Attitudes toward marriage: Embeddedness and outcomes in personal relationships


  • Heidi R. Riggio, Department of Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles; Dana A. Weiser, Department of Social Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno.

Heidi R. Riggio, California State University, Department of Psychology, CSU Los Angeles, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032, e-mail:


This study examines marriage attitudes, attitude embeddedness, personal relationship outcomes, and parental marital status and conflict using 400 undergraduate students. In a conceptual replication of Prislin and Ouellette (1996), more embedded marriage attitudes are more predictive of evaluations of general marriage issues and relationship scenarios than less embedded attitudes. Consistent with findings that marriage attitudes influence relationship quality (Amato & Rogers, 1999), more embedded attitudes predict relationship conflict, commitment, desirability of alternatives, and expectations of relationship success. Recollections of high parental conflict are associated with greater relationship conflict, and individuals with divorced parents report more negative marriage attitudes. Future research on relationship attitudes, their strength, and consequences of parental divorce and conflict for offspring marriage attitudes is discussed.