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Although much has been learned from cross-sectional research on marriage, an understanding of how marriages develop, succeed, and fail is best achieved with longitudinal data. In view of growing interest in longitudinal research on marriage, the authors reviewed and evaluated the literature on how the quality and stability of marriages change over time.(More)
Theories of how initially satisfied marriages deteriorate or remain stable over time have been limited by a failure to distinguish between key facets of change. The present study defines the trajectory of marital satisfaction in terms of 2 separate parameters--(a) the initial level of satisfaction and (b) the rate of change in satisfaction over time--and(More)
How spouses help each other contend with personal difficulties is an unexplored but potentially important domain for understanding how marital distress develops. Newly married couples participated in 2 interaction tasks: a problem-solving task in which spouses discussed a marital conflict and a social support task in which spouses discussed personal,(More)
To examine whether spouses' attributions for events in their marriage are related to their behavior in interaction, spouses were asked to report their marital quality, to make attributions for marital difficulties, and to engage in problem-solving discussions. Study 1 demonstrated that spouses' maladaptive attributions were related to less effective(More)
Although marital satisfaction starts high and declines for the average newlywed, some spouses may follow qualitatively distinct trajectories. Using eight self-reports of satisfaction collected over 4 years from 464 newlywed spouses, we identified five trajectory groups, including patterns defined by high intercepts and no declines in satisfaction, moderate(More)
A brief, simple measure of different types of attributions for partner behavior was examined in 3 studies of married couples. Reliability was established by high internal consistency and test-retest correlations. Causal and responsibility attribution scores correlated with marital satisfaction, attributions for marital difficulties, and attributions for(More)
Although divorce typically follows an extended period of unhappiness that begins early in marriage, some couples who are very happy throughout the first several years of marriage will also go on to divorce. This study aimed to identify risk factors early in marriage that distinguish initially satisfied couples who eventually divorce from those who remain(More)
The prevailing behavioral account of marriage must be expanded to include covert processes. This article therefore examines the attributions or explanations that spouses make for marital events. A review indicates that dissatisfied spouses, compared with satisfied spouses, make attributions for the partner's behavior that cast it in a negative light.(More)
The present study applied C.L. Hammen's (1991) stress generation model to depressive symptoms in the context of marriage. The authors predicted that depressive symptoms would lead to increased marital stress, which would in turn lead to increased depressive symptoms. Social support processes were hypothesized to function as a mechanism by which dysphoric(More)
Life events and problem-solving behavior were examined relative to longitudinal change in depressive symptoms and marital adjustment over 18 months in 60 newlywed couples. Spouses' problem-solving behavior moderated, but did not mediate, the relationship between life events and adjustment. Some behaviors contributed to spouses being more resilient to life(More)