A comparison of marital cohesiveness among farm and nonfarm marriages



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Texas Tech University


The purpose of this study was to examine possible differences in dissolution potential among farm and nonfarm respondents. A conceptual model of marital cohesiveness and dissolution which categorizes variables into attractions, barriers, and alternative attractions was tested.

The findings of the study were based upon subjects who were visiting the 1984 Tri-State Fair in Amarillo, Texas. The sample consisted of 612 respondents, with 172 farm respondents and 440 nonfarm respondents. Subjects completed a questionnaire which included demographic data, background information, and attitude questions as well as the Marital Status Inventory, which measured dissolution potential.

Stepwise multiple regression was implemented to test the six hypotheses. The hypothesis that proposed an inverse relationship between attraction variables and dissolution potential was partially supported, as was the hypothesis which suggested an inverse relationship between barrier variables and level of dissolution. Barrier variables were found to explain a greater proportion of variance in dissolution potential for farm respondents, while attraction variables were more predictive of dissolution potential for nonfarm respondents.

The variables which indicated significant relationships to dissolution potential for the farm group were disjunctive kin affiliations and religiosity of couple, while affection. Catholic religion, disjunctive kin affiliations, home ownership, and respondent's education were significantly related to dissolution potential for nonfarm respondents. Suggestions are made for further research using the model with the added attraction variables self-esteem and coping with stress so it might better explain marital cohesiveness and dissolution potential for farm respondents.



Rural families, Family, Marriage status, Marriage