• gender differences;
  • growth curves;
  • longitudinal study;
  • marital satisfaction

The purpose of this study is to assess differences between husbands and wives (N= 526 couples at the first assessment) on (a) growth curves over the first 4 years of marriage for psychological distress, marriage-specific appraisals, spousal interactions, social support, and marital satisfaction; (b) the strength of intraspouse links and cross-spouse links involving the initial assessment of the first four variables and the growth curve for marital satisfaction; and (c) differences between spouses headed for divorce versus spouses in stable marriages on the growth curves for all five variables. On the basis of evidence that interspouse differences were largely nonsignificant, there was little support for the view that there are his and her versions of the processes that affect marital outcomes.