Date of Award:

1993

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

D. Kim Openshaw

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not there were different subjective reports of marital satisfaction or dissatisfaction across the life cycle for Taiwanese couples. In examining this question two of the three selected instruments demonstrated sufficient reliability so as to be included in the overall study, namely, the Marital Adjustment Scale (MAS) and the Spanier Dyadic Adjust Scale (SDAS). These instruments were translated from English to Chinese, then administered to 259 couples volunteering to participate in the study. Couples were grouped according to their placement along the life cycle.

The results of the study indicate that there is indeed a difference in the amount of reported marital satisfaction across the life cycle; however, there is no evidence that males or females differ in their perception of the amount of marital satisfaction experienced. Multiple regression examined the factors determined from the two scales for their influence on male and female reports of marital satisfaction at varying stages of the life cycle. While many findings were noted, three are of relative significance. First, couples in the first stage of the life cycle and those in the last stage report that companionate behavior is of critical importance. Secondly, in the second stage of the life cycle, female respondents did not identify any variable as significant regardless of the instrument. Finally, there is an interesting dip in marital satisfaction at the point in time when families begin to launch their children and enter the empty nest.

Recommendations include continued research on assessing what variables are related to marital satisfaction in this population. Secondly, marital and family therapy clinical training is viewed as important, especially at this time in this culture. Finally, there are various ways in which enrichment and prevention programs would facilitate the longevity of relationships, thus deterring divorce.

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