Document Type



Master of Arts


Family Life Education

Capstone Committee Member (Advisor 1)

Michael Walcheski

Capstone Committee Member (Advisor 2)

David Brusehoff

Capstone Committee Member (Advisor 3)

Trish Anderson


This study explored the levels of marital happiness/satisfaction among Christian couples in Jamaica. The relevance of partner's appraisal of each other was looked at in determining the levels of marital satisfaction experienced by each partner. Principles underlying attribution theory, social exchange theory, and interdependence theory were explored as supporting theories. The tenets of Christianity were also looked at as a background to interpret results. Forty one (41) married Christian couples recruited from various churches across Jamaica completed an originally designed 48 items Likert-like scale questionnaire, designed to assess marital satisfaction on the basis of how each partner appraises the other. Olson's Enrich Couples Scale, known for its reliability in differentiating between satisfied and dissatisfied couples was issued to some respondents to serve as a comparative and validating instrument in the study. Favorable convergence of the instruments was observed. Regardless of how each spouse viewed himself or herself; marital satisfaction was chiefly enjoyed when partner's appraisal of each other is positive. This finding is concurrent with the tenets of the theories being explored and Guttman's findings which stipulate that couples will experience stability and marital satisfaction when their positive interactions significantly outweighs the negative ones. Ninety-seven percent of the respondents had happy to very happy marriages, consistent with the impact of religion on marital satisfaction but inconsistent with the global trend showing marked increase in divorce and reported distress in marriages by counselors. However, this study is much too limiting to give an accurate measure of the levels of marital satisfaction experienced by Christian couples in Jamaica. Much ground work is needed in this field of study.


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