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Publication Date

2009-07-20

Availability

UM campus only

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2008-07-30

First Committee Member

Jean-Philippe Laurenceau - Committee Co-Chair

Second Committee Member

Charles S. Carver - Committee Co-Chair

Third Committee Member

Michael M. McCullough - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Maria M. Llabre - Committee Member

Fifth Committee Member

Blaine Fowers - Outside Committee Member

Abstract

While successful goal pursuit is associated with well-being for individuals, new work has begun exploring the role of goals in satisfaction with romantic relationships. The present work examines the effects of spousal involvement in goal pursuit on personal and marital outcomes. One hundred twenty married couples completed measures of perceived spousal facilitation (i.e., perceiving one's spouse as being encouraging and helpful) and hindrance (i.e., perceiving one's spouse as hindering) of goals, individual well-being, and marital satisfaction over 3 points in time, starting as newlyweds. Mediation analyses tested various models in which enhanced goal progress mediates the influence of perceived spousal facilitation and hindrance of goals on personal and marital outcomes. Results showed some support for the idea that spousal involvement in goal pursuit can be related to concurrent as well as later personal and marital outcomes. Specifically, perceiving one's spouse as facilitating and hindering one's goals predicted personal and marital outcomes in both cross-sectional and longitudinal models, depending on whether the goals represented personal or relationship-focused aspirations. Furthermore, reports of goal progress mediated both within-individual and cross-partner effects in some longitudinal models. Findings from this study offer implications for further understanding the role of a spouse in goal pursuit and in personal as well as marital outcomes over time.

Keywords

Romantic Relationship; Marriage; Goals

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