Marriage in Motion
A Study on the Social Context &
Processes of Marital Satisfaction

By Ann Van den Troost
August 2005
Leuven University Press
ISBN: 9058674649
315 pages, 6 " x 9 "
$77.50 Paper Original

About 40 years after the onset of the so-called second demographic transition, this book examines the underlying process and correlates of spousal satisfaction with marriage. Among other things, this transition has been characterized by an upward trend of divorces turning marriage into a vulnerable institution. It is, therefore of utmost importance to gain insight in the features of longer-term marriages.

The present study is directed towards the generation that instigated diverse quantitative and qualitative changes in the private sphere. Using longitudinal data of a representative sample of married husbands and wives in the Netherlands, this book tackles several issues that are relevant to contemporary marital life.

How do economic and cultural factors affect spousal marital satisfaction? What role does communication play in understanding husbands and wives' satisfaction with marriage? How do parenting experiences spill over to the spousal system? What are the implications of masculine and feminine self-definitions on partners' evaluation of marriage? The elaboration of these and other related questions offer the reader a broad picture of the role of gender; communication, parenting and individuals' socioeconomic position in understanding spousal marital experiences.

Social Background & Research Agenda
1. Marriage & Partnership in a Changing Social Landscape
Demographical Issues. Theoretical Issues. Gender Issues.
2. Towards a Research Design for Marital Satisfaction Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model
3. Method
Dutch Panel Data, Validation of Sample.
4. Dutch Marital Satisfaction & Communication Questionnaire
Three studies. Measures. Results
5. Relationship Between Communication & Marital Satisfaction
A Cross-Lagged Panel Analysis. Procedure. Measures, Results.
6. Effects of Spousal Economic & Cultural Characteristics
7. Social Position, Gender Role Identity
8. Gender Characteristics & Marital Outcomes.
9. Marital Relationships & Parenting Experiences
10. Conclusions & Implications
Central findings. Communication. Parenting. Labor market resources. Gender. Methodology. Towards a new research agenda.

Sociology Today, Vol. 10

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