Sociology Faculty Publications


Developmental Patterns in Marital Satisfaction: Another Look at Covenant Marriage

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This study investigated differences in the trajectory of marital satisfaction in the first seven years between couples in covenant vs. standard marriages. Data on 707 Louisiana marriages from the Marriage Matters Panel Survey of Newlywed Couples, 1998 - 2004, were analyzed using multivariate longitudinal growth modeling. Restricting the sample to couples who remained married over the duration of the study, a marginal benefit of covenant status was found for husbands. This effect was largely accounted for by covenant husbands' more extensive exposure to premarital counseling. The linear decline in marital satisfaction over time that obtained for both husbands and wives was not, however, any different for covenants vs. standards. Couples characterized by more traditional attitudes toward gender roles were significantly less satisfied than others. High premarital risk factors, initial uncertainty about marrying the spouse, and the presence of preschool children in the household were all corrosive of marital satisfaction at any given time.

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Availability via databases maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine.

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Publication Title

Journal of Marriage and the Family

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