Keywords

Marriage, Martial satisfaction, Jamaican, African American

Abstract

Marital satisfaction is the strongest predictor for happiness in many areas of life (Russel & Wells, 1994). A satisfying marriage is associated with better general adjustment and fewer health problems (Bray & Jouriles, 1995). Factors that contribute to marital satisfaction reported by researchers include religion and spirituality (Anthony, 1993; Marks et al., 2008; Shehas, Boch & Lee, 1990), family of origin dynamics (Cohn, Silver, Cowan, Cowan, & Pearson, 1992; Webster, Orbuch, & House, 1995), and quality of family relationships (Timer, Veroff, & Hatchett, 1996). Additionally, satisfying marriages are beneficial to couples and children of these marriages. The purpose of this study of marital satisfaction was to investigate and examine factors that might affect marital satisfaction among Jamaicans and African Americans living in the United States and identify similarities and differences of those factors. No previous study has compared these cultural groups. This study utilized the National Survey of America Life data set. The factors investigated included the effects of age, gender, educational attainment, social support, and religion on the marital satisfaction of these two groups. For the first research question, the dependent variable was marital satisfaction and the independent variable was ethnicity. For the second research question the dependent variable was marital satisfaction and the independent variables were age, gender, and educational attainment. For the third research question, the dependent variable was marital satisfaction and the independent variables were social support and religion. A Pearson Chi-square analysis investigated the first research question's hypothesis that no relationship existed with marital satisfaction and ethnicity. Findings indicated a marginally significant relationship between marital satisfaction and ethnicity. A Multinomial Logistic Regression analysis investigated the second research question and hypothesis that no predictive relationship existed between marital satisfaction and ethnicity with age, gender, and educational attainment. Findings indicated that age, gender, and educational attainment level were significant predictors of marital satisfaction. A Multinomial Logistic Regression analysis investigated the third research question and hypothesis that no predictive relationship existed between marital satisfaction and ethnicity with social support and religion. Findings indicated social support was a significant predictor of marital satisfaction, and religion was not. Overall, these results suggested that ethnicity, age, gender, educational attainment, and social support were significant predictors of marital satisfaction opposed to religion. Investigating these two cultures in relation to marital satisfaction could lead to an enhanced awareness of the similarities and uniqueness of each group. It may also provide insight to service providers. For example, mental health clinicians or, specifically, marriage and family therapists, may gain insight into the similarities and differences of these two groups and therefore tailor their treatment services accordingly. Additionally, these findings might affect intervention approaches for clinicians.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2009

Advisor

Daire, Andrew

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Education

Department

Child, Family and Community Sciences

Degree Program

Education

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0002725

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0002725

Language

English

Release Date

September 2009

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Education Commons

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