Date of Award:

1-1-1996

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Scot Allgood

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between rituals and marital adjustment among a sample of newlyweds. Rituals and marital adjustment were defined and their importance in family life outlined. Five research questions guided the study: (1) Is ritual activity associated with marital adjustment and length of courtship for newlyweds?; (2) Is ritual activity associated with marital satisfaction and length of courtship for newlyweds?; (3) Is ritual activity associated with cohesion and length of courtship for newlyweds?; (4) Is ritual activity associated with consensus and length of courtship for newlyweds?; and (5) Is there a difference between husbands and wives on the number and types of rituals (family celebrations, family traditions, and family interactions) that couples report are most related to their overall marital quality? Ritual activity was measured by a new instrument created for the present study: the Ritual Inventory (RI). Marital adjustment and its components (satisfaction, cohesion, and consensus) were measured using the Revised Dyadi c Adjustment Scale (RDAS). Length of courtship was used as a control variable.

The analysis revealed no relationship between rituals and marital adjustment for newlyweds. Length of courtship was a significant factor with marital adjustment and marital satisfaction . Implications and suggestions for future research are presented.

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