Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Brent C. Miller


Brent C. Miller


This study examined how women's marital adjustment and marital arguments were affected by the number of children ever born over time. The effects of age, age at first marriage. education, number of years married, and race, were also analyzed as covariates. It was expected that marital adjustment and marital arguments would change over time and would be affected by the constancy or change in number of children ever born. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to test whether the constancy or change in number of children over time affected marital adjustment and arguments. The passage of time did seem to affect marital adjustment and arguments within subjects, but when covariates were included in the analysis, time did not have a significant effect. Marital adjustment and marital argument scores were significantly affected by the change in number of children over time within subjects. However, marital and in-law argument scores were not significantly affected when the change in children was compared with the baseline number of children. Unusual characteristics of this sample make the results difficult to generalize because analyses were only done for never-divorced, continuously married women who had been married for an average of eight years at the beginning of the study. Future research should further analyze how women in the first years of marriage are affected by their first and additional children, including the substantial number who separate and/or divorce.