, Volume 24, Issue 3-4, pp 209-221

His and her marriage: A multivariate study of gender and marital satisfaction

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Abstract

This study examined gender differences in marital satisfaction using the multidimensional marital inventory ENRICH. Contrary to previous research, the results indicated that men are somewhat more satisfied with their marriages than women. The findings also suggest that religion is a more important part of the marriage for men, whereas women esposed egalitarian roles to a greater extent. A significant interaction was found between marital distress and gender on the Sexual Relationship, Communication, Parenting and Children, and Equalitarian Roles scales, indicating that these areas may be particularly important in distressed couples. The differences in husbands' and wives' marital satisfaction found in this study are consistent with research suggesting that men obtain greater mental health benefits from marriage than do women. The explanation of the obtained gender differences are discussed with regard to measurement issues, sampling procedures, and power and task inequities. Sampling and differences in marital tasks and power are cited as the best explanations of the findings.