Date of Award:

5-2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Jeffery P. Dew

Committee

Jeffery P. Dew

Committee

Scot M. Allgood

Committee

Yoon G. Lee

Committee

Shelley Knudsen Lindauer

Committee

Brian K. Warnick

Abstract

The primary objective of this research study was to examine employment and housing problems (stemming from the 2007-2009 Recession) and to see if there was a correlation between those problems and marital satisfaction and/or the perceived likelihood of future separation or divorce. A second purpose for this study was to see if feelings of financial stress (economic pressure) were mainly responsible for the projected drops in marital satisfaction or increases with divorce proneness. A final purpose for this study was to understand how other factors might additionally influence the relationships between recession-related employment problems and housing problems and the marital outcome variables. These factors included gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and existing debt load.

This study found that housing-related financial problems were associated with both lower marital satisfaction and a higher perceived likelihood of future separation or divorce. The economic pressure variable provided additional understanding regarding why couples with housing-related financial problems were more likely to have less desirable marital outcomes. Likewise, gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and existing debt load also provided some modification of the existing relationships between housing-related financial problems and marital satisfaction and divorce proneness. However, this study did not find an association between employment-related financial problems and marital satisfaction or the perceived likelihood of future separation or divorce.

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