Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Counseling, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Counseling, Khomeini Shahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khomeini Shahr, Iran

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



Background: Numerous young women struggle to envision a fulfilling and intimate marriage due to encountering significant challenges during their childhood and/or experiencing multiple unsuccessful relationships in adulthood. This study investigated the influence of life scripts, as defined by transactional analysis theory, on the marriage readiness of female university students of marriageable age in Isfahan, Iran.
Methods: This qualitative case study utilized a non-probabilistic, purposive sampling method to select its participants from among all female university students of marriageable age in Isfahan, Iran, between July and September 2022. The sample comprised 15 individuals, determined through theoretical saturation. Data collection was conducted via semi-structured interviews, encompassing demographic information and life script identification. Triangulation involving the researcher, supervisor, and peer advisors was employed to ensure rigor. Manifest and latent content analyses were applied to the data derived from the participant’s responses and narratives using MAXQDA 2022.
Results: Analysis identified five predominant life scripts among female university students who exhibited readiness for marriage: “don’t be a child,” “please others,” “be perfect,” “don’t think,” and “try hard.” Conversely, the leading life scripts of students lacking marriage readiness were “don’t grow up,” “don’t get close,” “don’t be important,” and “be perfect.”
Conclusion: The findings suggested that life scripts significantly influence marriage readiness and partner selection among female students of marriageable age. Modifying these scripts may enhance these individuals’ preparedness for marriage.