This article was edited by Jay Teachman.
Developmental Patterns in Marital Satisfaction: Another Look at Covenant Marriage
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2012
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 74, Issue 5, pages 989–1004, October 2012
How to Cite
DeMaris, A., Sanchez, L. A. and Krivickas, K. (2012), Developmental Patterns in Marital Satisfaction: Another Look at Covenant Marriage. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74: 989–1004. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00999.x
- Issue published online: 24 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
- covenant marriage;
- growth-curve analysis;
- marital satisfaction;
- marital trajectories;
- sex role traditionalism
This study investigated differences in the trajectory of marital satisfaction in the first 7 years between couples in covenant versus standard marriages. The authors analyzed data on 707 Louisiana marriages from the Marriage Matters Panel Survey of Newlywed Couples, 1998–2004, using multivariate longitudinal growth modeling. When the sample was restricted to couples who remained married over the duration of the study, a marginal benefit of covenant status was found for husbands. This effect was largely accounted for by covenant husbands' more extensive exposure to premarital counseling. The linear decline in marital satisfaction over time that obtained for both husbands and wives was not, however, any different for covenant marriages versus standard marriages. Couples characterized by more traditional attitudes toward gender roles were significantly less satisfied than others. High premarital risk factors, initial uncertainty about marrying the spouse, and the presence of preschool-age children in the household were all corrosive of marital satisfaction at any given time.