mixed methods research, marital expectations, marital satisfaction, African immigrants, U.S. born individuals, married couples, Seventh-day Adventists.


Marriage is still considered a universal institution in many countries worldwide. Marriage provides benefits for wives, husbands, children, families, and communities. Why Marriage Matters (Wilcox et al., 2005), outlined the benefits of marriage, including improved physical and mental health, biological and social benefits for husbands, wives, children and families in America. In sub-Saharan Africa benefits emanating from marriage included increased survival rates for young children (Omariba & Boyle, 2007); reduced maternal morbidity and mortality rates for women due to reduced risks from self-inflicted abortions (Garenne, Tollman, Kahn, Collins, & Ngwenya, 2001); and improved economic management in homes due to exchanging gender-specific tasks within households (Gezon, 2002). Despite these benefits, approximately half the marriages in the United States end in divorce (Raley & Bumpass, 2003; Smith, 2007). Reduced marital satisfaction leads to dissolution of marriages in the U. S. Marital expectations were associated with marital satisfaction (Juvva & Bhatti, 2006). The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between marital expectations and marital satisfaction between African immigrant and United States born married couples. The independent variable was marital expectations, measured with the Marital Expectations Questionnaire (MEQ, Ngazimbi & Daire, 2008). The dependent variables were marital satisfaction, measured by the Relationship Assessment Scale (RAS, Hendrick, 1988), and the Relationship Pleasure Scale (RPS, PAIRS Foundation, 1993). The participants were recruited from nine sites in six states located in three geographical regions. The regions were the Midwest, the West and the Pacific Northwest. They were recruited through faith-based leaders. Participants consisted of 87 couples and 35 individuals who participated without their spouses. This was a mixed methods design. In the quantitative section, three instruments were used to collect data: the MEQ, the RAS, and the RPS. The first section of the MEQ contained four open-ended questions which were used to collect qualitative data. Significant differences were found in the relationships between marital expectations and marital satisfaction between African immigrants and non-immigrants. Qualitative differences and similarities were found between African immigrant and U. S. born married couples. Implications of the findings are discussed for research, counselor education and clinical practice.


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Graduation Date



Daire, Andrew


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education


Child, Family, and Community Sciences

Degree Program









Release Date

April 2009

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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Education Commons