Date of Award:

2006

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Thomas R. Lee

Abstract

This research compared measures of marital quality between married respondents who were classified as adults currently receiving government assistance (GA) or adults not currently receiving government assistance (NGA). Additional demographic/contextual variables such as gender, age, age at first marriage, religiosity, income, education, cohabitation, mental health, and substance abuse along with four interactional variables - escalating negativity, criticism, negative interpretation, and withdrawal - were measured as potential correlates with marital quality.

Results indicated statistically significant differences between GA and NGA individuals on all of the marital quality measures and on 8 of the 11 demographic/contextual variable.;. Additionally, the four interactional variables showed strong predictive associations for each measure of marital quality for both GA and NGA individuals. Findings from this study are synthesized to help legislators, policy makers, therapists, and other helping professionals target specific needs and intervention strategies for each of these two distinct populations.

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