Date of Award:

1996

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Scot M. Allgood

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships of communication variables and parent marital variables with the fulfillment of marital expectations among newlyweds. Little research has been done on newlywed expectations and communication. This is an exploratory study conducted to determine how newlyweds' exposure to parents' marital interactions and communication styles correlated with newlyweds' fulfillment of marital expectations. Fifty newlywed couples (married 3-6 months) filled out the Marital Comparison Level Index (MCLI) questionnaire about their level of fulfillment of expectations. Couples were then videotaped talking to one another about the strengths of their marriage followed by a discussion of the potential weaknesses of their relationship. Those videotapes were then coded using the Marital Interaction Coding System--Global. The results indicate that parental marital variables had no significant association with newlywed children's level of fulfillment of expectations. The that was correlated with fulfillment of expectations was the wife's "withdrawal" behavior during the conversation about dissimilarities and weaknesses. The lack of relation with the other variables may have been masked by high levels of satisfaction in the first year of marriage and the homogeneous sample (age and religion).

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