A Balanced Distance: Aspects of Marital Quality
AbstractThe present study is concerned with changes in marital satisfaction associated with the family career. It is based on a cross-sectional sample of 60 cases, equally divided between men and women respondents and the first three stages of the family life cycle. Factor analysis of several questionnaire measures of aspects of the marital relationship resulted in a general factor of marital quality with interpersonal features yielding the highest loadings. Two-way analysis of variance was applied to scores on this factor resulting in a significant stage effect (F = 3.23, p < 0.05) which was largely due to differences between stages within the sit of women respondents. Further interpretations drew on representative cases drawn from two extremes of the evaluative dimension. The findings accord with previous studies in emphasizing the importance of companionship and role sharing for marital quality. The value of establishing a balance of closeness and distance is noted.