First and second marriages: An analysis of dyadic adjustment, love attitudes, and behavior exchange patterns

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Bruce Forman, Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether differences exist between first and second marriages with children in terms of dyadic adjustment, love attitudes, and behavior exchange patterns. Research was also conducted to determine if there were love attitudes and behavior exchange patterns that significantly contributed to explaining dyadic adjustment in first and in second marriages.Subjects were 86 adult volunteers consisting of 32 men and 54 women. Fifty-three subjects were in their first marriage and 33 subjects were in their second marriage. All participants had to be either a parent, a step-parent or both. Dyadic adjustment was measured by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), love attitudes were assessed by the Love Attitude Scale (LAS), and behavior exchange patterns were appraised by the Behavior Exchange Inventory (BEI).Analysis of variance determined that the two marital groups were not different in terms of overall dyadic adjustment. Analyses of covariance found that first and second marriage groups differed in terms of the love attitudes of Ludus and Storge and the behavior exchange pattern of RNI.Stepwise multiple regression analyses were used to explain the variance associated with dyadic adjustment for the two marital groups using the LAS, the BEI, length of marriage, and number of children at home full-time as predictor variables. For first marriage subjects, 56% of the variance associated with dyadic adjustment could be accounted for by a combination of ANI, GPI, Ludus, and Eros. For second marriage subjects, 70% of the variance associated with dyadic adjustment could be explained by a combination of TPI, Ludus, Pragma, and TNI. The results of the study suggest that while the degree of dyadic adjustment does not differ significantly between first and second marriages, the contributors to marital satisfaction are different between groups.


Psychology, Social; Women's Studies; Psychology, Clinical; Psychology, Personality; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

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