Original Paper

Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 437-448

First online:

Marital Quality and Income: An Examination of the Influence of Government Assistance

  • David G. SchrammAffiliated withHuman Development and Family Studies, University of Missouri Email author 
  • , V. William HarrisAffiliated withFamily, Consumer, and Human Development, Utah State University

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Using data from a random telephone statewide survey in Utah, the associations between income, government assistance and six dimensions of marital quality were explored with a sample of 295 married individuals with incomes below $40,000. Results indicate that income has a main effect on negative interaction and feeling trapped. An interaction of government assistance and income on two dimensions of marital quality was found. Individuals that experienced the combination of earning less than $20,000 per year while receiving government assistance had significantly lower levels of overall marital satisfaction and commitment than individuals receiving government assistance with higher incomes and individuals who have never received government assistance. Implications and possible explanations are discussed.


Government assistance Income Marital quality Money Welfare