Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Child Development

Committee Chair(s)

Jay D. Schvaneveldt


Jay D. Schvaneveldt


Don C. Carter


Edith Nyman


The purpose was to determine how husbands and wives who had been separated because of the war in Vietnam perceived each other during separation. Martial roles were used as the vehicle to convey perception.

A random sample of Jl couples was selected from among the married officers and enlisted men of Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 225 which was based at DaNang, South Vietnam. A questionnaire designed to determine perception of spouse was sent to men in Vietnam and to their wives who resided in various parts of the United States.

The major findings are summarized as follows:

  1. Correlation of roles ranked in order of importance before and after separation by respondents was significant at or beyond the .05 level for all roles except that of mother. This indicates that there was really very little change in the importance of roles during separation. The mother role was most variable.
  2. Husbands were significantly more accurate than wives in duplicating the ranking of roles by spouse.
  3. Both husbands and wives were significantly more accurate predicting the role ranking of the other before separation than they were in predicting how the other would rank his roles after separation.
  4. Wives were more congruent than husbands in perception of the spouse in roles they ranked as being highly important for the spouse.
  5. Men who had children tended to be congruent between thought patterns about their wives and the roles they ranked as important for them. They usually ranked the roles of wife and mother high and often thought of their wives in these roles. This congruency did not exist with the men who had no children.
  6. There was significantly greater marital satisfaction before separation.
  7. Perception of very high marital satisfaction after separation indicates that idealization or glossing of the absent situation and absent person occurred.