Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Jeffery P. Dew


Jeffery P. Dew


Kay Bradford


Ryan B. Seedall


Yoon G. Lee


Brian K. Warnick


Marital well-being in the U.S. has been declining since 1973. Individualism has increased during these years contributing to the decreases in marital well-being. The main objectives of this study were: (1) test the relationships between shared values (religious, family, and marital) and marital well-being (financial stability, marital happiness, and individual well-being) and (2) examine simultaneously the relationships between the three marital well-being variables. Data were utilized from the Survey of Marital Generosity (an extant data set collected during 2010-2011) to answer the research questions. This survey provided a nationally representative sample of married couples (n=1,237). Path analysis was used to examine the hypotheses of the study.

Significant relationships were found between several shared values and the marital well-being variables of marital happiness and individual well-being. However, no shared values were found to be related to financial stability. The control variables of education, ethnicity, and cohabitation did have significant associations with financial stability and the other dependent variables. The marital well-being variables were all found to be positively related to each other and the husbands and wives' reports of each of the dependent variables were also positively correlated. The underlying theme of teamwork in marriage was seen as the most important finding and several suggestions for future research and professional interventions were suggested.