The " single" lifestyle

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The " single" lifestyle an expectancy-value assessment
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Scheppler, Jill Irene, 1957-
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Single people -- Case studies   ( lcsh )
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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1984.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 113-116).
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by Jill Irene Scheppler.
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Typescript.
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Vita.

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THE "SINGLE" LIFESTYLE: AN EXPECTANCY-VALUE ASSESSMENT


BY


JILL IRENE SCHEPPLEB

























A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY



UNIVERSITY OF FLOBIDA


1984













This dissertation is dedicated to my parents, Lillian and

Wilmer Scheppler, for believing in me long before I believed

in myself.













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


My enthusiasm for this project never wavered in the year

it took to complete due in large measure to the support of

my chairman and friend, Dr. Larry Severy. I would like to

express my immeasurable gratitude to him for encouraging me

to choose a subject about which I care very much. I would

also like to thank the rest of my committee, Drs. John

Lynch, Connie Shehan, Greg Niemeyer, and Barry Schlenker,

for their encouragement and assistance. I was fortunate to

have assembled such a stellar committee.

Thanks go also to John Hallam, whose technical expertise

made data analysis both fun and painless, and to Beth

Defarco for the clerical assistance she provided to help me

get the surveys off the ground.

Along the way my morale was boosted by the love and

support of my friends and family. Hugs and kisses go

especially to Bruce, Lenny, David and Gail, Ed, Starr,

Janie, Cris, Carolyn, Jeff, Joyce, Rene, Joel and Janet, and

Onie and Dordie.

Finally, I wish to extend a very special and heartfelt

thank you to Louise Ousley, my fellow spirit in the material

world. Knowing her has truly enabled me to rise above

myself. She is a friend for all seasons,


iii













TABLE OF CONTENTS



PAGE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . iii

ABSTRACT . . vi


CHAPTER

I. INIBODUCTION . .. 1

Empirical Literature Review ..... 3
Attitudes Toward Marriage 4
Social Lifestyles of Singles 8
Personality Characteristics .. 9
Health Issues ... 12
Summary . 14
Reports and Discourses .. 15
Historical Perspectives 15
Feminist Discourse . 17
Potpourri 19
Aims of the Study and Hypotheses 20

II. METHOD .* . 28

The Survey Instrument *. .* 28
Response Categories . 31
Sampling Design . 32
Survey Respondents . 34
Overall Response .. .34
Sex and Age of Respondents 34
Race, Income, and Education of Respondents 35

III. RESULTS .. ,. 37

Test of the Expectancy-Value Model as a
Predictor of Lifestyle Choice 38
The Relationship Between Attitude, Behavioral
Intention, and Self Expectancy-Value 38
Discriminant Analysis 39
Reported Self Satisfaction of Respondents 43
Self Satisfaction . 43
Expectancy-Value for Self 45







The Relationship Between Self Satisfaction
and Self Expectancy-Value .
Respondent Perceptions of the Satisfaction of
Their Grours ** .. *
Group Satisfaction .
Perceptions of the Alternative Lifestyle .
Values and Expectancies of Each Lifestyle
Characteristic for Self and Cther .


Self-sufficiency .
geographic Mobility *
Privacy ,* a *
Regular Sexual Partner .
Career Cpportunities *
Financial Security .
Personal Growth ,
Long-Term Relaticnships .
Close Friendships *
Dependence on Another Person
Choice of Sexual Partners ,
Social Acceptance .
Not Being Bored .
Personal Independence .
Parenting Children a ,.
The Intention of Respondents to
Current Lifestyles ,


* a a
* .
* a a
* a a
* a a a
a a a a
* a a
2 8 a
* S a


. a a a a a



remain in Their
. .


IV. DISCUSSION .

Major Findings "
Single Males, 28- to 32-Years of Age .
Married Males, 28- to 32-Years of Age .
Single Females, 28- to 32-Years of Age .
Married Females, 28- to 32-Years of Age .
Young Married Females and Males .
Young Single Females and Males a a a a .
The Success of the Expectancy-Value Model at
Predicting Lifestyle Choice .


. 47

. 48
* 49
. 51

. 53
. 54
. 56
. 57
. 59
. 61
. 63
. 64
. 65
. 67
. 68
. 69
. 71
. 72
. 73
. 74

. 76


. 79

A 79


. 92


APPENDIX

A. THE SURVEY PROTOCOL . .. 95

B. TABLES OF MEANS FOR TWO- AND THBEE-MAY
INTERACTIONS a a 101

REFERENCES a . . 113

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH a a .. 117


B













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



THE "SINGLE" LIFESTYLE: AN EXPECTANCY-VALUE ASSESSMENT


By


Jill Irene Scheppler


August 1984


Chairman: Lawrence J. Severy
Major Department: Psychology



The expectancy-value model was used to test a number of

hypotheses about the single lifestyle by determining

attitudes toward the lifestyle and its major alternative,

marriage. A survey based on the model served as the

database. Lifestyle (single, married), sex (male, female),

and age (23-27, 28-32) were the factors varied to create

eight respondent groups.

Based on the literature it was hypothesized that 28- to

32-year-old single males and married females the same age

would report the lowest levels of satisfaction with their

lifestyles. It was predicted that the highest levels of

satisfaction would be reported by 28- to 32-year-old married







males and single females of the same age. It was further

hypothesized that the unsatisfied groups would rate the

alternative lifestyle more favorably than their own and

report a greater behavioral intention to change lifestyles

within the next two years. The satisfied groups were

expected to rate their own lifestyles more favorably than

the alternative and state less behavioral intention to

change lifestyles.

The hypotheses were strongly supported by the data with a

few interesting exceptions. Though 28- to 32-year-old

single men devalued singlehood as expected, they also

devalued key characteristics of marriage. The lack of

social acceptance accorded singlehood was put forth as an

explanation for the overall lack of satisfaction experienced

by that group. Also, though single and married females in

the 28- to 32-year age group reported the hypothesized

satisfaction levels, their stated behavioral intentions were

not perfectly predictable from them. Comparison level for

alternatives and cost/benefit analysis better accounted for

their stated behavioral intentions.

Overall, the expectancy-value model predicted behavioral

intention when mediated by attitude/satisfaction. It was

argued that as a change in lifestyles is often not feasible,

knowledge of satisfaction aay be more important.


vii













CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION


A review of the research on singlehood reveals that there

has been a notable lack of agreement in the literature on a

consistent definition of "single." Some have targeted the

never married (cf. Spreitzer & Riley, 1974), others include

the divorced, separated, and widowed (cf. Stein, 1975).

Libby (1977) points out that even more arbitrary and

esoteric definitions have been put forth; for instance, that

single is a state of mind.

Most investigators, however, have tried to distinguish

between single, never married, unmarried, and unattached.

The inconsistencies have arisen because single has been used

to label a variety of different samples. Never married

refers to individuals who literally have never been legally

married. But it does not mean those individuals have

necessarily been without relationships. The never married

may even include the cohabiting (i.e., living monogamously,

but not legally married). The unmarried include both the

never married and the formerly married, although most post-

marital single people are referred to as widowed or

divorced. Unattached is even less well-bounded. That label

includes any individual who is without a partner at the





2

time, married or not. A person who has been separated from

his or her spouse for some time, but not divorced, is as

unattached as the never married single without a partner.

Clearly, anyone wishing to discuss singlehood must be

very precise in defining what they mean, because at present

there is no one agreed-upon definition of the phenomenon.

The definition of single as it will be focused on in this

study includes elements of the definitions of two authors,

Libby and Adams. Libby (1977) considers singlehood to be a

stage that a person may move in and out of depending on the

choices she or he makes at different points in the life

cycle. His definition is one of the few that recognizes the

factor of choice.

Adams (1971) defines singlehood in terms of what it is

not: not legal marriage or cohabitation, or dependence of

any kind on one person. Though Adams doesn't elaborate, a

single person's dependence will be on him or herself. Given

that little is known about the composition of singles as a

group, and recognizing that heterogeneity is probably the

one apt descriptor, Adams' definition is the most useful at

the present time. This study focused on singles as

individuals not involved in any sort of exclusive

relationship.







Empirical Literature Review

Social scientists, especially sociologists, have recently

come to recognize that a dearth of research exists about

single individuals (Liiby, 1977; Duberman, 1974; Spreitzer &

Riley, 1S74). Published research on the topic appeared to

be increasing in frequency in the 1970s, but then dropped

off after 1980. Mcst of that work appeared in sociology

journals, some in psychiatric journals, and practically none

in psychological journals.

The apparent lack of interest in singles as a group to be

studied is difficult to justify given their numbers. Here

are around 50 million unmarried individuals today in the

United States (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1980). Most of

the single men and women will eventually marry but it is

important to recognize that there are still a large number

of unmarried adults at any one time. Furthermore, it is

predicted that eight to nine percent of young adults today

will remain single throughout their lifetimes. This

represents a substantial increase from the four to five

percent of career singles now 50 years of age or older

(Hacklin, 1980). In addition, Stein (1975) and Libby (1977)

cite several factors which have contributed to the overall

number of single people. One factor is the increasing

divorce rate. At present, approximately 50% of first

marriages end in divorce. Even more remarriages fail (Nye 8

Berardo, 1973). Thus, more people will probably be single







at some point in their adult lives. Another factor

contributing to an increased number of singles is later age

for first marriages. The age has increased by almost one

year per decade since 1960 (U.S. Bureau of the Census,

1980).

The empirical wcrk on singles, though sparse, has

generally fallen into four categories. It includes

predisposing attitudes toward marriage, aspects of the

social lifestyles of singles, personality characteristics,

and the largest category, health issues.



Attitudes Toward Marriaqe

Several studies have examined attitudes toward marriage.

Some have used as their populations college students who, it

has been assumed, are not yet committed to a lifestyle.

Fever have actually chosen single people to study.

Relatively few investigations have examined the relationship

between attitudes toward marriage and the actual behavior of

choosing an alternative lifestyle.

Stein (cited in Libby & Whitehurst, 1977) surveyed

college women and found that three percent of the freshmen

women did not expect to marry as opposed to eight percent of

the seniors. Forty percent of the senior women reported

being unsure of whether or not they should marry, and 39% of

the seniors believed that traditional marriage is becoming

obsolete.







Yankelovitch (1972) reported similar findings. His

survey revealed that the number of students who believe that

marriage is becoming obsolete increased from 24% to 34%

between 1969 and 1971. In addition, Yankelovitch reported

that 32% of the students surveyed did not look forward to

marriage, and 29% had doubts about the success of the

traditional family.

Stein (1975) noted that these attitudes were reflected in

the census data at the time. Especially, the proportion of

singles in their early twenties increased by ten Fercert for

women and four percent for men.

More recently Whitehurst (1977) surveyed students'

attitudes toward various lifestyles. Though he found

evidence for disillusionment with traditional monogamy, he

concluded that widespread changes should not be expected in

the near future. Specifically, 12% of his sample felt that

monogamy was on its way out. Some perceived need to be open

to alternatives was gleaned from the finding that less than

half of Whitehurst's sample planned on traditional

marriages, and almost a fifth reported willingness to try

group living arrangements.

A different type of survey was utilized by White and

Wells (1973). They wanted to ascertain college students'

levels of interest in eight alternative marital and family

forms. They found that large percentages of their

population expressed "some interest" in each of them. In







particular, 81% expressed interest in "ad hoc marriage"

(i.e., cohabitation) and 71% in "contract marriage." White

and Wells concluded that their findings reflected

considerable disenchantment among college students with

traditional marriage.

Strong (1978) replicated the White and Wells study, but

she increased the number of alternative lifestyles from

eight to 12 and included traditional monogamy in the list.

She wished to see how the traditional form fared in relation

to the other alternatives. In general, Strong found that

males were more open to trying nontraditional forms than

females, but that some variation on marriage was still

preferred over remaining single, by both sexes. The choice

to remain single appeared in the seventh list position for

males and the sixth for females. For both men and women,

the traditional marriage, egalitarian marriage, long term

cohabitation, contract marriage, and childfree marriage,

were rated more favorably than singlehood.

Jurich and Jurich (1975) conducted interviews to compare

males and females with and without university affiliations.

They found that males and single individuals, more than

females and married persons, believed that less traditional

lifestyles would "allow maximal growth." The variable most

associated with the belief that nonsonogamous forms would

allow more personal growth was university affiliation.







Finally, Stein (1975, 1976) reported the results of his

in-depth interviews with ten women and ten men, all single,

but with a variety of backgrounds. Only two of Stein's

interviewees had never been married or involved in some type

of exclusive relationship. The 20 individuals were alike in

that they were not involved in an exclusive relationship at

the time, did not plan to marry in the near future, and did

not hope for an exclusive partner in the near future.

Stein's interviews revealed that there are both pushes

and pulls toward and away from marriage and singlehood. In

terms of exchange theory, pushes may be thought of as costs

associated with lifestyles. In this context, pushes toward

singlehocd include feeling trapped by marriage, limitations

on mobility and available experience, poor communication

with mate, and so on. Pulls toward singlehood (or rewards)

include career opportunities, self-sufficiency, freedom to

change and experiment, amcng others.

Stein emphasized that these pulls and pushes combined to

make singlehood a positive choice for his interviewees. He

noted that this contrasted with the findings of Kuhn (1955).

Kuhn's interviews suggested that the failure to marry

reflected such personal and social problems as

homosexuality, unattractiveness, unwillingness to assume

responsibility, emotional fixation on one or both parents,

and others. Stein concurred with Bell (1975) who suggested

that Kuhn failed to differentiate between factors in not

being selected and in not actively selecting.





8

An obvious problem with Stein's study was his utilization

of a very small N. In a survey, the responses of 20 people

are weak statistically.

The evidence from these attitudinal surveys, then,

suggests at most that the behavioral intention to consider

some alternative to marriage is increasing. In addition, it

seems that singlehood becomes an option either late in a

college career or sometime following graduation.



Social Lifestyles of Singles

Very little research has been done on the social

situation of singlehood, but the available findings do not

promote optimism about the process of adjusting socially to

a single life. However, the populations used are probably

not representative of all singles.

For instance, Fishel and Allon (cited in Libby 8

Whitehurst, 1977) did a study of singles' bars in New York

City, using both participant observation and interviews.

The overall finding of the study was that singles' bars were

not places where single people gathered to make friends, but

were in fact, places where those who frequented them went in

hopes of ending their single status. For most of the

participants, success was achieved by finding an exclusive

partner. Fishel and Allon concluded that the popularity of

singles' bars and the responses of their interviewees

reflected an overall dissatisfaction and boredom with the

single lifestyle.







Starr and Cams (1973) found similar results in a

nonrandom availability sample of single individuals living in

Chicago. As in Fishel and Allcn's study, the singles

interviewed by Starr and Carns seemed to socialize in a

manner that would increase their chances of coupling.

However, for this sample, it was found that singles' bars

were not as important an environment for meeting people as

were work places.

It is likely that the lifestyles of singlehood are more

varied than those reflected in the Fishel and Allon and

Starr and Cams studies. They have approached singlehood

from one perspective--that of the "swinging singles"

stereotype. Thus, the empirical literature on the social

lifestyles of singles is, for the present, incomplete. At

best, it paints but a small corner of the entire picture.



Personality Characteristics

The research which has investigated the personality

characteristics of singles has varied in its focus. Some

studies have related personality variables to adjustment to

marriage or an alternative lifestyle. Other studies have

sought only to generate descriptive adjectives about

singles. An example of the latter type of study was Yoder

and Nichols (1980). Their study concluded that

single individuals tend to be more liberal than married

people.







Of greater interest, because they offer more than an

adjective to add to the list of characteristics about

singles, are the studies which seem to suggest that

singlehood may be a more viable option for women than men.

This point will be elaborated further in the next section on

health.

In 1972, Bernard reviewed and summarized four studies

relating the marital status and happiness of men. She

concluded that single men were less happy than their married

counterparts.

In a self-concept study of single women, Gigy (1980)

utilized questionnaires including an adjective checklist,

the "Who A& I?" Twenty Statements Test, measures of morale

and values, and questions about demographics. She compared

samples of childless, never married women, and married

women, most of whom had children. Gigy found no significant

difference between the morale of the two groups. Single

women scored higher on a measure of obsessive-compulsive

type, but "made up" for this by also scoring more highly on

assertion and poise adjectives. Finally, there were

differences on what the single and married women valued,

with single women valuing personal growth and achievement

while married women valued relationships. An important

issue this raises is, of course, determining which came

first--the values or the marital status. It is possible

that, for instance, a married woman with children reports







valuing relationships instead of achievement knowing the

next decade or two of her life will be spent raising those

children. This is in itself an achievement, but not of the

sort to which Gigy was referring.

Spreitzer and Riley (1974) carried out a secondary

analysis of data collected about applicants for Social

Security disability benefits. It is important to note that

the variables concerning marital status predated the onset

of the applicants' disabilities. In other words, they were

single before developing a medical disability. The

researchers found that higher intelligence, education, and

occupation were associated with singlehood among females.

Single males, on the other hand, were more likely to have

experienced poor interpersonal relationships with the

members of their families of orientation.

The variables of intelligence and education were examined

more closely in an earlier study by Carter and Glick (1970).

Specifically, they found that females with higher levels of

intelligence and at least some college education were the

most likely to remain single. But the opposite situation

existed for men. The more intelligent and more educated

males were the least likely to remain single.

The conclusion to be made from these data is that at the

very least it seems that single women are happier than

single men. Several authors have stated that singlehood is

probably better for women than men (Libby, 1977; Macklin,





12

1980), but this is evaluative. For example, does a trend

for intelligent women to remain single mean that single is

better? It may be that the issue is one of choice versus

opportunity. Moment who pursue post-baccalaureate educations

may find a smaller pool of available men who would make

suitable husbands. Also, those with post-baccalaureate

degrees say have more specialized employment opportunities,

restricting their mobility (i.e., they must take a job in a

particular city where one is available), thus limiting the

possibility of a dual-career marriage. At the same time,

traditional sex roles dictating that men will pursue careers

and placing a high value on how important and lucrative a

man's career is will not prevent more educated men from

marrying. There is a larger pool of mobile candidates for

marriage to an educated man than of mobile candidates for

marriage to an educated woman.



Health Issues

By far the largest body of empirical work on singles

concerns their health, as compared to the health of married

persons. This research was greatly inspired by the now

famous work of Emile Durkheim (see Srole, Langer, Michael,

Opler, &, Rennie, 1962) on suicide. Briefly, Durkheim

stated that single men were more prone to suicide because

they were less socially integrated than females. A number

of studies concerning both genders of singles have been

conducted since to follow up, and with conflicting results.





13

In a study of mental health and marital status, Knupfer,

Clark, and Room (1966) found single men to be more

antisocial and maladjusted than their married counterparts.

Single women on the other hand were less depressed,

neurotic, passive, and maladjusted than were married women.

These results were replicated by Baker (1968).

Depression was investigated by Radloff (1975). She found

that single women were less depressed than married or

separated women, while single men were more depressed than

divorced or separated men. Similarly, Srole et al. (1962)

found that older single men were especially vulnerable to

despair and depression. These findings mirror those of

Spritzer and Riley, and Carter and Glick, in their

implications for single males.

In a study which investigated the notion that marriage

may function as a protective carrier against external

threat, Pearlin and Johnson (1977) found that given equal

life strains, married people fared better than singles. The

researchers had hypothesized equal inclination to depression

given identical circumstances, regardless of marital status.

But to face social and economic hardships and be single was

found to be the most psychologically distressing

combination.

To confuse the issues further, Verbrugge (1979) examined

data from the Health Interview Survey, the Health

Examination Survey, and the 1960 and 1970 Censuses of





14

Population. In these data physical health was as important

as mental health. Among the noninstitutional population,

singles are healthier than the divorced, the separated, and

the widowed. Amoug the population institutionalized because

of ill-health, however, singles are in the majority.

As Verbrugge pointed out it is important to keep in mind

the fact that the institutionalized people typically entered

institutions at relatively young ages. Thus, they would be

selected against in the marriage market. Keeping in mind

that early institutionalization and early onset of certain

disabilities will decrease the likelihood of a person's ever

getting married should caution against making sweeping

generalizations about health and marital status.



Summary

In 1980, Macklin published a review of a decade's worth

of empirical work on nontraditional family forms. The

section on singlehood was one of the shortest. Ten years of

research only permitted her to state with any certainty that

long-term singlehood was better for women than for men, and

that single women were superior to single men in education,

occupation, and some measures of mental health. Again, to

say "better" is evaluative. It would be more correct to

conclude that the available evidence suggests only that

long-term singlehood may be a more viable alternative for

women.







Macklin's review also urged investigators to keep the

factor of choice in mind when researching singles. She

suggested discriminating between voluntary/stable and

involuntary/temporary forms of singlehood. Unfortunately,

Macklin's call for empirical work in the area has not been

heeded.



Reports and Discourses

Singlehood as an alternative lifestyle has received a lot

of popular press, and quite a few books now exist on the

subject. In addition, several authors have published essays

on aspects of singlehood in social science journals. These

reports and discourse have been valuable in raising

questions and pointing out researchable issues. They also

propose various frameworks and perspectives from which to

approach singlehood in a scientific manner. Several of the

more useful will be discussed here.



Historical Perspectives

Schwartz and Wolf (1976) ustd a discussion of singlehood

through history to support their thesis that singles

represent a minority group. As far back as Old Testament

times, men and women were urged to cleave to one another.

Schwartz and Wolf felt this was assimilated most thoroughly

and expressed best in the attitudes of the Puritans.







In Colonial America, single status was blatantly

devalued. Referred to as "pitiable encumbrances" and

"incompetent idiots," not only were single individuals

ridiculed, they were mandated against by law. RatLer than

allowing them to live alone, the Puritans forced single men

and women to reside with good families. These laws and

attitudes existed both to enforce the strict Puritan

religious beliefsand to increase the population. So

important was the latter consideration that forms of what

Schwartz and Wolf refer to as "social blackmail" were

employed to counter the "perverse neglect to marry." These

tactics included anything from bachelor's taxes to fines

and/or imprisonment.

The major thrust of the article was in Schwartz and

Wolf's contention that some 200 years later things were not

much better for singles. Their discussions with 73

unmarried individuals revealed discrimination in the areas

of promotion and salary for single men. Both sexes reported

discrimination in obtaining credit, in tax laws, in finding

suitable housing and, especially, in maintaining social

interaction. Schwartz and Wolf argued that many singles

respond to discrimination by exhibiting "typical minority

group reactions." Cften they react with hostility or they

withdraw--and this only serves to promote the attachment of

a pathological label to single status.





17

Schwartz and Wolf felt the application of the framework

of minority status to singlehood would aid the process of

changing the "offending larger society." They stressed,

however, that data are needed on the attitudes of married

adults, of society, and of institutions (e.g., religious or

governmental) toward singles.

In actuality, the minority status framework is but one of

several viable and perhaps competing perspectives with which

singlehood may be explained. Thus, singlehood as a minority

status is, itself, a researchable issue.



Feminist Discourse

Margaret Adams' radical approach to singlehood is largely

based in her belief that psychological theory should never

have been put forth to define a social situation (Adams,

1976). That is, for too long the failure to marry has been

viewed as the result of flaws in an individual's

psychological makeup. One of the classic instances of this

is the assertion that some people never marry because they

are unable to form lcng-term lasting relationships. This

assertion assumes that the ability to have such

relationships is a sign of emotional maturity and normal

personality (cf. Erikson, 1968; Maslow, 1962). Adams has

turned the tables on this and similar lines of thought by

proposing that getting married may demonstrate the inability

to live independently!





18

The point is not facetiously made. While non-scientific,

Adams' writing is a rich source of thought-provoking ideas

that is often theoretically scund. For instance, an example

from Goffaan (1963) is the phenomenon of a single

individual's being subjected to third-degree interrogation

along the lines of "What happened, Jill, that you're not

married?" Because single status is devalued in our society,

Adams feels a stigma such as Goffaan described may be

attached to it. Thus, singles are considered to have

forfeited the right to normal taboos protecting their

personal lives.

Adams argues that no matter how the subject is broached,

from a psychological standpoint, the cards are stacked

against singles. Why? Because when psychology defines a

phenomenon as deviant, which statistically singlehood is,

then it is considered pathological, which siunlehood is not.

Unfortunately, Adams has condemned psychology in general

for supposedly aiding and abetting the continuing

discriminatory attitudes toward singlehood. In actuality,

psychiatry and psychoanalytic theory have played the

greatest part in defining singlehood in terms of "deviance

and deficiency." Researchers in other areas of psychology,

as ncted before, have left the topic alone. Instead of

imposing psychological theory on singlehood to hurt it,

psychologists--particularly social psychologists--should

study the processes which potentially make the choice to

remain single a difficult one.







Potpourri

Jacoby, in a 1974 New York Times Maqazine feature "49

Million Singles Can't Be All Right," addressed a variety of

issues relating to the single lifestyle. The article was

written from Jacoby's experiences as a single, from informal

interviews with other singles, and from information reported

in other sources. The major themes concerned adjustment,

both social and economic, discrimination, and stereotypes.

First, Jacoby asserted that being single is easier for

the upper middle class. Basically for singles, it is

difficult to translate the theoretical freedoms afforded by

singlehocd into reality without money. There is support for

this contention in the 1977 Pearlin and Johnson study

discussed before. Those researchers found that to be single

and financially strained was a potentially depressing

situation.

Socially, Jacoby felt that singles are aware of the class

distinctions that exist in places of entertainment and

residence. The single individuals she spoke with agreed

that large cities are better environments for singles than

are small ones. Along with offering fewer cultural

activities and entertainments spots, small cities are

dominated by married couples who control socializing and

tend to exclude singles.

Though Jacoby mentioned the "lonely loser" stereotype of

singlehocd, the article focused on the misconceptions of





20

singlehood created by the "swinging single" stereotype. The

men she interviewed reported finding it difficult to secure

promotions and pay raises because corporations viewed them

as impulsive and unstable. Some of the men even indicated

that in job interviews they were asked questions implying

that they were homosexual and/or promiscuous. Ironically,

many single women in business stated that they were viewed

as more stable and committed and so experienced less

discrimination.

Obviously, Jacoby's article stated a number of

conclusions in need of support from scientific data. In the

next section, some of the questions the literature has

raised will be formulated and the aims of this investigation

will be discussed.



Aims of the Study and Hypotheses

One conclusion that may be drawn from the research

summarized is that individuals who choose to be single, and

married people, have different values. The alternative

explanation is that of opportunity. Some single people are

at a disadvantage in the "marriage market" because some

aspect of their personal situation limits their

opportunities of finding a suitable mate. It was suggested

in the review of the literature that social psychological

research might be brought to bear on the issue of

lifestyles. One theoretical framework which lends itself





21

very nicely to the study of population issues is Fishbein's

expectancy-value approach (Pishbein, 1967, 1972; Fishbein 5

Ajzen, 1975). The model, which encompasses beliefs and

attitudes toward a given object and a measure of behavioral

intention, will be used in this study to determine 1) the

differential values and expectancies between singles and

marrieds, and 2) what the members of each group believe

regarding the other groups' values, characteristics, and

attitudes. For example, as noted before, the literature

suggests that a lifestyle which maximizes the freedom to be

personally independent will be valued more highly by singles

than by married individuals. And there is evidence that

married people may view singles as valuing a choice of

sexual partners. These are issues the expectancy-value

model is designed to measure.

Most of the research cn attitude-behavior relationships

has dealt with attitudes about single objects. This has

been the case despite the fact that researchers have

suggested the need to include attitudes about alternatives

to the object as well (cf., Smetana & Adler, 1979; Severy,

1982). This initiative will involve an investigation of

attitudes toward a lifestyle (the attitudes "object") as a

choice among alternatives. Considering attitudes toward the

alternative to a choice is important. It has been observed

that at times people will engage in a behavior for which

they do not hold a positive attitude simply because it is





22

the lesser of two (or more) evils (Thitaut 6 Kelley, 1959).

For the purposes of this study it would be meaningless to

look at attitudes toward singlehood by singles alone. Why?

Clearly because a single individual may be looking for a

suitable marriage partner, but still value aspects of the

single lifestyle. Without examining that person's attitudes

toward marriage we would not know for certain which

lifestyle is his or her choice.

Focusing on singlehood as a choice from acmng alternative

lifestyles, using an expectancy-value framework, will

require taking into account both social dynamics and

individual values. The research on singlehood reviewed here

suggests a number of these values.

One example of a social consideration is age. As a

person gets older the pool of available candidates for a

marriage relationship decreases. The composition of that

pool must be considered as well. As age increases, the

proportion of available mates who are unsuitable may

increase, making it more difficult for a person who would be

open to marriage or a long-term relationship to find a mate.

Social reactions to single status enter at this point. The

social pressure exerted on an individual to get married

seems to increase as age increases.

The personal, or individual, factors that lead people to

vary in choosing a lifestyle may include, for one, how such

they value their own company, privacy, and independence. In





23

addition to this their values regarding certain aspects of

relationships with others are important. These might

include dependency, frequency of contact, intensity of

contact, sexual intimacy, sexual variety, and the desire to

raise children.

Also, the value cf work is a consideration. How singles

and marrieds differ in the nature of their work and in the

constraints careers put on the freedom to move or to pursue

long-term relationships is likely to be an issue.

The use of an expectancy-value model in this study will

demonstrate, among other things, that there are different

levels of singlehood. Singlehood may be a permanent

condition caused by preferring one's own company to a long-

term relationship with another. It may also be a virtually

permanent condition caused by the high value one places on

other things. For example, placing great value on a

specialized career requiring domicile in a certain area of

the country could ultimately make marriage infeasible.

Singlehood may be for some, a temporary condition resulting

from choices one has made about other aspects of a lifestyle

in combination with characteristics of the pool of potential

partners. For example, a woman desiring children to be

fathered by a professional man only, would be this type of

single if there are no such men available.

Using the expectancy-value framework in this

investigation will accomplish several important objectives.





24

First of all, a study of lifestyle choice will expand the

focus of expectancy-value theorizing from single object

behaviors to multiple object decision making. As mentioned

before, researchers have recognized the need to include

alternatives to the attitude object in expectancy-value

studies. In the area of population psychology, several

researchers interested in contraceptive decision making have

begun to look at the choice of a birth control method in the

context of alternatives (Cohen, Severy, S Ahtola, 1978).

Consumer psychologists interested in consumer decision

making processes are also utilizing multiple object sets in

their studies. This investigation will extend the model to

include the fundamental choice of a lifestyle. The

framework takes into account an individual's needs,

perceptions, attitudes, and experiences--all important

variables to examine in crder to understand a person's

choice to remain single or to marry.

As an example, in the language of expectancy-value theory

this study will demonstrate that the strength of the

tendency to remain single will depend on (1) the strength of

expectancy that remaining single will afford, say, privacy

and (2) the value of privacy to the individual. Many

different values or characteristics of the lifestyles will

be presented, and the attitudes associated with them

assessed. The end result will be a measure of behavioral

intention. In other words, prediction of the likelihood





25

that a person will remain single or stay married, should be

possible.

In addition to providing a further test and extension of

the expectancy-value model, this investigation will involve

another current area of interest in social psychology. In

recent years, psychologists in social cognition have become

interested in determining how people conceptualize the self

(Rogers, Kuiper, S Kirker, 1977). This has led to a

concurrent interest in how the Ferceptions of self differ

from perception of others (Kuiper & Bogers, 1979).

The present investigation will extend the realm of

"other" to include an entire group of people, singles or

marrieds, instead of one other individual. It will be of

great interest to learn how the members of each group

perceive individuals living a different lifestyle from their

own. Becoming aware of the discrepancies between what each

group believes the other group values, and what the groups

actually value, should provide a starting point for better

understanding. This is a particularly salient issue for

singles who wish to see that status upgraded, as well as the

choice to be single recognized as a viable one.

In this investigation a survey based on the expectancy-

value model was constructed. Three major factors were

assessed--the lifestyle, sex, and age (23 to 27, 28 to 32)

of the survey respondents. Eased on the research discussed

heretofore, it was hypothesized that





26

a. Single men would report favoring the single lifestyle

less than would single women. Single men would report less

satisfaction with their lifestyles than married men. Single

men in the older age group would be the most dissatisfied

group of all. These hypotheses were based on the findings

discussed in the subsection on health issues which indicated

that single men are generally unhappier than other groups.

b. Single women in the older age group would report more

satisfaction with the lifestyle than younger single women,

because they are beyond the point at which social pressure

to marry exerts as powerful an influence as the knowledge

that the pool of suitable, available candidates is small.

c. Harried men in the older age group would report the

highest levels of satisfaction with their lifestyle.

Harried women in the older age group would be the most

dissatisfied of the married groups.

d. All four groups of singles would view their group as

less satisfied than would the married groups.

e. The alternative lifestyle would be rated more highly

by individuals in unsatisfied groups. Members of satisfied

groups would rate the alternative lifestyle lower than their

own lifestyle.

f. The differences between what singles and marrieds

valued and what characterized their lifestyles would re

fewer than what each group assumed about the other

lifestyles' values and characteristics.







g. Given that expectancy-value was used, it was

predicted that total self expectancy-value scores would

predict attitude toward a respondent's own lifestyle. In

other words, self expectancy-value would predict

satisfaction. Further, the attitude (or satisfaction) would

predict behavioral intention to remain in a respondent's

current lifestyle. Specifically, satisfied individuals in

both groups would report less likelihood of changing

situations than unsatisfied individuals. These related

hypotheses constituted a test of expectancy-value theory.












CHAPTER II
IETHCD


The present research investigated the values and

expectancies of single individuals and married persons. The

data base was generated by a survey. This section describes

the survey instrument, the survey response categories, the

sampling design of the initiative, and the respondent

sample.



The Survey Instrument

The instrument utilized in this investigation was derived

from an expectancy-value formulation. A set of 15

parameters relevant to the behavior of choosing a lifestyle

provided the basis for the survey. The parameters were

derived from the values and attitudes indicated as important

in the literature review. To ensure their efficacy, focus

group interviews were held with five single, and five

married individuals. The interviews confirmed the

parameters as appropriate for inclusion in the survey.

The most frequently cited value was 1) social acceptance

(Adams, 1976; Gigy, 1980; Jacoby, 1974; Schwartz & Wolf,

1976; Stein, 1975; Strong, 1978). Strong support was also

found for 2) personal independence (Adams, 1976; Gigy, 1980;





29

Jurich 6 Jurich, 1975; Stein, 1975), 3) financial security

(Adams, 1976; Jacoby, 1974; Pearlin G Johnson, 1977;Stein,

1975), 4) career opportunities (Adams, 1976; Gigy, 1980;

Jacoby, 1974; Schwartz G& olf, 1976; Stein, 1975), 5)

regular sexual partner (Fishel & Allon, cited in Libby 6

Whitehurst, 1977; Libby, 1977; Starr & Carns, 1973; Stein,

1975), and 6) choiceof sexual partners (Fishel & Allon,

cited in Libby & Whitehurst, 1977; Libby, 1977; Starr 8

Carns, 1973; Stein, 1975). Also cited were 7) long-term

commitment (Adams, 1976; Fishel S Allon, cited in Libby

Whitehurst, 1977; Starr & Carns, 1973; Stein, 1975), 8)

dependence on another (Adams, 1976; Fishel & Allon, cited in

Libby Whitehurst, 1977; Starr & Carns, 1973; Stein, 1975),

9) parenting children (Schwartz & Wolf, 1976; Stein, 1975),

10) not being bored (Fishel & Allon, cited in Litby &

whitehurst, 1977; Schwartz & Wolf, 1976; Stein, 1975), 11)

self-sufficiency, 12) geographical mobility, 13) privacy,

14) close friendships (Adams, 1976; Stein, 1975), and 15)

personal growth (Jurich & Jurich, 1975).

Two different protocols were constructed, one designed

for single respondents and the other for married respondents

(the protocol is presented in Appendix A). The wording for

both protocols was gender-free. The respondents rated the

values of the 15 parameters, and their expectations that

their current lifestyle would lead to, or be characterized

by, the parameter being considered. In addition, the







respondents rated the parameters as they believed they

existed for the other group. Thus, all respondents rated

the list of parameters from two Ferspectives: their own

values and expectations, and the values and expectations of

members of the other lifestyle.

The respondents were also directly asked to evaluate

their satisfaction with their lifestyles. First, they were

asked to indicate their overall evaluation of their

lifestyle. They were then asked to evaluate their lifestyle

as to how satisfied they believed the rest of their group to

be. Finally, the respondents were asked to indicate the

likelihood that they would remain in their current

lifestyles in the next two years.

The protocols also included a brief questionnaire

requesting demographic information. Age and gender of the

respondents were treated as two of three major factors (the

other being lifestyle) in this investigation. Clearly,

though, opportunity is one factor which may influence a

person's choice to te single or marry, Opportunity may be

limited by the following subset cf factors: education

level, income level, and race. These factors were included

in this initiative for descriptive purposes.







Response Cateqori es

Several different types of response formats were

necessary in this survey. In an expectancy-value

formulation respondents indicate, a) their values for a set

of characteristics, b) the beliefs they have regarding the

extent to which the lifestyles will be associated with a set

of characteristics, c) their overall attitude towards the

lifestyles, and d) their stated intentions to remain in

their current lifestyle.

Values were rated by respondents by selecting one of the

following alternatives for each of the 15 parameters: very

desirable (+3), desirable (+2), slightly desirable (+1),

neither desirable nor undesirable (0), slightly undesirable

(-1), undesirable (-2), or very undesirable (-3). Regarding

respondents beliefs that certain characteristics were (or

were not) associated with a lifestyle, the choices for the

parameters were very likely (+3), likely (+2), slightly

likely (+1), neither likely nor unlikely (0), slightly

unlikely (-1), unlikely (-2), and very unlikely (-3).

The overall evaluations of the lifestyles were rated on a

seven-point scale ranging from very satisfactory (1) to very

unsatisfactory (7). As for behavioral intention to remain

in their current lifestyle, respondents were asked to

indicate how likely it was that they would remain single if

they were presently single, or stay married if they were

presently married. Their responses ranged from very likely

(1) to very unlikely (7).







Sapling Desiqgn

A purposive convenience sample was used to obtain

respondents for this initiative. This sampling scheme is

not a claim for complete generality but is a workable design

when totally random sampling is not feasible. In this

particular investigation, the formal groups of singles and

marrieds contacted yielded very few respondents who fit the

study's age and lifestyle constraints. To obtain an

adequate number of respondents, a group, organization, or

singles' bar was sampled if the majority of its members or

patrons were followers of the two lifestyles. The majority

of the groups contributing respondents were involved in some

way with the University of Florida which produced a sample

more educated than would be expected in the general

population. Thus, the results obtained in this study were

not generalizable to less educated married and single

individuals with concomitant income levels. In addition,

the sample was composed almost exclusively of Caucasians,

thereby limiting the generalizability with regard to race

and culture. Finally, the respondents comprising the sample

were Gainesville city residents, therefore, the results may

not be generalizable to rural populations.

The groups and organizations which provided married

respondents were the University of Florida Housing Division

(staff), University of Florida Married Student Housing

(residents), Baby Gator Research Center for Child







Development (parents), and the University of Florida

Intercollegiate Athletics Office (staff and coaches).

Single respondents were obtained from the Civitan

Regional Blood Center, Inc. (staff and volunteers), the

Alachua County Crisis Center (staff and volunteers), Shands

Teaching Hospital and Clinics, Inc. (students), the Alachua

County Singles Club (members) the Department of

Anthropology (graduate students), Law Women (students),

Bennijan's Tavern (patrons), and Danny's Eating and Drinking

Establishment (patrons).

When the groups of singles and marrieds were identified,

they were approached and asked to participate in this

investigation. If they agreed to cooperate, they either

provided membership lists of names and addresses or a

contact person who agreed to distribute the surveys by hand.

Approximately two-thirds of the 600 surveys were personally

distributed. The remaining one-third were sailed. The

respondents received the survey appropriate for their

lifestyle, a cover letter urging them to complete the

survey, and a postage-free Business Beply Mail envelope.

Among the married respondents, either the husband or the

wife completed the survey, but not both. To ensure that an

equal number of husbands and wives completed the survey, the

forms clearly indicated which of the couple was to complete

it.







Survey Respondents

This section will describe the response rates of the

survey as well as the demographic variables in terms of the

percentages of respondents in various categories.



Overall Response

A total of 600 surveys were distributed. Half of these

were received by singles, the other half by married

individuals. Out of the 600 distributed, 203 surveys were

returned, yielding an overall response rate of 34%. The

response rate for single respondents was 54X--110 out of

203. The remaining 93 surveys were returned by married

respondents, yielding a response rate of 46%.



Sex and Age of Respondents

The numbers of males and females who responded to the

survey were nearly equal. One hundred sales and 103 females

returned their surveys.

As stated before, the three major factors in this study

were lifestyle (single, married), age (23-27, 28-32), and

sex (male, female). In a 2 X 2 X 2 format this created

eight cells. The total number of respondents per cell and

their mean ages may be found in Table 2.1.

The age groups were divided between 27 and 28 due to the

recognition that life-cycle changes begin to occur for men

and women at this time. The pool of available candidates







TABLE 2.1

Total of Respondents Per Cell and Mean Ages


Males Females

Age Group Single Married Single Married


23-27 24.9/24 25.4/22 24.4/33 25.5/25

28-32 29.9/30 30.5/24 30.0/23 30.3/22



Mean Age/Respondents Per Cell



for marriage decreases significantly for single people,

especially single wcmen, approaching their thirties. Thus,

single men and women are expected to make certain decisions

about their singlehood at this point (Sheehy, 1976). Thbse

issues are considered further in the results and discussion

chapters.



Iace,_Income,_and Education of Respondents

The survey sample was 96% Caucasian. Of the non-

Caucasian respondents, six were Hispanic, one was Black, and

one was identified as Other.

Fifteen percent of the sample reported incomes less than

$7,500, 11% reported their incomes at %7,500 to $9,999, and

17% reported incomes reported incomes between $10,000 and

$14,999. Twenty-two percent of the sample reported incomes





36

between $15,000 and $19,999, 16% reported incomes ranging

from $20,000 to $29,999, and the remaining 15% reported

making over $29,999.

None of the sample had less than a high school education.

Eleven percent reported completing three years of

undergraduate work. One-third of the sample reported

completing a four-year baccalaureate degree. Another 11%

reported educations of four or more years of graduate or

professional school. Because Gainesville is a university

city it is not too surprising that 54% of the sample had

either completed or were in the process of completing an

undergraduate degree, and 34% were engaged in or had

completed graduate cr professional school.













CHAPTER III
RESULTS


The analyses to follow deal with data gathered in the

survey described in Chapter II, as those were affected by

the lifestyle, sex, and age of the respondents. As a

result, the major analyses deal with a 2 (single, married) X

2 (male, female) X 2 (23 to 27, 28 to 32) factorial design.

These are all between-subjects factors. The overall

expectancy-value scores (sum for the self, sum for the other

lifestyle) were analyzed as a within-subjects factor.

This chapter will present the results of a series of

three-way ANOVAs designed to test the hypotheses discussed

in Chapter I. In addition, the results of correlational and

discriminant function analyses will be presented as tests of

the expectancy-value model as it applies to lifestyle

choice.

The first portion of this chapter will present results

pertaining to the test of the model. The remainder of the

chapter will be devoted to results relevant to each

hypothesis regarding singles and marrieds.







Test of the Expectancy-Value Model as a Predictor of
Lifestyle Choice

An assumption of the expectancy-value model is that the

overall score obtained (the summation of the E x V

products), when mediated by attitude, can be used as a

predictor of behavioral intention. In this initiative,

prediction of the likelihood that respondents would remain

single or stay married should be possible given knowledge of

their attitudes toward their lifestyles. These attitudes

should, in turn, be predictable from the expectancy and

value ratings they gave the 15 lifestyle characteristics.

To determine the model's success in this endeavor, first,

correlations between the overall score and the dependent

measures of attitude and behavioral intention will be

examined. Finally, descriptive data provided by a

discriminant analysis will be presented.



The Ealationship Between Attitude, Behavioral Intention, and
Self Expectancy-Value

As hypothesized, total expectancy-value predicted

attitude (satisfaction), and attitude predicted behavioral

intention. Both correlations were significant, r=.46,

(<.0001. The overall correlation between the self

expectancy-value scores and the respondents' stated

behavioral intentions to remain in their current lifestyles

was, however, non-significant, R=.09, P<.20. But

expectancy-value theory assumes that behavioral intention







is, in fact, mediated by attitude. A backward stepwise

multiple regression in which total self expectancy-value and

self satisfaction were regressed on the behavioral intention

measure demonstrated that this assumption was operative

within this investigation. A highly significant multiple r

of .48 was produced by the regression.

It can be seen that total expectancy-value, when mediated

by attitude, predicted behavioral intention better than did

total expectancy-value alone. The test of the model was,

therefore, successful. In addition to providing substantive

information about lifestyle choice, the test provided

further support for expectancy-value theory.



Discriminant Analysis

A discriminant analysis was carried out to determine the

extent to which the respondents' ratings of the expectancies

and values of the 15 characteristics both for themselves and

for the alternative lifestyle led them to accurately report

their intention to remain in their current lifestyles. It

should be noted that the respondents were not specifically

instructed to rate the alternative lifestyle as if they

were, in fact, living it. For some people there may be

differences between the way they would view themselves in

the alternative lifestyle and they way they view those

actually living the alternative lifestyle. Nevertheless, an

advantage of this was that both the ratings for the self and







for the other lifestyle were taken into account in the

analysis at the same time. Thus, if attitudes about certain

features of the alternative lifestyle were sufficient to

influence the respondents' answers to the question of

changing lifestyles, this analysis was sensitive to that

possibility.

Prior to performing the discriminant analysis, the

"remain" variable was trichotomized to form three separate

groups. Individuals who responded with a one or two were

classified as respondents highly unlikely to change

lifestyles. Respondents who checked either three, four, or

five were classified as being neither likely nor unlikely to

remain in their current lifestyles. The final group was

comprised of respondents who answered with a six or a seven

and were classified as very likely to change lifestyles.

Separate discriminant analyses were performed for singles

and for marrieds. The numbers of each lifestyle who were

initially classified into the three groups are presented in

Table 3.1.

Obviously, the majority of resFondents in this

investigation have little to no reported intention of

changing lifestyles. Nevertheless, the purpose of this

analysis was to determine if the respondents were correctly

classified given their ratings for the expectancies and

values of the 15 parameters.







TABLE 3. 1

Initial Classification of BEspcndents




Likelihood Lifestyle
of
Changing Single Married

Unlikely 68 77
Neutral 25 12
Likely 17 4

110 93






In Table 3.2, the number of observations and percent

correctly and incorrectly classified for singles are

presented.

It can be seen that out of the 110 single respondents,

only 15 were misclassified. Of those misclassified singles,

12 reported being highly unlikely to change lifestyles.

However, given their expectancy-value ratings they should

have, at the very least, been less certain about not

changing lifestyles. For 95 single respondents the

parameters were excellent predictors/classifiers of their

behavioral intention to remain in their current lifestyles.

The 15 parameters predicted for and classified the

married respondents perfectly. Not one married respondent

in any group was misclassified.







TABLE 3.2

Number of Observations and Percents as Classified After
Discriminant Analysis on Singles


From
Initial

Unlikely


Neutral


Likely


Total
Percent


Unlikely

56
82.35

2
8.00

0
0.00

58
52.73


The issue of lifestyle choice appears to be determined by

a combination of attitudes an individual possesses both

about his or her lifestyle and the alternative. To the

extent that respondents rated the alternative lifestyle as

if they were living it, this investigation supports the

arguments of those expectancy-value researchers who have

urged colleagues to include behavioral alternatives in their

studies.


Neutral

10
14.71

22
88.00

0
0.00

32
29.09


Likely

2
2.49

1
4.00

17
100.00

20
18.18


Total

68
100.00

25
100.00

17
100.00

110
100.00







Reported Self Satisfaction of Respondents

It was hypothesized that single men would report valuing

the single lifestyle less favorably than single women, and

that single men would report less satisfaction with their

lifestyles than married men. Further, a three-way

interaction was hypcthesized such that single men in the 28-

to 32-year age group would be the least satisfied of all

groups. The same three-way interaction was expected to

reveal that 28- to 32-year-old single women would be the

most satisfied of all singles, second only to married men in

the 28- to 32-year age group who, it was predicted would

report the highest levels of satisfaction of all. It was

hypothesized that the married women in the 28- to 32-year

age group would be the least satisfied of the married

groups.

The dependent variables relevant to these hypotheses were

1) responses to the question "How satisfied are you with

your current lifestyle?" and 2) the overall expectancy-value

scores for the self. Each of these will be considered in

turn.



Self Satisfaction

For the responses to the question "Bow satisfied are you

with your current lifestyle?" a three-way ANOVA involving

the factors lifestyle, sex, and age produced the

hypothesized three-way interaction, F(1,195)=15.36, p<.0001.





44

The means associated with this interaction are presented in

Table 3.3. Higher means represent higher levels of

dissatisfaction.



TABLE 3.3

Mean ratings of self satisfaction as a function of sex, age,
and lifestyle




Lifestyle

Sex Age Single Harried

Male
23-27 3.04 c 2.27
28-32 4.03ace 1.96a f
Female
23-27 2.97 d 2.72
28-32 2.17bde 3.50b f


Means snaring a cowacn subscript differ by
p<.05.



A significant simple two-way interaction of age and

lifestyle was explored for each level of sex. Within sales

the simple two-way age X lifestyle interaction,

F(1,195)=6.25, <.01, produced a significant simple simple

effect of age for singles, F(1,195)=7.79, g<.01, such that

older single males were less satisfied than younger single

males. For married men the simple simple effect of age was

not significant. within females the simple two-way age X

lifestyle interaction, P(1,195)=9.27, <.005, produced a

similar significant simple simple effect, F(1,195)=5.10,





45

p<.02, such that young single females were less satisfied

than older single females. Married women showed a

nonsignificant reversal of this tendency.

It can be seen that follow up tests of the age X

lifestyle simple interaction revealed support for the

hypotheses. The strongest effects were due to the lack of

satisfaction older single males feel for their lifestyle

relative to the other groups. As predicted, the older age

group provided the greatest contrasts in satisfaction.

Married men and single women, 28- to 32-years of age,

reported satisfaction with their lifestyles. Their

counterparts, married women and single men aged 28 to 32,

were significantly less satisfied.



Expectancy-Value for Self

The three-way ANOVA on the overall expectancy-value score

for the self (obtained by multiplying the ratings for the

values and expectancies of each of the 15 parameters and

then summing those 15 products) produced a significant

three-way interaction of lifestyle, sex, and age

F(1,195)=7.69, p<.01. The means associated with this

interaction are presented in Table 3.4. For this

multiplicative model, a higher score essentially means that

what a respondent values and what characterizes his or her

lifestyle is more likely to be the case (or what she or he

wishes to avoid is avoided) than a lower score would

indicate.







TABLE 3.4

Mean ratings of the total E x V of the lifestyle of the
respondent as a function of sex, age, and lifestyle




Lifestyle

Sex Age Single Married

Hale
23-27 35.87 52.36
28-32 44.63a 63.54a d
Female
23-27 39.00 57.72 c
28-32 63.78b 43.50bcd


Beans sharing a common subscript differ by
E<.05.



A significant simple two-way interaction of age and

lifestyle within females, F(1,195)=13.76, p<.0003, produced

a significant simple simple effect of age for singles,

F(1,195)=11.99, p<.0004, such that young single females had

lower scores than older single females. The scores of older

and young married females were not significantly different.

A similar analysis revealed no significant age X

lifestyle simple interaction for males. As a result, a test

was conducted of the simple main effects of age and

lifestyle for men, showing no significant effect of age, but

a significant tendency for single men to have lower

expectancy-value scores than married men.

The breakdown of simple effects in the lifestyle X sex X

age interaction for the overall expectancy-value scores





47

revealed more general support for the hypotheses. The older

single females and older married males had the highest

overall scores indicating more motivation to remain in their

current lifestyles than the other groups. Again, older

single men and older married women scored significantly

lower than their age cohorts, but not as low as young single

males and females. This was due to the expectation these

young singles have that they will be married within two

years as will be seen shortly when the results of the

behavioral intention variable are discussed.



The Relationship Between Self Satisfaction and Self
Expectancy-Value

Strong positive correlations between the dependent

measures provided support for their appropriateness as tests

of the hypotheses regarding satisfaction. The overall

correlation between the self satisfaction question and the

expectancy-value scores for the respondents' own lifestyle

was r=.46, p<.0001. A table of overall correlations between

the dependent measures may be found in Table 3.5. These

correlations are also relevant to the test of expectancy-

value theory discussed at the beginning of this chapter.







TABLE 3.5

Overall Correlations Between the Major Dependent Measures




SUMSELF REMAIN SELFSAT GRPSAT

SUMSELF 1.00

BEMAIN .09 1.00

SELFSAT *.46 *.46 1.00

GRPSAT *.32 *.34 *.38 1.00

Correlations labeled with are significant at
p<.0001.



Respondent Perceptions of the Satisfaction of Their Groups

It was hypothesized that respondents in all age by sex

groups of singles would perceive singles in general as less

satisfied with the single lifestyle than married respondents

would report for all married individuals. In other words,

regardless of their individual levels of satisfaction it was

predicted that singles as a group would view themselves as

less satisfied than marrieds as a group.

This hypothesis was tested by analyzing responses to the

question "How do you think aost single/married people find

singlehoodd/ marriage)? How satisfactory is

singlehood/marriage?".







G roup _Satisfaction

Overall, the hypothesis was supported, as the main effect

of lifestyle showed singles to view their single peers as

less satisfied (M=4.02) than married people viewed their

married peers (1=2.71), F(1,195)=64.00, p<.0001. However,

this effect was qualified by a significant three-way

interaction involving lifestyle, sex, and age,

F(1,195)=23.88, p<.0001. The means associated with this

interaction are presented in Table 3.6. Again, higher means

represent less satisfaction.



TABLE 3.6

Mean ratings of group satisfaction as a function of sex,
age, and lifestyle




Lifestyle

Sex Age Single Married

Male
23-27 3.50 b 2.68
28-32 5.43abd 2.12a e
Female
23-27 3.54 2.64 c
28-32 3.61 d 3.41 ce


Means sharing a common subscript differ by
E<.05.



Tests of simple effects revealed that all three factors

contributed to the interaction. In particular, tests

involving older single males shoved a strong tendency for







them to generalize their lack of satisfaction with

singlehood to all singles. However, it can be seen from the

means in Table 3.6 that the hypothesis was supported.

A breakdown of the three-way interaction produced a

significant simple two-way interaction of sex and age for

both lifestyles. Within singles, F(1,195)=17.66, <.0001,

and marrieds, F(1,195)=7.65. For single males, there was a

significant simple simple effect of age, such that

projection of dissatisfaction to other singles was more

pronounced for older than younger men, F(1,195)=37.44,

p<.0001. Older and younger single women did not differ from

each other or from youny single men in this regard. Fcr

married women there was a significant tendency for older

women to project less satisfaction of married people than

did younger women, F(1,195)=5.20, p<.04, while older and

younger married men did not differ from each other or from

younger married women in this regard.

Other interesting insights into the significant age X sex

X lifestyle interaction were gained by testing for the

simple two-way interaction of lifestyle and sex for the

older age group, F(1,195)=44.29, <.0001. A follow up

showed a highly significant simple simple effect of

lifestyle for males, F(1,195)=109.64, p<.0001. Older single

males reported singles as far less satisfied than elder

married males reported marrieds to be. There was no

significant difference between the perceptions of older





51

single females and colder married females. The simple two-

way interaction of lifestyle and sex was not significant for

the younger age group, and cnly the hypothesized simple

effect of lifestyle was found to be reliable. Younger

single people saw other singles as being less satisfied than

young marrieds saw other married people to be.



Perceptions of the Alternative Lifestyle

It was predicted that the overall expectancy-value scores

obtained by respondents as they rated the lifestyle

alternative to their own would be higher for unsatisfied

individuals than satisfied individuals. In other words, a

tendency to "romanticize" the alternative, if unsatisfied,

was hypothesized. Conversely, highly satisfied respondent

groups were hypothesized as rating the alternative lifestyle

significantly lower than their own.

One way to address this issue is to take the difference

between the overall expectancy-value scores for the sell and

for the other and analyze this difference in a sex X age X

lifestyle ANOVA. The test of the effect of any factor in

this analysis is identical to the test of the interaction of

that factor with the object of judgment (own lifestyle

versus opposite) in a sex X age X lifestyle X object of

judgment ANOVA. The object of judgment is treated as a

within-subjects factor. It is predicted that conditions

leading to ratings of satisfaction with one's own lifestyle







in the earlier analysis will exhibit positive difference

scores--ie., these people will have higher total exrectancy-

value scores for their own lifestyles than for the

alternative.

The analysis produced a significant three-way interaction

of lifestyle, sex, and age of the respondents,

F(1,195)=10.76 p<.001. The means are presented in Table

3.7.



TABLE 3.7

Difference scores for perceptions of self and other




Lifestyle

Sex Age Single Married

Hale
23-27 -4.0 -4.5

28-32 -11.0* +13.0*

Female
23-27 -11.0* -3.0

28-32 +21.0* -13.0

Means in cells with differ by
2<.05.



According to the hypothesis, the extremes produced by the

self satisfaction analysis (older single females and older

married males at the satisfied end, and older married

females and older single males at the unsatisfied end)







should have been the significant cells in the difference

scores analysis. It can be seen tnat there was indeed

support for the hypothesis. Older single males rated the

alternative lifestyle significantly higher than their own,

F(1,195)=6.37, p<.02. While the difference in means for

older married females did not achieve significance, they

were still farther apart than were the means for a more

satisfied group such as young married males.

At the other end of the satisfaction spectrum, both older

single females and elder married males rated the alternative

lifestyle significantly lower than their own. The cell

means for older married males differed at, F(1,195)=6.10,

(<.02. The most significant difference of all was found for

the older single females in this study, F(1,195)=26.39,

(<.00001. It would appear from this that whether the choice

to be single resulted from a decision based on the need for

privacy or the realization that a suitable marriage had

become unlikely, older single females come to value very

highly the single lifestyle.



Values and Expectancies of Each Lifestyle Characteristic for
Self and Other

Each of the 15 Farameters was analyzed with a separate

ANOVA in four different ways: the value of a characteristic

(e.g., social acceptance) for the self, the expectancy of

that characteristic for the self, the perceived value of

that characteristic for the other, and the perceived

expectancy of that characteristic for the other.





54

Each characteristic will be discussed separately. All

the resulting main effects and interactions will be

presented for the four self/other analyses as they occurred

within a given characteristic. Tables of two-way and three-

way interactions for these analyses may be found in Appendix

B. Main effect means will be presented in the text.

In most cases, when a three-way interaction occurred for

a value or an expectancy, the simple effects test carried

out to determine where the significant differences were

found, involved the lifestyle factor. In a very few

instances, age or sex contributed to interesting differences

and so, are discussed accordingly.

It was hypothesized that the differences between what

singles and marrieds valued and what characterized their

lifestyles would be fewer than what each group assumed the

other lifestyle valued and was characterized by.



Self-sufficiency

The three-way ANOVA on self-sufficiency for the self

produced a significant three-way interaction, F(1,195)=5.29,

p<.02. Means relevant to this interaction may be found in

Table B.1 in Appendix B. A significant simple two-way

interaction of age and lifestyle within males,

F(1,195)=8.84, p<.005, produced a significant simple simple

effect of lifestyle for the older age group, F(1,195)=9.44,

p<.01, but no significant simple simple effect for younger





55

men. Older single men valued self-sufficiency less than did

older married men.

In addition, a significant simple simple effect of age

occurred for males within the single lifestyle,

F(1,195)=17.07, p<.CO1, such that older single men reported

valuing self-sufficiency far less than did younj single men.

There were no significant differences between females on

the value of self-sufficiency. That older single men value

it so much less may be because they take self-sufficiency

for granted.

There were no significant differences between singles and

marrieds on their expectation that self-sufficiency would

characterize their lifestyles.

A main effect of lifestyle occurred, however, for the

rated value of self-sufficiency for the other,

F(1,195)=37.29, p<.00U1. Married respondents expected

singles to value self-sufficiency more than singles expected

it of marrieds (M's=2.54, 1.75 for ratings by marrieds and

singles, respectively).

For the expectation that self-sufficiency would

characterize the lifestyle of the other, a main effect of

lifestyle also occurred, F(1,195)=13.50, p<.0003. Marrieds

expected that singles would be more self-sufficient than

vice versa (_'s=2.03, 1.52 for ratings by marrieds and

singles, respectively). Singles may have assumed that self-

sufficiency was less important and less necessary for

marrieds because a married person has a spouse to rely on.







Geog.raE2hic obility

For the value of geographic mobility for the self, a

significant main effect of lifestyle occurred,

F(1,195)=10.38, g<.001. Singles (A=1.65) reported valuing

geographic mobility more than did marrieds (M=1.07).

A significant three-way interaction occurred for the

expectancy that geographic mobility would characterize the

respondents' own lifestyle, F(1,195)=5.75, p<.02. The means

for this interaction are presented in Table B.2. A

significant simple two-way interaction of age and lifestyle,

F(1, 195)=5.58, 2<.02, produced a significant simple simple

effect of lifestyle for young males, F(1,195)=7.37, p<.01.

Young married males reported less geographic mobility than

did young single males. There were no significant

differences between older married and older single males on

the likelihood of being geographically mobile.

Females had no significant simple interaction of age and

lifestyle, just a significant simple main effect such that

single womenexpected to be more mobile than married women,

F(1,195)=15.38, p<.0001.

A significant two-way interaction of age and lifestyle

occurred for the value of geographic mobility for the other

lifestyle, F(1,195)=4.63, p<.03. The means may be found in

Table B.3. When broken down it was revealed that both age

groups of singles believed marrieds would value geographic

mobility less than marrieds believed it of singles,







F(1, 195)=80.38, p<.0001 for young age group and

F(1,195)=146.06, (<.0001 for older age group.

For the expectation that geographic mobility would

characterize the other lifestyle, a highly significant main

effect of lifestyle was produced, F(1,195)=148.27, <.0001.

Singles (H=-0.85) expected marrieds to be far less

geographically mobile than marrieds (j=1.50) expected

singles to be. Thus, what the respondents reported for

themselves and what the other group perceived, was correct

for geographic mobility. Singles, in general, were more

likely than marrieds to value and actually experience

geographic mobility.



Privacy

There were no significant differences between single and

married respondents on the value of privacy. There was a

significant main effect of lifestyle on the expectation that

privacy would actually characterize the respondents' own

lifestyle, however, this was qualified by a significant

tnree-way interaction of age, sex, and lifestyle,

F(1, 195) =7.72, p<.01. The means are presented in Table B.4.

A significant simple two-way interaction of age and

lifestyle, F(1,195)=10.56, <.002, occurred for female

respondents. Significant simple simple effects of lifestyle

occurred at each level of age. The lifestyle effect for

young women, F(1,195)=4.48, p<.04, found young married women





58

experiencing less privacy than young single women. Far more

impressive was the huge difference between the privacy

afforded older married women relative to older single women,

F(1,195)=38.83, (<.C001. Older married women reported the

least privacy of any group. It could be that the presence

of children in the marriage contributed to this lack of

privacy older married women reported experiencing. For

males, a significant simple main effect of lifestyle,

F(1,195)=12.59, 2<.CO1, revealed that married men reported

having less privacy than single men.

Interestingly, a significant main effect of lifestyle

occurred for the reported value of privacy for the other

lifestyle, F(1,195)=87.75, p<.0001. Singles (L=1.19)

expected that marrieds would value privacy less than

marrieds (H=2.53) expected singles would value it. It would

appear that singles assumed that if marrieds valued privacy

to any great extent they would not have been so likely to

marry!

Regarding the expectancy that privacy would actually

characterize the other lifestyle, a significant two-way

interaction of age and lifestyle occurred, F(1,195)=8.89,

p<.003. The means relevant to this interaction are in Table

B.5. Again, singles of both age groups expected marrieds to

have less privacy. Young singles expected young marrieds to

experience less privacy at F(1,195)=14.76, p<.0001, and

older singles expected the same for older marrieds at

P(1,195)=45.18, p<.C001.







It is apparent that privacy is a highly valued

characteristic for both singles and marrieds, but that once

married, privacy is more difficult to attain. Further, this

was recognized by both groups in this investigation.



Regular Sexual Partner

The three-way ANOVA on the value for the self of having a

regular sexual partner produced a significant three-way

interaction, F(1,195)=4.89, p<.03. A significant simple

two-way interaction of age and lifestyle within males,

F(1,195)=6.43, <.004, produced a significant simple simple

effect of lifestyle for the older age group, F(1,195)=24.68,

p<.0001, but no simple simple main effect for the younger

age group. Older single males reported valuing having a

regular sexual partner less than did older married males. A

test of the simple interaction of age and lifestyle proved

insignificant for females.

A simple main effect of lifestyle occurred for females,

F(1,195)=28.08, p<.0001, such that single females reported

valuing having a regular sexual partner less than did

married females.

For the expectation that having a regular sexual partner

would actually characterize the respondents' lifestyle,

there was a significant main effect of lifestyle guite in

line with its value, F(1,195)=156.15, <.0001. Married

respondents (M=2.81) reported having a regular sexual

partner to a much greater extent than did singles (n=0.28).







A significant three-way interaction occurred for the

value of having a regular sexual partner for the other

lifestyle, F(1,195)=6.42, p<.01. The means may be found in

Table B.7. For females, a significant simple main effect of

lifestyle, F(1,195)=43.40, p<.0001, revealed that single

females reported that married females would value a regular

sexual partner more than vice versa.

For males, a significant simple two-way interaction of

age and lifestyle, F(1,195)=11.72, .<.002, produced several

interesting simple simple effects. First, simple simple

effects of lifestyle occurred at both age groups. Young

single males reported that marrieds would value a regular

sexual partner more, F(1,195)=60.45, p<.0001 and

F(1,195)=11.20, R<.0001.

There was also a striking difference between the degree

to which married men believed singles would not value having

a regular sexual partner. The simple two-way interaction of

age and lifestyle Iroduced a significant simple simple

effect of age for married males, F(1,195)=24,85, p<.001.

Young married males believed singles would value having a

regular sexual partner far less than did older married

males.

Finally, a significant three-way interaction was produced

for the expectancy for the other lifestyle of having a

regular partner, F(1,195)=6.40, p<.01. The means relevant

to this interaction are presented in Table E.8. Tests of





61

simple effects produced significant simple main effects of

lifestyle. The simple main effect of lifestyle for males,

F(1,195)=107.53, p<.0001, found single males expecting

married males to have regular sexual partners more than

married males expected that for single males. The same

simple main effect was observed for females,

F(1,195)=129.37, p<.0001, such that single women expected

married women to have regular sexual partners more than vice

versa.



Career C port unities

A significant two-way interaction of sex and lifestyle

was produced for the value of career opportunities for the

respondents' own lifestyle, F(1,195)=6.54, p<.01. The means

may be found in Table B.9. This interaction was due to the

great value placed on career opportunities by single

females. Single females valued career opportunities

significantly more than did married women, F(1,195)=8.87,

<.001, and even more than single males, F(1,195)=9.48,

p<.002. Single females may especially value career

opportunities because more doors are open to women now than

ever before and single women are in a better position to

take advantage of them than are married women. Males don't

devalue career opportunities, as can be seen by the mean

ratings (M's=2.28, 2.38 for single males and married males,

respectively), but the value of career opportunities is

certainly less salient.







For the expectancy that career opportunities would

characterize the lifestyle, a significant three-way

interaction, 1(1,195)=6.06, p<.01, produced two interesting

significant simple main effects (see Table E.10 for the

relevant means). First, a simple main effect of lifestyle

for females, F(1,195)=16.42, p<.0005, revealed that married

women expect-d to be able to take advantage of career

opportunities less than did single women. In addition,

married females expected less in the way or career

opportunities than did married males as expressed in a

significant main effect of sex within lifestyle,

F(1,195)=16.67, p<.0003.

A significant main effect of lifestyle occurred for the

value of career opportunities for the other lifestyle,

F(1,195)=37.14, j<.0001. Marrieds (A=2.57) expected that

singles would value career opportunities more than singles

(g=1.85) expected it for marrieds. It may be that married

respondents believe singles value careers instead of

relationships and that is why they are not married.

For the expectation that career opportunities would

actually characterize the alternative lifestyle, a

significant two-way interaction of age and lifestyle,

F(1, 195)=4.28, 2<.04, found singles of both age groups

expecting that career opportunities would characterize

marriage less than vice versa F(1,195)=14.76, 2<.0001 and

F(1,195)=45.18, p<.0001 for young and older, respectively.

The means relevant to this interaction are in Table B.11.







Financial Security

There were no significant differences between singles and

marrieds on the value of financial security. Not

surprisingly, neither group devalued that particular

lifestyle characteristic. The lack of a difference was due

to the high value both groups placed on being financially

secure.

The expectation cf being financially secure proved to be

a different matter. The three-way ANOVA produced a

significant two-way interaction of age and lifestyle,

F(1,195)=14.24, <.0002. The means are located in Table

B.12. This interaction was due to the extremely low

likelihood young singles gave themselves of being

financially secure. Young singles reported less financial

security than did older singles, F(1,195)=16.06, 2<.0002.

In addition, they also reported a lower expectancy of being

financially secure than did young marrieds, F(1,195)=12.93,

<.001.

For the value of financial security as rated by groups

for the alternative lifestyle, a main effect of lifestyle

occurred, F(1,195)=9.10, p<.003. Married respondents

(M=2.61) expected singles would value financial security

significantly less than singles (M=2.84) believed that of

marrieds. Alonj with reporting that singles valued

financial security less, marrieds also reported that singles

were significantly less likely to actually be financially





64

secure than vice versa, F(1,195)=11.45, (<.001. The means

were 1.12 and 1.65 for ratings ty marrieds and singles,

respectively.



Personal Growth

A significant three-way interaction was produced on the

value of personal growth to the respondents, F(1,195)=15.57,

P<.0001. The means may be found in Table B. 13. The low

regard of personal growth held by older single males was

responsible for the interaction. A significant simple two-

way interaction of lifestyle and age for males,

F(1,195)=31.01, ~<.0001, contained two revealing simple

simple effects. The first was a simple simple effect of

lifestyle within older males, F(1,195)=41.12, p<.0001, which

demonstrated that older single men valued personal growth

much less than did colder married men. Young single men and

young married men did not differ from each other or from

older married men in this respect. This simple interaction

was nonsignificant for women.

A significant main effect of lifestyle occurred for the

rated value of personal growth to members of the alternative

lifestyle, F(1,195)=11.84, p<.001. Singles (1=1.78)

believed that marrieds would value personal growth less than

marrieds (M=2.24) believed that of singles.

Finally, for the ratings of the expectancy that personal

growth wculd characterize the other lifestyle, a significant







two-way interaction of sex and lifestyle was produced,

F(1,195)=6.28, p<.01. The relevant means are presented in

Table B.14. This interaction was due to the high rating

given by married females for the expectation that singles

would experience personal growth, F(1,195)=13.67, p<.0002.

Married women also believed that singles would be more

likely to achieve personal growth than did married men,

F(1,195)=12.83, p.001. As discussed before, older married

females in this study reported rather low levels of

satisfaction. It may be the case that their high rating for

the personal growth of singles is a reflection of the lack

of personal growth they may sometimes experience.



Lonj-Term RelationshiEs

The three-way ANOVA on the value of long-term

relationships for the respondents' own lifestyle produced a

significant two-way interaction of age and lifestyle,

F(1,195)=7.30, p<.01. The means may be found in Table B.15.

This was primarily due, of course, to the high value placed

on long-term relationships by marrieds of both age groups in

comparison to sinyles, F(1,195)=15.55, l<.0001 and

F(1,195)=54.96, p<.0001, for young and older, respectively.

In addition, young singles reFcrted valuing lony-term

relationships sigLificantly more than did older singles,

F(1,195)=17.97, p<.001.





66

A main effect of lifestyle occurred for the expectancy of

engaging in a long-term relationship, F(1,195)=181.02,

j<.0001, such that marrieds (1=2.62) experienced long-term

relationships more than did singles (_l=-0.12).

For the value of long-term relationships as rated for the

alternative lifestyle, a significant three-way interaction

was produced, F(I,195)=4.98, (<.03. The relevant means are

located in Table B.16. A test of the simple interaction of

aje and lifestyle for females proved insignificant, but

there was a significant simple main effect of lifestyle for

females, F(1,195)=125.77, (<.C001, such that single females

reported that marrieds would value long-term relationships

far more than married women reported that for singles.

A significant simple two-way interaction of a'e and

lifestyle at the level of males, F(1,195)=5.87, p<.02,

produced simple simple effects of lifestyle at both age

groups. Both young and older single males reported that

marrieds would value long-term relationships more than vice

versa, F(1,195)=93.60, j<.0001 and F(1,195)=46.84, f<.0001.

The rated expectancy that the alternative lifestyle would

actually be characterized by long-term relationships

produced an overwhelmingly significant main effect of

lifestyle, F(1,195)=221.66, p<.0001. Marrieds (g=-0.45)

reported that singles were significantly less likely to

engage in long-term relationships than singles (g=2.21)

reported for marrieds.







Close Friendships

The low value older single males placed on having close

friendships was responsible for a significant three-way

interaction, F(1,195)=3.76, 2<.05. The means are in Table

B.17. For males, a significant simple two-way interaction

of age and lifestyle, f(1,195)=6.48, p<.03, produced a

simple simple effect of age such that older single men

valued close friendships less than did young single men,

F(1,195)=11.82, p<.003. The simple simple effect was not

significant for older and younger women. In addition, the

simple two-way interaction of age and lifestyle for marrieds

was nonsignificant. There were no significant differences

between the lifestyles for the expectancy of having close

friendships. The three-way ANOVA produced a significant

main effect of lifestyle for the reported value of close

friendships to the alternative lifestyle, F(1,195)=21.91,

2<.0001. Singles (M=1.99) believed that marrieds would

value close friendships less than marrieds (M=2.54) believed

that of singles. Presumably, singles feel that a married

individual's spouse takes care of their needs to the extent

that they don't need close friendships as much. This may

well be the case given that singles, particularly single

females, also expect marrieds to have fewer close

friendships.

This was demonstrated in a significant two-way

interaction of sex and lifestyle, F(1,195)=11.40, p<.001.







The means are presented in Table B.18. Single males

believed that marriage would be characterized by close

friendships more than did single females, F(1,195)=9.85,

p<.01. Married males and females did not differ

significantly in this regard.



Dependence on Another Person

A significant two-way interaction of age and lifestyle

occurred for the value of being dependent on another

individual, F(1,195)=7.12, p<.01. The relevant means are

presented in Table E.19. This interaction was due to the

low value placed on dependence by older singles. Older

singles valued dependence on another less than did older

marrieds, F(1,195)=7.72, p<.003, and even less than did

young singles, F(1,195)=12.63, p<.001. It is interesting to

note that while not significantly so, young singles valued

being dependent on another slightly more than did both

groups of marriedst

A significant two-way interaction of age and lifestyle

was also produced for the expectancy of being dependent on

another person, F(1,195)=17.30, 2<.0001. The means may be

found in Table B.20. Both age groups of singles reported

actually being dependent on another less than did both

groups of marrieds, but the older singles even less than

young singles. The young age group only differed at

F(1,195)=5.45, p<.03, while the older singles and older







marrieds differed at F(1,195)=69.19, p<.0001. Obviously,

the difference between young singles and older singles was

also significant, F(1,195)=25.38, (<.0001. That the young

singles reported a higher expectancy for dependence than the

older singles is an indication that they are probably

expecting to marry. This was borne out in the behavioral

intention question which will be discussed in the next

section.

There was no significant difference between the

lifestyles in their perceptions of the value of dependence

for the alternative. The means were not particularly high,

thus, it would appear that most respondents assumed that

being dependent on another is not a valued commodity.

There was, however, a highly significant main effect of

lifestyle for the expectancy that the alternative lifestyle

would be dependent on another person, F(1,195) =274. 53,

p<.0001. Singles (1=2.01) expected marrieds to be dependent

far more than marrieds (M=-0.98) expected singles to be

dependent.



Choice of Sexual Partners

For the value of having a choice of sexual partners, the

three-way ANOVA produced a significant two-way interaction

of age and lifestyle, F(1,195)=20.65, p<.0001. The relevant

means are presented in Table B.21. Both young singles and

young marrieds valued a choice of sexual partners less than







older singles and elder marrieds. The older and young

singles differed at F(1,195)=7.41, p<.004, and the older and

young marrieds differed at F(1,195)=11.75, <.002. The

largest difference in this interaction was between young

singles and young marrieds, F(1,195)=36.39, p<.0001, such

that young marries valued a choice of sexual partners much

less than did young singles.

Despite all these differences it should be noted that the

means were not particularly high. The group that reported

valuing a choice most was older singles, but the mean was

only -0.01. It would seem that the opportunity to be

promiscuous was not an important factor determining the

continuing status of the older singles in this study. This

was supported by a significant main effect of lifestyle

which occurred for the expectancy of having a choice of

sexual partners, F(1,195)=30.58, p<.0001. Singles (!=0.06

were more likely to report having a choice of sexual

partners than were marrieds (A=-1.41), but the expectancy

was still not terribly high.

Having a choice cf sexual partners proved to be an area

of misunderstanding between the lifestyles, however. For

the value of that characteristic as rated for the

alternative, a main effect of lifestyle occurred,

F(1,195)=234.12, <.0001, such that marrieds (=1.76)

assumed it likely that singles would value a choice far more

than singles (M=-1.40) assumed that of marrieds. The same







sort of highly significant main effect occurred for the

expectancy that the alternative lilestyle would be

characterized by a choice of sexual Fartners,

F(1,195)=224.92, p<.0001. In addition to believing that

singles were likely to value a choice of sexual partners,

marrieds respondents (M=1.33) expected singles to actually

have a choice. Singles (M=-1.56) did not expect marrieds to

have a choice.

From the review of the literature, it will be recalled

that one of the major difficulties faced by singles had to

do with their social lives. Jacoby (1974) reported that

where marrieds control the social network, singles are often

excluded.



Social Acceptance

There was no significant difference between singles and

marrieds on the value of social acceptance. The expectation

of being socially accepted proved to be an entirely

different matter. A significant main effect of lifestyle,

F(1,195)=35.94, ,<.0001, revealed that singles (1=1.07)

reported being less socially accepted than did marrieds

(Q=2.12).

A significant main effect of lifestyle, F(1,195)=30.17,

p<.0001, demonstrated that marrieds (._=1.46) expected that

singles would value social acceptance less than singles

(L=2.19) expected it to be valued by marrieds. For the





72

expectation that the alternative lifestyle would actually he

socially accepted, the three-way ANCVA produced a

significant three-way interaction, F(1,195)=u.78, p<.03.

The means may be found in Table B.22. For males, a test of

the simple age I lifestyle interaction was nonsignificant,

but there was a significant simple main effect of lifestyle

occurred for males, F(1,195)=54.46, p<.0001, such that

single males expected marrieds to be more socially accepted

than vice versa. For females, a significant simple two-way

interaction of age and lifestyle, F(1,195)=6.74, p<.004,

produced a significant simple simple effect of lifestyle for

the older age group, F(1,195)=26.88, p<.0001, but not the

younger age group. Older single women expected marries to

be more socially accepted than older married women expected

it for singles. These findings, along with the findings

regarding group satisfaction, indicate that singles and

marrieds alike perceive singlehood as a less socially

accepted lifestyle.



Not Bein _Bored

On the value of not being bored, a main effect of

lifestyle just reached significance, F(1,195)=3.83, p<.05.

Singles (g=2.39) valued it more than did marrieds (g=2.17).

Single and married respondents did not differ significantly

on the expectation that they would actually not be bored in

their lifestyles.





73

The ratings for the other of the value of not being bored

produced a significant main effect of lifestyle,

F(1,195)=25.77, <.0001. Singles (M=1.68) thought the value

of not being bored would not be as important to marrieds as

marrieds (g=2.36) thought it would be to singles. Singles

(M=0.42) also expected marrieds to be bored more than

marrieds (M=1.49) expected singles to be bored. This was

demonstrated in a significant main effect of lifestyle,

F(1,195)=34.94, p<.0001.



Personal Independence

For the value of personal independence for the

respondents' own lifestyle a significant main effect of

lifestyle, F(1,195)=7.84, p<.01, revealed that singles

(_l=2.03) valued personal independence more than did marrieds

(M=1.62).

A significant three-way interaction was produced for the

expectancy that personal independence would characterize the

respondents' lifestyles, F(1,195)=14.71, p<.002. The means

for this interaction are presented in Table B.23. For

males, there was no significant simple interaction of age

and lifestyle, but there was a significant simple main

effect of lifestyle for males, F(1,195)=18.48, p<.0001, such

that married males expected to be personally independent

less than did single males.







A significant simple two-way interaction of age and

lifestyle at the level of females, f(1,195)=16.47, (<.0001,

produced two interesting simple simple effects. The first, a

significant simple simple effect of lifestyle,

F(1,195)=39.72, p<.0001, revealed that older married women

expected to be personally independent less than did older

single women. Young women of both lifestyles did not

significantly differ, nor did they differ for older married

women.

Ratings of the value of personal independence for the

alternative lifestyle produced a significant main effect of

lifestyle, F(1,195)=218.68, <.0001, such that singles

(H=0.36) did not believe that marrieds would value personal

independence to a great extent. Marrieds (M=2.61) assumed

that singles would value it a great deal. A similar

significant main effect of lifestyle also occurred for the

expectation that personal independence would characterize

the other lifestyle, F(1,195)=259.50, f<.0001. Married

respondents (!=1.89) expected singles to be more personally

independent than singles (.=-1.04) expected that of

marrieds.



Parenting Children

Respondents' ratings for the value of having children

produced a significant two-way interaction of age and

lifestyle, F(1,195)=10.59, p<.001. The relevant means are







presented in Table B.24. The low rating given by older

singles was responsible for the interaction. Older singles

valued parenting children much less than did older marrieds,

F(1,195)=27.33, p<.O001, and also significantly less than

young singles, F(1,195)=13.18, p<.001.

Not surprisingly, marrieds (_=2.54) were more likely to

report that they expected to parent more than did singles

(M=-1.25). A very striking significant main effect of

lifestyle occurred for ratings of the value for the

alternative of having children, F(1,195)=337.57, p<.0001.

Even though "single" includes a large number of individuals

who intend to marry, when married people encounter the word

they seem to assume that it characterizes only those singles

who are to them, "bachelors" and "spinsters." For the

expectation that the alternative lifestyle would actually be

characterized by parenting children, a significant main

effect of lifestyle, F(1,195)=456.16, p<.0001, revealed that

marrieds (M=-1.06) did not expect singles to have children

as much as singles (1=2.28) expected marrieds would. If

anything, singles have a rather accurate perception of the

instance of childbearing in marriage.







The Intention of Bespondents to Remain in Their Current
Lifestyles

It was hypothesized that satisfied individuals in both

lifestyle groups would report less likelihood of changing

situations within a period of two years than would

unsatisfied individuals. In other words, it was predicted

that members of unsatisfied groups would report a greater

intention of changing lifestyles. Thus, the results of the

self satisfaction analysis indicated that older single men

and older married women would be more likely to report an

intention to change lifestyles, and older married men and

older single women would report little intention of altering

their lifestyle statuses.

The dependent measures used to test this hypothesis were

responses to the statement, "It is also important to ask you

how likely _lu think it is that you will remain in your

current lifestyle in the next 2 years," as well as

correlations between the behavioral intention variable and

the overall expectancy-value scores for the self.

For the responses to the behavioral intention statement,

a three-way ANOVA involving the factors lifestyle, sex, and

age produced a significant three-way interaction,

F(1,195)=7.52, p<.01. The means associated with this

interaction are presented in Tatle 3.8. Higher means

represent a greater reported desire to change lifestyles.

A significant simple two-way interaction of age and

lifestyle for females, P(1,195)=6.12, p<.02, produced a







TABLE 3.8

Mean ratings of the expressed intent to remain in the
current lifestyle as a function of sex, age, and lifestyle




Lifestyle

Sex Age Single Married

Male
23-27 2.25 1.45
28-32 3.40a c 1.62a
Female
23-27 3.03 b 1.64
28-32 1.91 bc 2.23

Means sharing a common subscript differ by
p<.05.



significant simple simple effect of age for single females,

F(1,195)=5.68, p<.04, such that young single females

reported a greater likelihood of marrrying than did older

single females. The simple simple effect of age was

nonsignificant for married females.

The age X lifestyle interaction was not significant for

males. There was, however, a significant simple main effect

of lifestyle such that single men reported a greater

likelihood of changing lifestyles than did married men,

F(1,195)=13.68, p<.0002.

The hypothesis that either very satisfied or very

unsatisfied individuals would report the least or most

intention to change lifestyles was, for the most part,

supported. Older single males and older married males were





78

the least and most satisfied groups, respectively, and the

results of the behavioral intention analysis found them to

be the most and least likely to report wanting a change in

lifestyles, respectively. Thus, the older single males in

this investigation were unsatisfied with being single, they

had a fairly low overall expectancy-value score for the

self, and they reported an intention to act on their lack of

satisfaction with singlehood by marrying. At the other

extreme, older married males reported being very satisfied

with their lifestyles, they had a high overall expectancy-

value score for the self, and they reported the highest

likelihood of remaining in their current situation.

It was also expected that older single and older married

females would have differed significantly on this issue,

with the singles reporting an intention to remain and the

marrieds an intention to change. However, it was seen that

older females did not differ significantly. They were

neither more or less likely to change lifestyles than any

other group. This will be considered further in Chapter IV.













CHAPTER IV
DISCUSSION



Major_ Findings

The experimental hypotheses tested in this investigation

were derived mainly from the small tody of literature

existing on the subject of singlehood. More importantly,

they were tested within the theoretical framework of

expectancy-value. The results reported here strongly

supported the hypotheses. These were welcome findings, not

only because of the importance of replication in any

science, but also because singlehood as an issue for study

has needeJ a theoretical foundation on which to build.

To restate and summarize the major findings, profiles of

the average individual in each experimental group will be

presented. These profiles will be comprised of the

information gathered through hypothesis-testing.

Explanations of the phenomena will also be put forth. It

should be noted again that the findings summarized in the

following profiles are limited in generalizability mainly to

educated, urban, Caucasian, American single and married

individuals.







Sin le Males 28- tc 32-Years of Ag e

One of the most tantalizing profiles to emerge in this

investigation was that of the 28- to 32-year-old single

male. Contrary to the familiar stereotype of the "gay

Lothario," the picture which emerged was far from blissful.

It was, in fact, hypothesized that these single males would

be the least satisfied with their lifestyles and this

hypothesis was convincingly supported by a lifestyle X sex X

age interaction on self satisfaction.

It was also hypothesized that the less satisfied a group,

the more highly that group would evaluate the alternative

lifestyle. Further, an unsatisfied group was predicted to

be more likely to report a behavioral intention to change

lifestyles than a satisfied group. Therefore, because the

older single males were the least satisfied group, they were

expected to rate marriage more favorably than singlehood and

report a greater likelihood of marrying. Again, the

hypotheses were supported. An analysis of difference scores

between the expectancy-value scores for a respondents' own

lifestyle and its alternative demonstrated that the older

single males believed marriage would better deliver that

which an individual values in life. The greater desire to

change lifestyles was supported by a significant lifestyle X

sex X age interaction. Of all the groups, older single

males reported the least likelihood of remaining in their

current lifestyles in the next two years.





81

Thus, these single males, 28- to 32-years of age were the

least satisfied with being single of all the single groups,

they evaluated marriage more favorably than singlehood, and

expressed a stronger intention to change lifestyles (i.e.,

marry) than other groups.

But it is doubtful that this is a realistic expectation

for a number of reasons. First of all, the results of the

ANOVAs on the individual values and expectancies o& the 15

parameters demonstrated that older single males did not

value key features characteristic of marriage. They placed

little value on long-term relationships, dependence on

another person, having a regular sexual partner, and

parenting children. Interestingly, they also did not value

close friendships and personal growth very highly. It is

possible that these men have devoted their energies to

career and professional growth instead and so, have shut

themselves out of the marriage market. Further, their

desirability would te limited in the eyes of many potential

spouses due to the lack of value these single men place on

close friendships. The strong implication is that the

average man in this group would te unlikely to perceive a

wife as a friend.

In addition to the individual factors making the

prospects for a suitable marriage less likely for 28- to

32-year-old single males, certain external factors make the

pool of candidates even smaller. In particular, the age







cohorts of these men are among the most satisfied of

individuals (see profile of single females, 28- to 32-years

of age), and are far less likely to want to marry. Thus,

single women of the same age may be less available than the

men think. And while it is traditionally less offensive for

a man to marry out of his age group (e.g., a much younger

woman), than vice versa, men in their early thirties would

be more subject to criticism for doing so. For them,

younger spouses would be in their late teens or early

twenties and more likely to be considered girls than women.

Taboos against "robbing the cradle" still exist.

These men are faced with an unpleasant dilemma for they

must decide which is the more socially

unacceptable--marriage out of their age group or singlehood

itself. Given that they devalue certain important qualities

of marriage, why do they feel pushed towards it? The

answer, most likely, is that they are "pushed." As

described in Chapter I there are pushes and pulls both

toward and away from singlehood and marriage (Stein, 1975).

In the case of older single men, pushes from the mass media,

from cultural expectations, and socialization no doubt

combine to make singlehood a most unsatisfactory experience.

This investigation demonstrated that there is still a

stigma attached to being single and this may be the reason

for the differences in satisfaction. As hypothesized, all

the single respondents reported that singles as a group were





83

less satisfied than marrieds. The reason for this may be

their recognition that singlehood is not on equal fccting

with marriage. The ANOVAs on the social acceptance

parameter did, in fact, reveal that both groups expected

singles to be less socially accepted.

Given that at this time in their lives good marriages may

be infeasible, it is truly a pity that 28- to 32-year-old

single sales are not happier being single. If society more

enthusiastically embraced singlehood as a lifestyle-of-

choice, perhaps these men would find greater satisfaction in

it.



married MalesL_28- to 32-Years of Age

This study indicated that there is little new to add to

what is known about elder married males in general. As

hypothesized, they were the most satisfied of all

experimental groups. They also had high expectancy-value

scores and were the group least likely to want to change

lifestyles. This was not surprising as they evaluated

singlehood significantly less favorably than marriage.

Men have every reason to view marriage as the lifestyle-

of-choice. It is not only the more socially acceptable

lifestyle, but in it, men are able to exercise greater

freedoms than are women. Because our society exhorts males

to be the family breadwinners, they have an accepted excuse

to leave home at least five days a week for eight hours, are





84

more likely than working wives to be able to take advantage

of career opportunities even when changes in location are

required, and unless they choose, do not face the combined

pressure of working "at work" and at home (Rapoport &

RaFoFcrt, 1976).

These married males valued and experienced features

characteristic of marriage. In Stein's push/pull

terminology it would sees that older married males differ

from their single brethren in that they are pulled by

marriage. Their positive attitudes toward long-term

relationships and having children, friendships and personal

growth, probably made them attractive candidates as

husbands.



Single Females, 28- to 32-Years of Aje

It was hypothesized that 28- to 32-year-old single

females would be the most satisfied of all single groups.

This hypothesis was strongly supported by lifestyle X sex X

age interactions of self satisfaction and self expectancy-

value. Only older married men were more satisfied, and that

only slightly, and these women had the highest expectancy-

value outcomes of all.

The hypotheses which followed being highly satisfied were

the expectations that the alternative lifestyle, marriage,

would be evaluated significantly less favorably, and the

reported intention to change lifestyles would be small.





85

Single women, 28- to 32-years of age did, in fact, evaluate

marriage less favorably than singlehood. This was revealed

by the difference scores analysis described before. Of all

the groups, the largest difference between evaluations of

the lifestyles occurred for these women.

Unlike single men the same age, these single women seemed

more willing to appreciate the benefits of singlehood. They

reported the highest expectancies for personal independence,

privacy, and geographic mobility, and placed the highest

values on close friendships and personal growth of any

group. In addition, they valued self-sufficiency and career

opportunities. These are all pulls toward siuglehood. Push

factors such as obstacles to personal growth, boredom,

isolation, and limitations on mobility, had little to

nothing to do with the choice of these women to be single.

As mentioned in Chapter III, despite the fact that 28- to

32-year-old single females were highly satisfied with being

single, they were no more likely than married women the same

age (a far less satisfied group, see below) to report an

intention to remain in their current lifestyles. It was

expected that the difference between these two groups should

have been more extreme given the significant difference in

their reported satisfaction. While none of the groups, save

perhaps 28- to 32-year-old single males, reported a major

intention to change lifestyles within the next two years it

is worth speculating on the slight chance that older single

women gave themselves to marry.





86

One explanation is derived from social exchange theory

(Thibaut & Kelley, 1959). The theory posits that the

decision to enter or leave any relationship will involve a

cost/benefit analysis. The simplest case occurs, for

instance, when an individual perceives that what she or he

contributes to a relationship is greater than what she or he

receives in return. The costs would then exceed the

benefits, and the theory predicts the person would be likely

to withdraw from the relationship. However circumstances

are not always that straightforward. Sometimes an

individual will stay in a costly relationship if she or he

perceives no better alternative. Thibaut and Kelley would

say this individual has a low comparison level for

alternatives. Suppose Jane was stranded on an island with

her husband Tom, and his friends, Dick and Harry. If Dick

and Harry were terrible human beings, even if she was

unhappy with Tom, Jane would probably stay with her husband.

Dick and Harry would be poor alternatives and relationships

with either would not increase her benefits.

In the case of 28- to 32-year-old single women, it can be

seen that they are already deriving tremendous rewards from

being single. For them to increase their benefits further,

an alternative even better than what is already quite good

would have to materialize. A single woman in this group

will probably be flexible enough not to rule out the

possibility of marriage if she meets a man who proves to be







a reward-increasing alternative. Essentially the same

principle is operating in this case as in the example of

Jane. The difference is that with single women their

comparison level for alternatives may be keeping them from

entering, as opposed to, leaving relationships. Marrying

would be costly unless the elusive "perfect" suitor who

would more than compensate for decreased privacy and

personal independence came along.



Married Females 28- to 32-Years of Ae

As hypothesized, 28- to 32-year-old married females were

the least satisfied of the married groups. The lifestyle X

sex X aje interaction on self satisfaction revealed that

only single males the same age were more unsatisfied. These

married women also had much lower self expectancy-value

outcomes than the other married groups. Only young singles

achieved lower scores.

Because the 28- to 32-year-old married females were an

unsatisfied group, it was predicted that they would rate the

alternative lifestyle more favorably and would report a

significant intention to change lifestyles. Neither of

these predictions was borne out to any great extent.

In the first instance, the difference scores analysis

demonstrated that the difference between older married

females' evaluations of marriage and singlehood were not

significantly different even though the expectancy-value





88

score for singlehood was higher. The difference, however,

was only significant at the p=.10 level.

Regarding the behavioral intention to change lifestyles,

even though these married women reported a greater

likelihood of doing so than any other married group, they

are no more likely to change lifestyles than single women

the same age. Agdin, exchange theory can be brought to bear

on the problem. Divorce, and all that it entails, is a

costly venture. Many of these women, though unsatisfied

with marriage, have low comparison levels for alternatives.

That is, they may perceive the potential for loneliness,

raising children alone, financial insecurity, and the

combined stigma of singlehood and divorce as far more costly

than remaining in the marriage.

Compared to married males, 28- to 32-years of age, the

married females in this study seemed less pulled by

marriage. Push factors such as financial security,

loneliness, and infeasible alternatives explain their

continuation of marriage much better.



Young Married Females and Males

Because the differences between the sexes in each young

group were few, their profiles will be combined.

There were no specific hypotheses concerning young

marrieds. Like their single age cohorts they were not

expected to report extremes of satisfaction, although it was







assumed that they would be more satisfied than young

singles. In particular, the ANCVA on self expectancy-value

showed this to be the case. An inspection of the means in

Table 3.4 reveals that young marrieds are currently

experiencing greater accord between their values and

expectancies than are young singles.

Their evaluations of singlehood were not significantly

different than their evaluations of their own lifestyle.

Possibly, they have not been married long enough to perceive

many differences. Also, because they are younger, many may

not yet have children. The presence of children is

certainly a strong point of departure from the single

lifestyle, although in ten to twenty years artificial

insemination by donor and single parent adoptions may lessen

that distinction.

Finally, because they were satisfied, it was expected

that they would not state a major intention to change

lifestyles and they did not. The satisfaction reported by

young married men and women indicates that for the present

they are pulled by marriage.



oung _Single Females and Males

As mentioned before, the younger singles in this

investigation gave every indication that they intend to

marry. They were only moderately satisfied with singlehood,

had the lowest expectancy-value outcomes of all the





90

experimental groups, and reported being significantly less

likely than young marrieds to remain in their current

lifestyles.

The individual ANOVAs on the expectancies and values of

the 15 parameters -rovided even more compelling evidence

that these young singles have every intention of marrying.

They valued long-term relationships, having a regular sexual

partner, and parenting children more than did older singles.

They valued being dependent on another far more than did

older singles and even more than did marrieds. In addition,

they reported these features as characterizing marriage, so

it is logical that they should wish to marry to improve

their expectancy-value outcomes.

Most of the young singles probably will marry and of

those that do, approximately 50. will divorce, if the

statistics remain constant. A few will find in the next

five to six years that their careers will have assumed

preeminence in their lives and they will not have married

either because the best opportunity will have failed to

present itself or will have been infeasible. The results of

this investigation indicate that the young men who will not

have married by their early thirties will be very

unsatisfied with their singlehood. More than a decade has

passed since the last major research efforts on the health

and well-being of singles were published (Knupfer, Clark, &

Room, 1966; Baker, 1968; Radloff, 1975; Srole et al., 1962).





91

Those studies were unanimous in concluding that long-term

singlehood was not a viable lifestyle for men. In 1984 the

situation has not changed appreciably. Unless and until

children are brought up to believe that singlehood and

marriage are both acceptable adult lifestyle options, being

single will continue to present a problem for many of the

individuals who are single, particularly those who do not

wish to be. Wide acceptance of singlehood could encourage

changes in socialization such that boys would be urged to

make friends as girls do and have those friends as support

groups. Adams (1976) and Shahan (1981) have described

single friends as forming "extended families," the members

of which feel free to call on each other at any time. The

low value (M=1.07) 28- to 32-year-old single men in this

study placed on close friendships is evidence that they are

less likely to be part of "extended families" of friends.

Thus, they haven't that defense against loneliness and

isolation.

This investigation indicates that women who reach the age

of 30 without having married will have adjusted very well to

long-term singlehood. The women in this study truly fit

Stein's (1975) description of singles who did not actively

select to marry and for whom singlehood is a positive

lifestyle choice.







Tue Success of the Expectancy-Value Model at Predictinq
Lifestyle Choice

As reported in Chapter III, the expectancy-value model

predicted lifestyle choice when mediated by attitude. Self

satisfaction and stated behavioral intention to remain in

the current lifestyle correlated significantly as did self

satisfaction and self expectancy-value. Thus, expectancy-

value accurately predicted satisfaction with respondents'

lifestyles, satisfaction predicted behavioral intention, and

the theory was supported.

The most important point to reiterate, however, is that

knowledge of the respondents' attitudes toward the

lifestyles alternative to their own was essential in

understanding their present situations. For instance, if

singles' attitudes toward marriage had not been assessed we

would know for certain only that the older males found

sinjlehood unsatisfying and the older females found it

satisfying. We would not know that both groups actually

devalued certain features characteristic of marriage. We

would also not know for certain that the older married women

devalued singlehood enough to avoid it even if that meant

remaining in unsatisfactory situations.

Understanding attitudes toward the alternative lifestyle

enables us to best determine the pushes and pulls

influencing an individual's current situation and future

plans. In the cases where expectancy-value outcomes do not

perfectly predict behavioral intention, social exchange







theory provides explanations based on an individual's

comparison level for alternatives.

Overall, this investigation indicated that expectancy-

value is indeed a useful framework for assessing the single

lifestyle. In practical instances knowing a person's level

of satisfaction with their lifestyle will be as important,

if not moreso, than knowing if they intend to change it if

they are unhappy. It has already been seen that in some

cases changing lifestyles may not even be feasible. If we

know that a single ferscn is unsatisfied it may be possible

to improve aspects of his or her singlehood. In a clinical

setting, for example, an instrument based on the parameters

used in this investigation might be utilized to determine

the gaps between what a person values and experiences. If a

virtually single individual is depressed and seeks out a

therapist, the therapist may learn that the client feels

unable to take care of his or herself (i.e., has a low

expectancy for self-sufficiency). Another single person may

value parenting children, but not long-term relationships,

and yet another may feel isolated. These are problems for

which there are answers that need not include marrying.

There may be other factors relevant to lifestyle choice

that the literature and the focus group interviews conducted

prior to constructing the survey instrument have failed to

pinpoint. However, the discriminant analysis described in

Chapter III demonstrated that the 15 parameters used in this