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Overview Marriage – Terminology
– Marital advantage – Theory & research marital success
– Cohabitors & marital success Terminology:Marital Success
Terminology:Marital Success 1. Marital Stability vs. Marital Instability Status of marriage: whether people are still married/ or spouses are divorce/ suggest divorce 2. Satisfaction/Quality – Spouses’ evaluations of their marriage: how happy they are, extent to which husbands and wives are satisfied w/ marriage WHAT IS A MYTH ?
A belief / collection of beliefs, thought to be true, but is not supported by the data May include some truth
Beliefs/Attitudes < > Behavior Myth 1:
Your marriage is either happy or it isn’t.
“ups and downs” – Majority of couples report ups & down. Times in marriage where people feel more dissatisfied, intense stress/change. Early & later reports – Even couples who are seriously considering divorcing but haven’t taken any steps to it, later reports show that they are happier later on. marriage permanence – Relating to belief that marriage is for a lifetime Marital Permanence
Marital Permanence Marital permanence – Belief that marriage is for a life time
– Divorce is not an option (except in abuse)
– Marital stability and satisfaction (Amato & Rogers, 1999) Exchange theory vs. cognitive dissonance theory Exchange theory: predicting that people who adopt favorable ideas towards divorce over time will invest less in their marriage Cognitive dissonance theory people who experience declines in marital quality adopt more favorable attitudes toward divorce as they anticipate leaving the relationship A weaker commitment to the general norm of lifelong marriae may undermine people’s commitment to a particular relationship. Over time (Longitudinal: same couples over time) Myth 2:
Meeting the right person is a matter of chance. Friends (and family) Social proximity
Increase the field of eligibles Active role in selecting particularly suitable partners Ex. New twist with technology Perception of approval – relationship success Strategies Attraction – proximity & similarity Myth 3:
If you marry the right person, love is enough. Skills & maintenance strategies – Communication skills, Emotional management – Skills may be more important when infatuation stage has sided. Healthy attitudes of commitment. – Involves diff types of commitment personal/moral/structural: imbalance when h/l in diff areas Avenues for individual and couple devlop. – Individual: friends of own, imp for couples to Myth 4:
Feeling attracted to someone other than your spouse means that you picked the wrong person to marry. Evolutionary influence Continue to be attracted to others bc of genes show perpetuation of attraction Mere exposure effect Exposure can increase attraction Attraction Does Not Mean Action! Derogation of alternatives Varying types of threats Myth 5:
The best way to screen a potential spouse is to live with that person. Potential risk
– Lack of objectivity & attachment
– Increased structural commitment
– Inertia effect
– Testing is associated – poor relationship qualities Behavior differences Story
Story In college… Marital Cynicism
Marital Cynicism Marital Cynicism – – idea that marriage is social institution that hurts men and women – Each marriage was 2 marriages: his & hers Men receive benefits from marriage – Is anyone really happy in marriage? Yes, people are happily married/reasonable content. Marital Advantages
Marital Advantages Marital resource model – Marriage provides 1. Health & Longevity 2. Wealth 3. Happiness Marital Advantages
Marital Advantages 1. Health & Longevity – Higher rates of mortality for nonmarried men(250%) and woman (50%)
– Biggest gap in mortality is early middle age 35
– Less likely to suffer from chronic illness or disabilities
– Longevity 9/10 married men age 4565 vs 6/10 unmarried 9/10 married women age 4565 vs 8/10 unmarried Marital Advantages
Marital Advantages 2. Wealth – The longer you married, the wealthier you are. True for men & women Men – Married men earn between 1040% more than single men do. – Men in 20s30s: husbands $11.33; singles $10.38; divorced or separated $9.61
– For older men, grater wage gape. – Married men’s wages rise faster. Marital Advantages
Marital Advantages 2. Wealth – Increase in productivity. Specialization of skills divide and conquer!
– Men specialize in earning money Better performance evaluations – Married couples save at higher percentages. Marital Advantages
Marital Advantages 3. Happiness – 40% of marrieds say very happy with life; 25% cohabitors; 15% separated; 18% divorced
– Suicide rate – widowed & divorced were about 3x more likely to kill themselves as marrieds were – Lower levels of depression among marrieds
– 66% husbands & 62% of wives report highest rating of marital happiness
– Marrieds report lower levels of loneliness. Not So Good Things About Marriage
Not So Good Things About Marriage 1. Making sacrifices – Daily, longterm (where you live) 2. Putting up with partner’s stuff (habits, faults, annoying behavior) 3. Tolerating differences 4. Dealing with disappointments 5. Working hard If you marry, marry well!
If you marry, marry well! People unhappily married, more psychological distress than singles.
– 2% men; 4% women describe marriage as not too happy When people are unhappily married, women fare worse than men
Selfrated health of divorced & separated worsened over last several decades relative to the married.
Adverse effects of marital dissolution have increased more women than men over last several decades.
– ** Self reported health for never married has improved over last three decades. Poor quality of marriage – strongest predictor of depression & problem drinking ...
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- Spring '08