Title

The preremarital courtship period: The impact of cohabitation, marital history, and children

Date of Award

1997

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Blaine Fowers, Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Margaret Crosbie-Burnett, Committee Member

Abstract

Using the PREmarital Personal and Relationship Evaluation of Marriage with Children (PREPARE-MC), the influence of cohabitation, marital history and the presence of children on the preremarital relationship period was assessed with Positive Couple Agreement scores.Drawn from a national sample of over 50,000 couples, the random sample consisted of 1360 preremarital engaged couples in which at least one partner was remarrying and at least one partner had children. Cohabiting couples numbered 642, with 718 non-cohabiting couples. Mancovas controlled for age, education, income, months known each other and occupational level.On Cohabitation Status, except for Equalitarian Roles, the non-cohabiting couples were more satisfied than the cohabiting couples on Personality Issues, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Leisure Activities, and Religious Orientation.Three marital statuses were considered: (1) both partners remarrying; (2) only female partner remarrying; (3) only male partner remarrying. On Financial Management, the female remarrying couples were the most satisfied and the male remarrying couples the least satisfied. The both remarrying couples were the most satisfied on the Children and Parenting scale. The non-cohabiting both remarrying couples were more satisfied with their sexual relationship than the non-cohabiting female remarrying couples.Simple and Complex Stepfamily analyses revealed that simple stepfamilies were more satisfied than complex stepfamilies on Financial Management and Family and Friends. On Realistic Expectations, the cohabiting simple stepfamilies were more realistic than the cohabiting complex stepfamilies. On Personality Issues the cohabiting complex stepfamilies were less satisfied with their partner's personality than any other couple group.Among Simple Stepmother, Simple Stepfather and Complex Stepfamilies, the simple stepfather families were the most satisfied on Financial Management, Family and Friends, and Children and Parenting. On Financial Management and Family and Friends, the complex stepfamilies were the least satisfied. On Children and Parenting, the simple stepmother families were the least satisfied. On Personality Issues, the cohabiting complex stepfamilies were the least satisfied and the non-cohabiting simple stepfather families were more satisfied with their partner's personality than the cohabiting simple stepfather couples.

Keywords

Psychology, Social; Education, Guidance and Counseling; Psychology, Clinical; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Link to Full Text

http://access.library.miami.edu/login?url=http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqdiss&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:9805953