Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Jeffery Brown

Second Advisor

Rene Drumm

Third Advisor

James J. North, Jr.



A number of marital issues are challenging the members of the Ottawa Seventh- day Adventist Church. Of primary concern is the increase in “marital distress.” Given the importance of marital satisfaction on the health of a marriage, an examination of marital satisfaction levels among couples in the Ottawa Seventh-day Adventist Church is a priority. Based on this background, the primary focus of this study was to investigate marital satisfaction and its effect on marital health, with the intention of improving marital satisfaction levels among couples in the Ottawa Seventh-day Adventist Church.


This study evaluated marital satisfaction factors that were important to couples in the Ottawa Seventh-day Adventist Church. I reached the population for this study through personal contact as well as by distributing flyers that described the nature of the project. Each of the twelve couples who consented to participate in the study, was given two “Marital Satisfaction Inventory Revised” (MSI-R) questionnaires. Twelve men and twelve women who had been married for at least two years and whose ages were between 20 and 75 completed a total of twenty-four questionnaires. All twenty-four (100%) questionnaires were returned and were used to assess the participants’ level of marital satisfaction.


Of the twelve couples that were surveyed, only one couple was satisfied with their marriage. In other words, only one couple described their relationship as satisfying and viewed their partner as good friends. In addition, only one couple viewed their relationship as a major source of gratification, while eleven couples expressed relationship dissatisfaction with significant levels of relationship conflicts being present within the marriage. Compared to the dissatisfied couples, the satisfied couple tended to have a higher level of expression of affection towards each other, resolved their differences when they occurred and were viewed as good parents by their spouse.


In summary, the seven major factors that appeared to be areas of concern regarding marital satisfaction for couples of the Ottawa Seventh-day Adventist church were Affective Communication—an expression of affection and understanding between couples; Problem Solving Communication—a need for more effective skills in resolving differences; Aggression—a need for appropriate skills in reducing the level of intimidation or physical aggression; Time Together—a need to improve the level of “friendship” reflected in behavioral intimacy, Disagreement About Finances—a need for better money management skills so as to reduce the level of relationship discord regarding finance; Sexual Dissatisfaction—the need for an improvement in the frequency and quality of intercourse and other sexual activities; and Dissatisfaction With Children—the need for parenting skills in improving parent-child relationships, as well as in tackling child-rearing demands that are having a negative impact on the marriage. These findings, therefore, indicate the need for an urgent response since these marital issues have the potential of impacting negatively, not only the couples, but also their children and their children’s children. Consequently, family life professionals are of significant importance to the Seventh-day Adventist Church community in providing the necessary educational interventions that are required to address these marital issues.

Subject Area

Marriage--Canada--Ottawa; Marriage--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Ottawa Seventh-day Adventist Church (Ottawa, Canada)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.


Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."