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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Predicting wives’ marital satisfaction : examining the interpersonal variables of ideological incompatibility and perceptions of appreciation and fairness Starr, Elizabeth L.


The old adage, "Birds of a feather flock together" appears to be true when investigating compatibility and consequent marital satisfaction for wives. This study focused on gender role ideology constellations within a couple, specifically comparing ideologically compatible couples and ideologically incompatible couples (wife being more egalitarian than husband). It was hypothesized that wives' marital outcomes of conflict and satisfaction were affected by the intervening interpersonal and symbolic variables of perceptions of appreciation and fairness (with family work), which are each in turn affected by ideological incompatibility. This unique alternate interpersonal incompatibility model was tested against an intrapersonal congruency model already hypothesized by Greenstein (1996a). Using the NSFH 1987-88 data set, my hypothesized comprehensive path model was estimated with path analysis, but was rejected. A reestimated path model was constructed during the exploratory phase of path analysis. Results supported my unique interpersonal incompatibility model over the intrapersonal congruency model, as well as discovering unpredicted significant paths. My reestimated comprehensive path model explained 20% of wives' marital satisfaction variance. The interpersonal, symbolic, and emotional variable of wife's perceptions of appreciation (for family work) was found to be significantly related to all endogenous variables in the reestimated path model. In fact, this variable directly explained 4% of wives' marital satisfaction variance. It appears that appreciation is an important variable to include in understanding interactions within couples.

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