of group counseling was cognitive-behav-
ioral and existential while in the present study the inter-
vention method was premarital counseling (Bshirpoor,
Salimibejestani, & Farahbakhsh, 2013). Also, Rahmani
and BaniAsadi in a study examined the effectiveness
of teaching non-verbal relationship on the shyness of
students and the obtained results showed that these
educations have decreased the shyness of students in
physiological and behavioral dimensions. However, the
intervention method in the study of Rahmani et al. was
different from the present study (Rahmani & BaniAsadi,
To explain the obtained results, the attitude of Gudarzi
etal can be mentioned. They believe that the science of
life skills education as a preventive method can have
positive and useful effects on the increase of emotion
control, coping with stress, high self-con dence, and
increase of self-concept, increases of self-esteem, better
problem solving and interpersonal con icts that lead to
the reduction of shyness (Goudarzi, MakvandHosseini,
Rezai, & Blotbngan, 2013).
In the present study, one of the discussions that
were taught in sessions with students was teaching
life skills such as establishing effective relationships,
Iman Seyyed Moharrami etal.
self-assertion, stress management and assertiveness and
this education can be effective in the reduction of shy-
ness in students. People attend the society with more
self-con dence when they are equipped with social skills,
so they create successful relationships and this success
increases their self-con dence and anxiety to attend
in front of an audience (Dokanei Fard, 2007). Mahruz
Yadak and Hatami also con rmed the effect of teaching
life skills on shyness and believe that people can make
better decisions and cope with emotions like fear, anger,
shyness or sadness in an appropriate way when they are
equipped with these teachings (Mehroz Yadak & Hatami,
2010). Also, premarital counseling improved the cynical
and idealistic expects in most students. According to the
results of the present study, premarital counseling could
reduce cynical and idealistic expects and increase realis-
tic expects. Before the intervention, the average realistic
expects of students was low but after premarital coun-
seling, the average realistic expects increased and this
result was useful. The average cynical expects of stu-
dents was high before the intervention and signi cantly
decreased after the intervention. Also, the average ideal-
istic expects of the intervention group had a signi cant
difference before and after the intervention and this dif-
ference was not observed in the control group that did
that did not receive any intervention.
The results of this study are in line with the study of
Omidvar et al. they examined the effect of premarital
Counseling on expects from marriage of students and
the results showed that the counseling have a signi -
cant effect on expects from marriage (Omidvar, Fate-
hiZadeh, & Ahmadi, 2009). Also, Sharp and Ganeng in
their study proved the effect of systematic education on
unrealistic and romantic expects of university students
and showed that the students signi cantly adjusted
their unrealistic and romantic expects due to education
(Sharp & Ganong, 2000). To explain the obtained result,
the content of the sessions of the present study can be
mentioned. In the present study, one of the issues that
were studied in group sessions was the issues that were
studied in group sessions was the study of the role of
wife and husband, expect of participants in the study
from their future spouse, expects and objectives of par-
ticipants from marriage and creating family. Negative
reasons for marriage including space away from inap-
propriate family environment, economic problems and
positive reasons for marriage like the need to love and
intimacy, being parent and the need to accompany were
clari ed. The subjects were explained that cynical or
unrealistic expects lead to frustration and the frustra-
tion due to the non-satis ed expects causes anger, and
dissatisfaction from marital life (Ghahari, 2012).
Counseling can be a reason for the changes of ide-
alistic and cynical expects from marriage. Also, in ses-
sions, the technique of exploration was used to clarify
the meaning of expect from marriage in people and
their beliefs. The double standard technique was used
to change the wrong expects. So that, the participants
were asked: what will you say if your close friend has a
similar selection like you and rely on his/her spouse to
meetall his/her expects?
Double standard technique makes people look at their
problem in such a way as if it is the problem of someone
else. Though this method, the participants found that
expects from marriage is unrealistic. In general, premar-
ital counseling led to the improvement of shyness and
expect from marriage.
According to the study results, it is suggested that pre-
marital counseling is used before the selection of spouse
in order to reduce nuisance factors in the process of
choosing spouse. Premarital counseling could reduce
shyness, idealistic and cynical expects from marriage by
providing information on the  eld of risky marriages,
relationships before marriage, barriers of appropriate
process of information, teaching how to identify cog-
nitive distortions and methods of challenging the false
beliefs and effective relationships.
The authors sincerely appreciate all those involved
in this research, especially Deputy of Education and
Research of Torbat Heydarieh University of Medical Sci-
ences who helped us with  nancial support (Research
Project Code 34.2).
The authors declare that there are no con icts of inter-
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