Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development


Scot M. Allgood


The purpose of this study was to examine and make explicit the relationships between commitment, rituals, and initiator tendency. Past research and theory suggests that these ideas are related. Two research questions guided the study: (1) How are initiator tendency and the number of rituals a couple participates in related to the commitment style?, and (2) How are initiator tendency and the meaningfulness of rituals related to commitment style?

Data were obtained from 55 couples who completed a questionnaire to measure participation and meaningfulness of rituals, initiator tendency, and commitment. Final analyses were performed with only 39 of these couples as 16 newlywed couples were removed from the sample. Results suggested a significant relationship for meaningfulness of connection rituals with both personal commitment and moral commitment for the husbands in the study. A relationship was also found between initiator tendency and personal commitment for both husbands and wives, while only the wives showed a negative relationship between initiator tendency and constraint commitment. Implications for marriage and family therapy were presented and the limitations of the study were also discussed.