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MARITAL SATISFACTION AMONG NEWLY MARRIED COUPLES: ASSOCIATIONS WITH RELIGIOSITY AND ROMANTIC ATTACHMENT STYLE

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RESEARCH INFORMATION

PROJECT TOPIC : MARITAL SATISFACTION AMONG NEWLY MARRIED COUPLES: ASSOCIATIONS WITH RELIGIOSITY AND ROMANTIC ATTACHMENT STYLE

CHAPTERS: Chapter 1 – 5
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FORMAT: Ms Word

This study, MARITAL SATISFACTION AMONG NEWLY MARRIED COUPLES: ASSOCIATIONS WITH RELIGIOSITY AND ROMANTIC ATTACHMENT STYLE contains concise information that will serve as a framework or guide for your project work. The project study is well-researched for academic purposes and are usually provided in complete chapters with adequate References.

Keywords: marital satisfaction, satisfaction among newly married couples

RESEARCH BODY

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

According to recent statistics on marital trends conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau (1996), over 94% of men and women over the age of 60 have married at least once in their life. It is projected that this trend will continue, with 80 to 90% of the U.S. population marrying at some time in their life. Statistics have also indicated that of those marriages that end in divorce over half will remarry (Kreider & Fields, 2001). With a great majority of the population choosing to marry and remarry, it is evident that marriage continues to be a desirable lifestyle for most people. Despite this strong desire for a satisfactory marital union, the divorce rate continues to remain high with approximately one third of first marriages ending in divorce in the first ten years (Bramlett, & Mosher, 2002).

Marital satisfaction research has resulted in the identification of a multitude of factors that contribute to a satisfactory marital union. These factors include feelings of love, trust, respect and fidelity (Kaslow & Robinson, 1996; Rosen-Grandon, 1998), social support, commitment, equity of tasks, gender roles, and sexual interaction (Bradbury, Thomas, Fincham, Frank, Beach, & Steven, 2000; Kaslow & Robinson, 1996; Rosen-Grandon, 1998; Veroff, Douvan, Orbuch, & Actelli, 1998). Numerous studies have also been conducted to investigate marital satisfaction in relation to communication and interpersonal processes (Bradbury et al., 2000; Greeff, 2000). Another line of research examines partner similarities, or congruence, such as shared interests in leisure, shared interests in children (Kaslow & Robinson, 1996), similar cognitive processes, religious beliefs and philosophy of life (Bradbury et al., 2000; Chinitz, 2001; Greeff, 2000; Greenberg 1996; Kaslow & Robinson, 1996; Kohn 2001; Rosen-Grandon, 1998).

Because marriage has traditionally been associated with religious ceremony and affirmation, it’s not surprising that researchers would be interested in the relation of marital satisfaction to religion and religiosity. Religion has been defined as the feelings, thoughts, experiences and behaviors that arise from a search for the sacred (Hill et al., 1998), while the term religiosity, refers to the extent to which an individual feels that religious beliefs influence his or her life (Pittman, Price-Bonham, & McKenry, 1983). Religiosity consists of numerous interrelated but distinct components, such as denominational affiliation (Call & Heaton, 1997; Heaton & Pratt, 1990; Snow & Compton, 1996), homogamy or congruence of religious faith between partners (Chinitz, 2001; Heaton & Pratt, 1990; Kohn, 2001), church attendance (Call & Heaton, 1997; Sussman & Alexander, 1999; Vaughan, 2001), prayer (Butler, Stout & Gardner,

2002; Ing, 1998; Tloczynski & Fritzsch, 2002), importance of religion (Snow & Compton, 1996;

Sussman & Alexander, 1999), religious commitment (Mockabee, Monson, & Grant, 2001; Vaughan, 2001; Worthington et al., 2003), and religious style or orientation (Johnson, 1997; Seegobin, 1996; Sullivan, 2001).

Religion can be viewed as a general cognitive schema, which guides how individuals perceive the world around them, as well as their reactions and behaviors in daily life. Religion, as a schema, allows individuals to interpret environmental stimuli, fill in the missing elements or gaps, and employ heuristics that simplify and shorten the process of problem solving (Taylor & Crocker, 1981). Religion has also been studied in association with coping and meaning making, as individuals tend to turn to religion during times of crises or tragedy. This search for meaning in misfortune is often associated with effective adjustment (Tompson, 1991).

Generally, findings have indicated the greater the religious congruence, the greater marital satisfaction and the fewer family and religious stressors (Chinitz, 2001; Kohn 2001). For in interfaith couples, the more congruent couples are in religious beliefs, the greater their marital satisfaction and religious commitment (Chintiz, 2001). Similarly, homogeneous couples, congruent in faith and cultural heritage, reported more family support, less severe problems with religion, and fewer discrepancies in acculturation levels than interracial couples (Kohn, 2001).              In addition, since the late 1980’s, a number of studies have examined attachment processes in the context of marriage. Attachment theory is a way of conceptualizing the propensity of human beings to make strong affectional bonds with particular others (Bowlby, 1978). According to Bowlby (1982), attachment behavior is any form of behavior that results in a person attaining or maintaining proximity to some clearly identified individual, who is conceived as better able to cope with the world. Such attachment behaviors may include crying, following, clinging, and strong protest when left with a stranger. The knowledge that an attachment figure is available and responsive provides a strong and pervasive feeling of security, or secure attachment. Ainsworth, another leading figure in the field, investigated children’s attachment behaviors during the first year of life and identified three primary attachment strategies (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). Later research identified a fourth attachment category and extended the application of attachment constructs to adolescence and adulthood. Hazan and Shaver (1994) proposed that attachment theory was a useful theory for conceptualizing romantic relationships, as adult partners serve similar attachment functions and satisfy the same needs as primary caregivers do in infancy.

Marital satisfaction has been studied in conjunction with religiosity and attachment separately, but there is only one study to date that explores the interrelations among all three variables. The purpose of the proposed study is to further examine the role of religious commitment and attachment in marital satisfaction. A better understanding of the role of religious commitment and attachment in the lives of individuals and couples may help identify problematic aspects underlying marital dissatisfaction and poor romantic relationships.

Keywords: marital satisfaction, satisfaction among newly married couples

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