Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Marital Instability: A Social and Behavioral Study of the Early Years

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Marital Instability: A Social and Behavioral Study of the Early Years

Article excerpt

Marital Instability: A Social and Behavioral Study of the Early Years. Joseph Veroff, Elizabeth Douvan, & Shirley J. Hatchett. Westport, CT: Praeger. 1995. 208 pp. Hardcover ISBN 0-275-95031-X. $49.95.

Joseph Veroff, Elizabeth Douvan, and Shirley Hatchett advance our understanding of marital instability by summarizing and synthesizing the resuits of a prospective study into a professionally written but easily readable book. They have addressed an important issue of our society at large. The study looks at a blend of sociopsychological and economic factors that contribute to marital instability.

The authors studied 199 White and 177 Black couples who were randomly selected from the list of marriage license applicants in Wayne County, Michigan. These couples were prospectively followed for 4 years. All were in their first marriage, and some of them had had unwed births. Information on every couple was updated each year and analyzed separately for each year. The most important attempt of the authors was to make a distinction between stability in marriage and wellbeing-i.e., whether a marriage is lasting (stable) or whether a marriage is particularly happy (wellbeing).

The book consists of nine chapters. Chapter 1 defines and describes the objectives of the study, the conceptual framework of the analysis, the variables, and it reviews some relevant studies in the field. Chapter 2 focuses on how premarital factors affect marital instability. Premarital factors, such as parental characteristics, the couple's premarital situation, and personal characteristics, seem to influence marital instability differently across races. In Chapter 3, the authors examine the role of interpersonal attitudes, perceptions, and interactions in marital stability. Conflicting style of interaction for Black couples and negative sexual interaction for White couples were the important predictors for marital stability. Chapter 4 deals with external factors in the first year of marriage. External family support was important for Black couples. Without such support, which was not crucial for White couples, Black men's financial and job stress led to instability. Chapter 5 looks at the integrative marital feelings in the first year of marriage. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.