Date of Award

1989

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Educational Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Donna J. Habenicht

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Selma Chaij

Abstract

Problem. The purpose of this study was to observe relationships between moral judgment, personality, and marital satisfaction.

Method. The population included all white, American, married couples whose religious orientation was Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Seventh-day Adventists, or United Methodists. A total of 264 subjects (132 married couples) completed a demographic questionnaire, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), the Defining Issues Test (DIT), and the California Psychological Inventory (CPI). Data were analyzed using multiple-regression analysis and analysis of variance. The influence of stage of family life cycle, educational achievement level, and religion were controlled.

Results. Means and variances for the DAS and CPI resembled normative data. DIT means, however, were more than one standard deviation below normative data. Overall results showed that subjects who scored above the sample mean in norm-favoring (CPI) were more satisfied in marriage (DAS) than those who scored lower. Subjects who scored in the lowest one-third of the DIT obtained the highest marital satisfaction scores. Subjects who scored in the top one-third of the DIT obtained the lowest marital satisfaction scores. Husbands who scored above the sample mean in self-realization scored higher in marital satisfaction. Fathers of young children scored higher in marital satisfaction if they also scored above the sample mean in norm-favoring. Fathers of teenage children scored higher in marital satisfaction if they tended to be extraverted. Wives who scored above the sample mean in norm-favoring scored higher in marital satisfaction. Wives who had no more than a high-school education tended to be less satisfied in marriage if they scored higher than their husbands in moral judgment.

Conclusion. Husbands tend to be more satisfied in marriage when they are free of neurotic trends, mature, insightful, optimistic, and have a wide range of interests. Wives tend to be more satisfied in marriage when they are well-organized, conscientious, conventional, and dependable. Wives who have no more than a high-school education tend to be much more satisfied in marriage if the husband's level of moral judgment is equal to or higher than their own.

Subject Area

Personality, Married people--Psychology, Judgment (Ethics).

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