ERIC Number: EJ899733
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
Patterns of Change in Marital Satisfaction over the Newlywed Years
Lavner, Justin A.; Bradbury, Thomas N.
Journal of Marriage and Family, v72 n5 p1171-1187 Oct 2010
Although marital satisfaction starts high and declines for the average newlywed, some spouses may follow qualitatively distinct trajectories. Using 8 self-reports of satisfaction collected over 4 years from 464 newlywed spouses, we identified 5 trajectory groups, including patterns defined by high intercepts and no declines in satisfaction, moderate intercepts and minimal declines, and low intercepts and substantial declines. The groups varied systematically in their 4- and 10-year divorce rates, and wives tended to follow more satisfying trajectories than their husbands. Personality traits, stress, aggression, and communication behaviors assessed shortly after marriage discriminated among groups in expected directions. We conclude by outlining theoretical and practical implications of identifying distinct and predictable patterns of change in relationship satisfaction.
Descriptors: Divorce, Personality Traits, Spouses, Marital Satisfaction, Marriage, Attitude Measures, Trend Analysis, Gender Differences, Stress Variables, Aggression, Interpersonal Communication
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A