Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Michael R. Bertoch


Marital roles have become a subject of major concern in recent years. Many critiques consider traditional marriage roles to be responsible for hindering appropriate social-emotional development of the wife, in particular, and also the husband. Past research in assessing the relationship between marital roles and the happiness and well-being of husbands and wives is limited in quantity and generally is inconclusive or controversial. This study was designed to clarify the relationship between marriage roles and two dependent variables, marital happiness and self concept.

The sample population consisted of 124 volunteer couples selected from the teaching staffs of eight school districts in Southeastern Idaho and Northern Utah. Each participant provided information for this study by completing a questionnaire, the Tennessee Self Concept Scale, the Marriage Adjustment Scale, and the Marriage Role Expectation Inventory. Forty-three variables were generated from these measures which, when factor analyzed produced 12 factors for husbands and 10 factors for wives, served as dependent and independent variables for this study.

Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to identify relationships between dependent variables (self concept and marital happiness of husbands and wives) and independent variables {i.e., level of education; hours spent as an employee, religious volunteer, and in community service; freedom to choose present role; income level). Husbands and wives were assessed independent of each other.

None of the independent variables explained a significant amount of the variance on marital happiness or self concept neither when considered alone nor when stepped together in the multiple regression model. Thus, no significant relationship was determined between marital roles and marital happiness or self concept. Recommendations were made for studying more diversified populations and for controlling sample bias resulting from the use of volunteers.



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