The impact of religiosity and ethnicity on marital satisfaction in Jewish-Christian couples

Lynn Merle Sussman, Fordham University

Abstract

This study examined the impact of religiosity, ethnic identity, and other-group orientation on marital satisfaction in Jewish-Christian couples. Couples were recruited through family and acquaintance networks, interfaith support groups, Jewish-affiliated outreach programs, the Internet, and a newsletter for Jewish-Christian families. The participants completed a measure of religiosity, the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, and a demographic questionnaire.^ Results from multiple regression equations showed that there were no significant predictive relationships between any of the predictor variables and marital satisfaction for wives, husbands, and the total sample. The study also examined the combined knowledge of the couples' levels of religiosity, ethnic identity, and other-group orientation. To this end, three separate 2 (husbands, wives) x 2 (high, low) factorial analyses of variance were conducted: (a) once with wives' marital satisfaction, (b) once with husbands' marital satisfaction, and (c) once with the marital satisfaction of the total population. Median splits were used to determine whether husbands' and wives' scores should be assigned to the high or low grouping. In terms of religiosity, two main effects were found for wives' marital satisfaction: (a) relatively high religiosity wives were more satisfied in their marriage than low religiosity wives, and (b) wives married to husbands with relatively high levels of religiosity were less satisfied in their marriage than wives married to husbands with relatively low levels of religiosity. An interaction effect was also found for wives' marital satisfaction. The only combination of comparison to reach statistical significance was for low religiosity wives married to high religiosity husbands. These couples were found to be less satisfied in their marriage as compared to all other combinations under comparison. There was also an interaction effect, but no main effects, for husbands' marital satisfaction and the total sample but no specific combination of comparisons reached statistical significance. There were no significant findings for ethnic identity or other-group orientation. Finally, the extent to which couples held similar or differing levels of religiosity, ethnic identity, and other-group orientation did not impact significantly marital satisfaction. ^

Subject Area

Religion, General|Psychology, Social|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Lynn Merle Sussman, "The impact of religiosity and ethnicity on marital satisfaction in Jewish-Christian couples" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9809023.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9809023

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