The Effect of Family of Origin on Early Marriage Outcomes: A Mixed Method Approach
AuthorDennison, Renee Peltz
Family of Origin
AdvisorSilverberg Koerner, Susan
Committee ChairSilverberg Koerner, Susan
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe present study examined the effect of family of origin characteristics on current marital satisfaction, within a sample of newlywed couples, using dyadic and mixed methods approaches to conceptualization, data collection, and data analysis.The data used to investigate this process--sometimes called intergenerational transmission--was collected in two phases. First, quantitative data in the form of close-ended questions was collected separately from each member of 190 newlywed couples via hard-copy questionnaires. These questionnaires included measures of family of origin characteristics (e.g., interparental conflict), current marital processes (e.g., conflict resolution style), and marital outcomes (e.g., marital satisfaction). Second, in-depth and open-ended questions were asked of 18 couples in semi-structured couple interviews. The 18 couples who were interviewed in phase two of the data collection represent a purposive sub-sample of the original 190 couples from phase one of data collection.Results of structural equation modeling of a conceptual model based on the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Cook & Kenny, 2005) indicated that the family or origin characteristics measured predicted a decrease in marital satisfaction, especially for wives. In addition, mixed evidence was found for the potential meditational role of conflict resolution style. Results of thematic coding of the interview data revealed that: a) families of origin serve as marriage role models in complex and multifaceted ways; b) there are other important models of marriage, aside from families of origin, that influence marital outcomes; c) it is likely that couples use a combination of different marriage role models to form their ideas of marriage (and therefore their marital outcomes); and d) it is possible that in some cases families of origin do not provide a marriage role model at all.Finally, results of a configural comparative analysis utilizing both the quantitative and qualitative data revealed that couples negotiate the pathway from their families of origin to their own marriages in diverse ways. Three distinct pathways were identified, including a "modeling" pathway, a "modified modeling" pathway, and a "compensation" pathway. Interpretations and implications of these findings are discussed. In addition, future directions for research in this area are suggested.
Degree ProgramFamily & Consumer Sciences