The relationship between intimacy and marital quality in childless couples

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The relationship between intimacy and marital quality in childless couples
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xi, 111 leaves : ; 28 cm.
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Nazario, Andres
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Intimacy (Psychology)   ( lcsh )
Domestic relations   ( lcsh )
Married people   ( lcsh )
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theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1983.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 103-110).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Andres Nazario, Jr.
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Typescript.
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Vita.

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oclc - 11886626
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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTIMACY AND
MARITAL QUALITY IN CHILDLESS COUPLES








By

ANDRES NAZARIO, JR.


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 FLORIDA


1983
















"Pues digote, que cada
cual se apea del caballo por
donde le da la gana"

Musiio
(Zaza del Medio)





Esta investigaci6n marca la culminaci6n de mi entre-
namiento academico formal. Mis aspiraciones tienen sus
races en Zaza del Medio, y a travys de los anos se vieron
tronchadas primero, modificadas despues, pero han llegado
a su meta.

Con honor, cariio y admiraci6n dedico este proyecto
a mis padres Andres Nazario Sargen y Olga Torrens de Nazario
porque fueron ellos los que sembraron estas aspiraciones y
continuaron cultivAndolas con su apoyo. Mi hermana Olga
Nazario es en gran parte responsible de que me encaminara
hacia la psicologia. Cuando en una apoca me vi buscando
nuevas direcciones, ella me sirvi6 de guia y de ejemplo,
y ha continuado siendolo a traves de mi carrera. A Olgui
con cariio dedico tambien esta disertaci6n. Y finalmente,
pero igualmente important, dedico mis esfuerzos a mi familiar
toda, presents y ausentes.














ACKNOWLEDGE E:LTS

I would like to thank all of the members of my committee

for their support. Special thanks are due to Dr. Ellen Amatea,

chairperson, for her guidance in this project, and to Dr. Stephen

Olejnik for his assistance with the data analyses. Dr. Harry

Grater and Dr. Paul Schauble both provided important comments

and suggestions. I also want to express my gratitude to

Dr. Jim Archer for his availability the several times I needed

him.

Thanks are also due to all of those friends and colleagues

who helped me in the collection of data. I want to acknowledge

the help of Jo Adams, Yvonne Benz, Sharen Bradley, Barbara

Clark, Maria Antonieta Garcia, Alice Martin, and Herb Steier.

Jack Clark provided me with very valuable help in understanding

the computer work. I also want to thank all those couples

who participated in this study; without them this project

would not have been possible.

There have been some very important influences on my

professional development that I want to acknowledge. The Dade

County Department of Youth and Family Development provided me

with very valuable learning opportunities, and specifically

I want to thank Mrs. Maria Allen and Mr. Miguel Reyes for their


iii











support and encouragement and Dr. Dan Fairchild for his

clinical guidance. I owe a great deal of my family training

to DCDYFD.

This project is a study on intimacy; therefore I want

to thank and acknowledge the contribution of my very special

intimate friends Bruce Moore, Erika Futernick, and Robert

Vinas. Much of what I know experientially about intimacy I

learned from my friendship with each one of them. I value

and cherish each for their participation in my life.

Finally, it gives me great satisfaction to acknowledge

Jim Watson for his love, patience, encouragement and

support. Jim has been a true hero throughout this, at times

painful, process.














TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .... ............................... iii

LIST OF TABLES ..................................... vii

ABSTRACT ............................................ x

CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION ............................... 1

Scope of the Problem .............. .......... 2
Purpose of the Study ....................... 7
Need for the Study ..........................
Significance of the Study ..................
Definition of Terms ........................ 9
Organization of the Study................... 11

II RE'. iEU OF LITERATURE ........................ 12

Marital Quality: Theory and Research ...... 12
Competing Definitions of Marital Quality 15
Measures of Marital Quality .............. 17
Intimacy: Theory and Resaech .............. 19
Intimacy and Personality Development ..... 20
Conceptualizations of Intimacy ........... 22
The Assessment of Intimacy ............... 25
Research on Intimacy and Marital Quality 26
Marital Quality and Intimacy in Childless
Couples .................................. 30
Summary .................. ................... 32

III RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ....................... 34

Research Design .......................... 3z
Research Hypotheses ......................... 35
Subjects ................................... 36
Procedures ................................. 36
Instrumentation ................... ........ 39
Personal Assessment of Intimacy in
Relationships .......................... 39











Dyadic Adjustment Scale ..................
Demographic Information Questionnaire .... 16
Analysis of Data ........................... .
Limitations of the Study ................... 47

IV RESULTS ................................... 49

Description of the Sample .................. 49
Findings Relating to the Null Hypotheses ... 57
Summary .................................. 32

V DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 85

Discussion ................................. .5
Conclusions ............................ .... 96
Recommendations ............................. 9

APPENDICES

A INFORMED CONSENT FORM ...................... 101

B DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE ...... 102

REFERENCES .......................................... 103

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................. 111














LIST OF TABLES


TABLE PAGE

1 AGE, EDUCATION, AND RELATED SAMPLE t-TEST FOR
MALES AND FEMALES .. . 50

2 RELATIONSHIP STATUS OF PARTICIPANTS 51

3 SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS OF PARTICIPANTS
(IN PERCENTAGE) . . 53

4 MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND RANGE FOR THE DYADIC
ADJUSTMENT SCALE FOR THIS STUDY-SAMPLE AND THE
NORMATIVE SAMPLE. .

5 MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND RANGE FOR PERCEIVED
SCORES ON THE PERSONAL ASSESSMENT OF INTIMACY IN
RELATIONSHIPS FOR THIS STUDY SAMPLE AND THE
NORMATIVE SAMPLE . 55

6 MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND RANGE FOR EXPECTED
SCORES ON THE PERSONAL ASSESSMENT OF INTIMACY IN
RELATIONSHIPS . 56

7 MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND RANGE FOR THE
DISCREPANCY SCORES ON THE PAIR I:.TVETORY BETWEEN
PERCEIVED AND EXPECTED INTIMACY . 56

8 PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICI E;TS
RELATING DAS SCORES WITH EACH OF THE FIVE PAIR
PERCEIVED SCALE SCORES AND CC:VE:NTIONALITY 58

9 PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS
RELATING DAS SCORES WITH EACH OF THE FIVE PAIR
EXPECTED SCALE SCORES . 60

10 PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS
RELATING DAS SCORES WITH EACH OF THE FIVE PAIR
DIFFERENTIAL SCORES . ... 61

11 PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS
RELATING COMBINED COUPLE'S DAS SCORES WITH
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPOUSES IN EACH OF THE FIVE
AREAS OF PAIR PERCEIVED SCORES ... 63


vii










12 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F AND R-SQUARE OF
THE NONLINEAR MODEL OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALES
AND FEMALES ON PERCEIVED INTIMACY GIVEN THAT THE
LINEAR TERMS ARE ALREADY IN THE MODEL ... 63

13 PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS
RELATING COMBINED COUPLE'S DAS SCORED WITH
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPOUSES IN EACH OF THE FIVE
AREAS OF PAIR EXPECTED SCORES . 65

14 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE
OF THE NONLINEAR MODEL OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALES
AND FEMALES ON EXPECTED INTIMACY GIVEN THAT THE
LINEAR TERMS ARE ALREADY IN THE MODEL .. 66

15 RELATED SAMPLE T-TEST OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
MALE AND FEMALE MEAN SCORES ON THE PAIR INVENTORY
SCALES . .. . 67

16 F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
REGRESSION MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BET.:17
THE DAS AND PERCEIVED INTIMACY AND CONVENTIONALITY
FOR MALES AND FEMALES . .. 68

17 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARES
FOR THE STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND PERCEIVED
INTIMACY AND CONVENTIONALITY SCORES FOR MALES 69

18 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES
FOR THE STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND PERCEIVED
INTIMACY AND CC;'EiTIONALITY SCORES FOR FEMALES 70

19 F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE
REGRESSION MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE DAS AND PERCEIVED INTIMACY FOR MALES
AND FEMALES . . .. 71

20 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES
FOR THE STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND PERCEIVED
INTIMACY SCORES FOR MALES. . .. 72

21 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES
FOR THE STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SCORES ON THE DAS AND
PERCEIVED INTIMACY FOR FEMALES .. .. 73

22 F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE
REGRESSION MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
THE DAS AND EXPECTED INTIMACY FOR MALES AND
FEMALES . . .. 73

viii










23 F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE
REGRESSION MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BEI'.-EE
THE DAS AND THE DIFFERENCES BEThEEL PERCEIVED AND
EXPECTED INTIMACY FOR MALES AND FEMALES 74

24 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SOUARES
FOR THE STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND THE
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PERCEIVED AND EXPECTED INTIMACY
SCORES FOR MALES . . 76

25 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS. AND R-SQUARES
FOR THE STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING
THE RELATIONSHIP BEThEZE DAS SCORES AND DIFFERENCES
IN PERCEIVED AND EXPECTED INTIMACY SCORES FOR
FEMALES . . .. 76

26 F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE
OVERALL REGRESSION MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE DAS AND THE PAIR INVENTORY FOR MALES
AND Fl? ALES . . .. 77

27 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES
FOR THE STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DAS AND THE PAIR
INVENTORY SCORES FOR MALES . 79

28 PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES
FOR THE STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING
THE RELATIONSHIP BET.;EE THE DAS AND THE PAIR
INVENTORY SCORES FOR FEMALES . 79

29 F VALUE, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE
REGRESSION MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETIV:T;
DAS SCORES AND, PERCEIVED INTIMACY AND THE
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS
OF INTIMACY . .. .80


30 PARTIAL F VALUES,
FOR THE STEPWISE
THE RELATIONSHIP
INTIMACY AND THE
AND EXPECTATIONS

31 PARTIAL F VALUES,
FOR THE STEPWISE
THE RELATIONSHIP
INTIMACY AND THE
EXPECTATIONS OF


PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES
REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING
BEThEELN DAS SCORES AND, PERCEIVED
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PERCEPTIONS
OF INTIMACY FOR MALES 81

PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES
REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING
BEITEEN DAS SCORES AND, PERCEIVED
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PERCEPTIONS AND
INTIMACY FOR FEMALES ...... 82












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 RELATIONSHIP BETI:E:. INTIMACY AND
MARITAL QUALITY IN CHILDLESS COUPLES

By

Andres Nazario, Jr.

December 1983

Chairperson: Ellen S. Amatea
Major Department: Counselor Education

Eighty-five childless couples completed the Dyadic Adjust-

ment Scale (DAS), the Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relation-

ships inventory (PAIR), and a demographic questionnaire. The de-

pendent variable for this study was the DAS rating of marital

quality. The independent variables were generated from eleven

different scores on the PAIR inventory. The PAIR yielded perceived

and expected scores in the areas of emotional intimacy, social

intimacy, sexual intimacy, intellectual intimacy, and recreational

intimacy, as well as a score on conventionality.

Results from this study revealed significant and strong

relationships for both males and females between each of the five

perceived intimacy variables and marital quality, and between

conventionality and marital quality. Significant relationships

were also found between marital quality and expected intellectual










and expected recreational intimacy for males, and between marital

quality and expected emotional intimacy, expected sexual intimacy,

expected intellectual intimacy, and expected recreational intimacy

for females. Differences between perceptions and expectations in

all five areas of intimacy were significantly related to marital

quality for both males and females.

Six regression analyses were computed separately for males

and for females to assess the combined impact of several clusters

of intimacy variables in predicting marital quality scores.

The most powerful and parsimonious regression model for females

was composed of perceived emotional intimacy, perceived recreational

intimacy, and conventionality, accounting for 80% of the variance

in female's marital quality scores. In contrast, the most

powerful predictive model for males included perceived emotional

intimacy, perceived social intimacy, expected social intimacy,

expected intellectual intimacy, and perceived recreational intimacy

and accounted for 77% of the variance in male's marital quality

scores.

It was concluded that findings from this study support

both theoretical and clinical notions postulating a relationship

between marital quality and intimacy in childless couples.

Both the importance of an absolute level of intimacy and the

relative level of similarity between perceptions and expectations

of intimacy seemed to be supported. It appears however that males

and females have different perceptions and expectations of intimacy.

Implications for future research are discussed.














CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION


Cultural and economic changes have brought about major

shifts in the way marriage is viewed and practiced in this

culture. Initially marriage was considered an imperative

for survival and normalcy (Ramey, 1976). People got married

for economic and procreational functions. With the impact

of such events as the Industrial Revolution and World War II,

marriage began to be viewed as a choice and couples began to

decide which type of relationship they wanted. Although

conventional marriage continues to be the most prevalent

preference for marital union, other choices such as child-

less marriages, sexually open marriages, cohabitation, and

choosing not to marry are gaining acceptance in this

culture (Ramey, 1976).

There appear to be many reasons which motivate

individuals to seek the married state. In our culture love

seems to be a prominent one (Cox, 1978). At the present time

most Americans marry or enter primary relationships in an

attempt to find companionship, caring, love, and intimacy.

Both our culture and social structure place tremendous

expectations on marriage. Needs that were once satisfied

by the family of origin (nuclear and extended), neighbor-

hood friends, and community contacts are now, for the most

part, expected to be fulfilled by a spouse. Economic and










procreational functions are no longer sufficient; marriage

is to provide love and companionship. Marital theorists now

contend that it is primarily the way in which expectations

for love and companionship are met that tends to keep two

individuals married to each other (Lewis & Spanier, 1979).

Therefore expectations regarding marital intimacy appear to

be important dimensions of the marital experience.

Scope of the Problem

As ideas about the goals of marriage have evolved from

those of attempting to satisfy concrete tangible needs to the

more abstract levels of attempting to satisfy feelings and

expectations, the researcher's focus of analysis has shifted

as well. Although researchers have studied the variables

involved in successful marital life since the early thirties

(Burgess & Cottrell, 1939; Terman, 1938), most of these early

studies investigated the impact of external variables such

as age, occupation, and income level on marriage (O'Brien,

1976). As expectations about marriage began to change,

changes occurred in the way the marital relationship was

conceptualized and investigated. This transition began in

the early fifties. In 1951 Locke began to study the

individual's adjustment to the marital relationship. During

this stage the primary focus of investigation was the per-

formance of one's functions within the institution of mar-

riage (Eshleman & Clarke, 1978). At this time, successful

marriages were judged to be those in which both spouses were

cognizant of their individual roles and performed them








adequately (Cox, 1978). Furthermore, studies of marriage

at this time relied heavily cn wives' responses to the

marital institution. Very few studies attempted to involve

husbands in the research samples (Hicks & Platt, 1970).

The sixties--with their emphasis on human potential,

the expression of feelings and growth, and the endorsement

of alternative lifestyles--brought new dimensions to marital

life and to the study of marriages (Schaefer & Olson, 1981).

Parallel changes were occurring in marital relations and

in the manner of investigating such relationships. People

choosing to get married were viewed as seeking to satisfy

personal needs such as companionship and intimacy within a

primary relationship or marriage. Researchers investigating

marriages moved from studying the institution of marriage and

began to focus on the quality of the marital relationship

(Spanier & Lewis, 1980). These studies began to focus on the

couple rather than just the individual's report of adjustment

to the marriage and examined variables such as the presence

or absence of problems in areas such as conflict-resolution

and role conflict (Hicks & Platt, 1970). Researchers also

began to concern themselves with evaluating some of the

skills associated with marital quality such as instrumental

and affective communication, self-disclosure, and sexual

fulfillment (Hatfield, 1982; Horowitz, 1977; Simms, 1978).

In more recent years marital quality has been concep-

tualized as a multidimensional construct. Spanier and Lewis

(1980) identified marital communication, satisfaction,









happiness, and adjustment as some of the variables used

as indices of marital quality. Gottman (1979) describe-'

these variables as components of one global variable.

Spanier and Lewis (1980), in their review of the marital

literature of the seventies, identified a trend towards the

synthesis of literature and the building of theories around

multidimensional concepts that encompass the totality of

marital quality. Spanier (1976) defined marital quality as

a multidimensional concept, a process that focuses on several

dyadic accommodations to the marriage and takes into consider-

ation the affective involvement of the individual.

The seventies have also been a time when researchers

have focused more upon examining the relationship between

marital quality and the developmental stages of the couple or

family (Spanier & Lewis, 1980). For example, several

researchers have reported a decrease in couples' interaction

with the arrival of the first child and a decrease in

reported marital quality (Houseknecht, 1979; Ryder, 1973).

Burr (1970) stated that after the arrival of the first child,

an increase in reported marital quality does not occur until

the last child has left home.

Another recent trend in the field of marital quality

research, noted by Campbell, Converse, and Rodgers (1976), is

that of examining the subjective experience of individuals in

the marital relationship. These authors state that the

assessment of personal characteristics such as income level,

age, and education account for very little of the variance in









marital quality. The subjective evaluation of the individ-

ual, on the other hand, is a very powerful predictor. Camp-

bell and his associates contend that marital quality, or the

quality of any domain of life experience,"is produced by the

difference between an individual's received reality of the

current situation and his or her aspiration concerning the

domain" (Rhyne, 1981, p. 942). Thus Blishen and his associ-

ates (1975) contend that it is the amount of discrepancy

between what the individual gets out of a relationship and

what he/she would like to get out of the relationship which

accounts for reported marital quality. Therefore since a

common marital expectation is that it will fulfill an indi-

vidual's needs for intimacy, it is important to examine the

subjective experience of intimacy in marital relationships.

Intimacy is not a thing; it is a process; and several

areas of intimacy have been identified (Clinebell & Cline-

bell, 1971; Dahms, 1972; Schaefer & Olson, 1981). Schaefer

and Olson have described five types of intimacy: sexual,

emotional, recreational, intellectual, and social which they

hypothesize are related to marital quality. Although there

seems to be some consensus among writers that intimacy is

related to marital quality, there seems to be some dis-

agreement over whether it is the absolute level of attained

marital intimacy or the degree of similarity between spouses

in needs for intimacy which accounts for marital quality.

Several authors propose that couples who experience high

levels of marital quality will also experience high levels









of intimacy (Clinebell & Clinebell, 1971; Schaefer & Olson,

1981). Other writers theorize that couples who experience

high levels of marital quality most likely experience very

similar needs for intimacy and therefore it is the similarity

in subjective experiences of intimacy that accounts for high

levels of marital quality (Campbell et al.,1976; Rhyne,

1981).

The significance of intimacy in marital relationships

has been addressed by several writers. Rhyne (1981) states

that "marriage in today's society has the function of provid-

ing a critical sociopsychological support system for people"

(p. 942). In a similar vein, Whitaker (1982) states that in

our culture marriage allows for closeness and communion with

one other person. He defines marriage as "an adult model of in-

timacy" (p. 167). Scaef- :and Olson (1981) present the same idea

in a slightly different manner. They state that intimacy is

highly valued by Americans today and accounts for a maicr

reason for getting married. These views of today's marital

relationships lead to the assumption that the ideal marital

relationship is characterized by a state of intimacy. Yez.

although a relationship between marital quality and intimacy

has been postulated by theorists and clinicians, it had not

been empirically validated.

Furthermore, marriage and family clinicians seem to

indicate that marriage is not made in heaven: that individ-

uals seek each other based on a number of dimensions that

complement each other. Ackerman (1958) states that despite









a lack of scientific data there is reason to believe that the

choice of a mate is a purposeful act merging several motives.

Similarly, "Whitaker believes that the choice of a partner

for marriage is invariably done with wisdom and purpose"

(Neill & Kniskern, 1982, p. 323). Thus individuals choose a

mate who is at their same level of differentiation (Bowen,

1976). Differentiation means that individuals marry those

who are at their same level of emotional functioning. Martin

(1976) supports this concept from a clinical viewpoint

stating that individuals become a couple if they are "matched"

in their levels and degrees of intimacy. Thus it suggests

not the importance of attaining an absolute level of intimacy

in marriage, but the significance of the relative level bet-

ween husband and wife. Despite the prevalence of these con-

cepts, the lack of empirical validation seems to suggest the

importance of investigating the relationship between marital

quality and intimacy.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the relation-

ship between marital quality and intimacy in childless cou-

ples. Specifically, the study sought to investigate if there

were differences between males and females in their percep-

tions and expectations of intimacy. Furthermore the study

attempted to determine the amount of variance specific inti-

macy variables shared with marital quality.









Need for the Study

Although the relationship between intimacy and marital

quality has been identified by theorists and clinicians, no

empirical validation for such relationship existed. There

was thus a need to investigate the relationship between

intimacy and marital quality and to ascertain if there were

specific areas of intimacy that were more critical than others

in the development and maintenance of high quality marital

relationships. Moreover, there was a need to know if the

critical aspect was the amount of intimacy perceived by the

individual, or the couple; or whether it was the discrepancy

between the perceived and expected levels of intimacy that

accounted for marital quality. Furthermore, there was a need

to include both husbands and wives in order to assess their

subjective experience of the marital relationship. These

needs for investigation formed the backdrop for this research

study.

Significance of the Study

There are several implications that derive from this

study which are of significance to the general public and to

marriage and family life educators, practitioners, and re-

searchers.

First, this investigation has demonstrated that a rela-

tionship exists between marital quality and intimacy; there-

fore theoretical formulations that were based on clinical

observations until the present time have been strengthened

by this empirical validation. This can allow for more









specific delineations of theories and sggestes t a fr future

experimental study of the relationship between marital

quality and intimacy to further investigate causal factors.

Secondly, since specific areas of intimacy have been identi-

fied as critically related to marital quality,both educators

and practitioners in the area of marriage and the family can

utilize this new information both in the development of

appropriate programs that emphasize the acquisition of such

behaviors and in helping distressed couples in a more effi-

cient manner by focusing on those specific critical areas of

intimacy. Finally, findings from this study suggest that

pre-marital counseling focused on exploration and or acquisi-

tion of intimacy skills may lead to better and longer lasting

marital relationships.

Definition of Terms

For the purpose of clarity, definitions of the following

terms are provided:

1. Couple: A unit composed of a man and a woman legally

married to each other, or living together for more than

one year.

2. Marital Quality: A multidimensional concept that encom-

passes the variables of marital satisfaction, marital

adjustment, and marital happiness.

3. Marital Quality Operationalized: The scores obtained by

individuals on the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (Spanier,

1976).









4. Intimacy: A concept developed by Schaefer and Olson

(1981) to indicate a process between two individuals

sharing personal experiences in five specific areas, and

that involves time and commitment. These areas are

a) Emotional intimacy: The area of intimacy that

involves experiencing and sharing closeness of

feelings between two individuals.

b) Social intimacy: The area of intimacy characterized

by the experience of having common friends and

similarities in social networks.

c) Sexual intimacy: It is identified as those experi-

ences of sharing general physical affection and/or

sexual activities.

d) Intellectual intimacy: The experience of sharing

ideas between two individuals.

e) Recreational intimacy: The area of intimacy

characterized by shared experiences of interests in

hobbies and/or mutual participation in sporting

events.

5. Intimacy Operationalized: The scores obtained by

individuals on the Personal Assessment of Intimacy in

Relationships (Schaefer & Olson, 1981). There are two

types of scores obtained in each of the five identified

areas:

a) Perceived or realized intimacy: The score obtained

on the Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relation-

ships that ascertains the degree to which the






11

individual partner in a relationship presently feels

intimate in each of the five areas of intimacy.

b) Ideal or expected intimacy: The score obtained

on the Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Rela-

tionships that ascertains the degree to which the

individual partner in a relationship would like to

be intimate in each of the five areas of intimacy.

Organization of the Study

This dissertation is organized into five chapters.

Chapter two contains a review of the related literature.

Topics covered in this chapter include a review of theories

and research on marital quality and on intimacy. A dis-

cussion of the research methodology and data collection

analyses is presented in chapter three. Chapter four con-

tains the results of the study including a description of the

study-sample. Finally, discussion of the results, conclu-

sions, and recommendations based on the findings appear in

chapter five.














CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF LITERATURE


In this chapter conceptual models of marital quality are

discussed along with a rationale for the selection of both a

specific definition of marital quality and a method of

assessment. In addition, those psychological theories which

offer support for the significance of intimacy in human

development are discussed and their relationship to marital

quality established. Finally, literature describing the

impact of children on marital intimacy is reviewed.

Marital Quality: Theory and Research

The concept of marital quality has been described

neither clearly nor consistently in the literature. Differ-

ent terms have been employed to assess or describe the concept

of marital quality (e.g., marital success, marital happiness,

marital integration, marital satisfaction, marital adjust-

ment). The same term has also been used by different authors

to describe very different concepts (e.g., marital quality

has been used to describe marital satisfaction and to describe

marital adjustment). Thus, depending on the writer, the

concepts of marital happiness, marital success, marital

satisfaction, and marital adjustment have been described both

as interchangeable and as very different constructs. Horo-

witz (1977) states that "none of these terms have been
defined in a manner which facilitates comparisons among








findings of different researchers" (p. 7). In this section

different research findings on marital quality are reviewed.

Evidence supporting the integration of these various concepts

into one global variable are presented, and the concept of

marital quality is defined as it is used in this study.

Finally measures of marital adjustment and criticisms relat-

ing to their use are discussed.

Researchers have been studying the variables involved in

marriage since the early thirties (Burgess & Cottrell, 1939;

Terman, 1938). Initially, these studies involved the external

variables of marriage (O'Brien, 1976). Young, after

reviewing the marital satisfaction literature, states that

"prior to the last decade, research on marital satisfaction

usually focused on demographic factors" (Young, 1982, p. 10).

In their review of the marital literature of the sixties,

Hicks and Platt (1970) identified demographic variables such

as age, occupation, education, income, socioeconomic similar-

ities, and religion, as comprising the variables most often

studied in relation to marital relationships.

More recently, marital quality has been the primary

focus of study in the field of marital studies (Spanier,

1976). Some of the topics of interest in marital research

during the seventies were marital quality and extramarital

relationships, premarital sexual chastity and postmarital

adjustment, effects of cohabitation on marital success,

social networks and marriage, remarriage and marital quality,

marital power and marital happiness (Spanier & Lewis, 190).
mar/








Are marital adjustment, marital satisfaction, and

marital happiness synonymous? In looking at these differ-

ent constructs, one can become confused as to whether they

are highly related variables or components of one global

variable. Several writers contend that marital satisfac-

tion, happiness, and adjustment are all dimensions of one

global variable. Gottman (1979) states that a high correla-

tion between these variables attests to their comprising one

global variable. Young (1982) states that "one consistent

problem in marital research is that while researchers

talk about marital 'happiness,' there is little consensus

on what happiness is, let alone how it would be measured

[thus] research in marital satisfaction, happiness, and

adjustment is all considered to be tapping into one global

variable" (p. 9-10).

Many factors have been associated with marital quality.

Spanier and Lewis (1980) identify communication, satisfac-

tion, happiness, and adjustment as some of the factors

recently studied pertaining to marital quality.

Marital communication, for example, has been the subject

of numerous studies. Lee (1980) states that "good marital

communication involves the husband and wife expressing

themselves in ways that effectively get through to the other

person ." (p. 16). Strauss (1974) studying couples iden-

tified as happily married found that these couples communi-

cate in an honest, clear, mature manner. On the other hand,

Lee (1980) found no significant differences between high and









low scoring groups on a marital adjustment scale when

examined against the same communication variables. Other

researchers have studied the relationship between marital

communication and conflict-resolution (Bellings, 1979;

Epstein and Santa-Barbara, 1975). Marital satisfaction has

been related to caring (Lee, 1980), to sexual satisfaction

(Horowitz, 1977), and to sex roles (Simms, 1978). Happiness

in marriage has been studied as it relates to families of

origin (Gottman, 1979) and role conflict (Navran, 1967;

Levinger, 1964). Adjustment in marriage has been investi-

gated as it relates to conventionality (Edmonds et al.,

1972), perceived similarity (Kotlar, 1965), and accuracy in

predicting partners' response (Taylor, 1967).

In reviewing these studies, one can conclude that they

each seem to focus on a different aspect of the total

variable of marital quality. These conclusions support Got'a-n's

(1979) and Young's (1982) statement that such outcomes are

tapping into one global variable. Therefore there is a need

to examine what is meant by the construct in various research

studies.

Competing Definitions of Marital Quality

Even though there is some consensus among marriage and

family researchers that one global variable is being tapped

in marital research studies, different writers have selected

different terms to describe the variable of marital quality.

In their review of the marital quality research of the

seventies, Spanier and Lewis (1980) stated that the trend in









marital studies has been towards "attempts to build

theory and synthesize the literature" (p. 96). Several

theories have emerged all relating to marital quality,

although different theorists have selected different terms

as the concept around which to develop their theories.

Perhaps the two most influential of these theories are the

one developed by Burr (1973) a dBurr and associates (1979) and

the one developed by Spanier and Cole (1976)ardSpanier (1976,

1979).

Burr (1973) and Burr and associates (1979) have built a

theory of marital quality around the concept of marital

satisfaction. They define marital satisfaction "as the

'subjectively experienced reaction' to one's marriage, as op-

posed to marital satisfaction as the 'amount' of congruence

between the expectations a person has and the rewards the

person actually receives" (Spanier & Lewis, 1980, p. 103).

This definition has been criticized by Spanier and Lewis

(1980) as being intrapersonal in nature, rather than inter-

personal.

On the other hand, Spanier and Cole (1976) and Spanier

(1976) have selected what they term "the multidimensional

concept of marital adjustment" for their theory of marital

quality. Spanier refers to dyadicc adjustment" (since the

term applies to non-marital couples as well) "as a process,

the outcome of which is determined by the degree of (1)

troublesome dyadic differences; (2) interpersonal tensions

and personal anxiety; (3) dyadic satisfaction; (4) dyadic









cohesion; and (5) consensus on matters of importance to

dyadic functioning" (Spanier, 1976, p. 17). This defini-

tion has led to an operationalization of the concept of mari-

tal adjustment and the development of an instrument to assess

marital quality. Although defined as a process, this defini-

tion of marital quality allows for a qualitative analysis of

the marital relationship at a given point in time. This is

what Spanier calls taking a "snapshot" of the quality of the

relationship at a given time on a continuum of adjustment.

This study adhered to the concept developed by Spanier

(1976) and selected marital adjustment as the most clear and

precise definition of marital quality.

Measures of Marital Quality

In adopting Spanier's definition and approach to measur-

ing marital quality, it is necessary to consider the alterna-

tive instruments employed and problems in measuring marital

quality.

Historically, the assessment of marital quality has suf-

fered from the lack of a comprehensive multidimensional mea-

sure which would allow for the simultaneous assessment of a

broad range of dimensions in the marital relationship as they

relate to global marital adjustment (Snyder, 1979).

Early measures of marital quality were characterized by

"general investigation of marriage not focusing on a particu-
lar area or dimension of marital interaction" (Snyder, 1979,

p. 818). These measures emphasized the identification of

sociodemographic variables as correlates of marital quality









(e.g., Burgess and Wallin, 1953; Hamilton, 1929; Terman,

1938). Later on, Locke (1951) defined marital adjustment as
"accommodation of a husband and wife to each other at a ziven

time" (p. 251). Locke developed a 50-item inventory, The

Locke Marital Adjustment Test, to measure this concept. Locke

and Wallace (1959), selecting the most basic or fundamental

items of existing marital inventories, developed the Locke-

Wallace Short Marital Adjustment Test. This attempt resulted

in a 15 item scale that became widely used by researchers in

the field of marital studies. The Locke-Wallace became the

most frequently used scale for assessing marital quality

(Snyder, 1979; Spanier, 1976).

Although the most frequently used test of marital

quality, the Locke-Wallace has been criticized by several

investigators. Hawkins (1966) and Edmonds and associates

(1972) have been critical of the tendency of the Locke-

Wallace to be "heavily contaminated by subjects' tendencies

to distort the appraisal of their marriages in the direction

of social desirability" (Snyder, 1979, p. 820). Spanier

(1972) indicated that many studies employing the Locke-

Wallace report marital adjustment for the couple when in

reality scores are reflecting "only the marital adjustment of

the wife" (p. 403). Spanier not only criticized the Locke-

Wallace "on the basis of relatively low correlations between

husband and wife marital adjustment scores," but also

suggested that Locke-Wallace "and most other marital measures

assess not the marital relationship itself, but rather









individual adjustment to that relationship" (Snyder, 1979,

p. 820). Other measures of marital quality have suffered

from inadequate demonstration and reporting of reliability

(Adams, 1960; Inselberg, 1964; Katz, 1965; Manson & Lerner,

1962).

One serious weakness of marital quality assessments has

been the unidimensional approach most often employed. As

previously discussed, Gottman (1979) suggested that these

dimensions are all components of a global variable. Spanier

(1976) selected the term "marital adjustment" as the global

variable that encompasses marital quality. He also developed

an inventory, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) for assessing

the quality of marriage or any dyadic relationship. The

DAS involves four empirically verified components that can

also be used as sub-scales: dyadic satisfaction, dyadic co-

hesion, dyadic consensus, and affectional expression.

The DAS has been selected for this study both because its

components have been empirically verified, and because of its

ability to take a "snapshot" of an ongoing relationship at a

given time. Chapter III discusses the development of this

inventory along with evidence for its validity and

reliability.

Intimacy: Theory and Research

The term intimacy has been used rather loosely through-

out the years by philosophers, poets, novelists, and social

scientists. Historically, it has been a term usually

employed in a vague manner allowing for different meanings at









different times. As Levenson (1974) stated: "Intimacy is

a venerable word with a long history of changing meaning"

(p. 359).

The need for intimacy was recognized by the ancient

Greeks. Both Plato and Aristotle referred to its signifi-

cance in love and friendships. Theologians emphasized the

importance of an intimate relationship between the individ-

ual and God. In romantic literature, the hero and heroine

always sought each other and struggled to be together to

become intimate. Even popular songs and T.V. commercials

have "cashed in" on the significance of intimacy in human

relations.

Yet, for the social scientist, intimacy has become

important only recently. Although intimacy has appeared in

the theorizing of many personality and developmental

theorists, and has been identified as an important human

need, it became a significant area of research only in the

early seventies (Sexton & Sexton, 1982).

Intimacy and Personality Development

Psychological theorists of both analytic and humanistic

persuasions have emphasized the significance of intimacy in

the development of the individual. Maslow (1968) viewed

intimacy as a vital ingredient in his hierarchy of need.

Erickson (1963) described the capacity for intimacy as an

essential component for functional adjustment. For Sullivan

(1953) intimacy involved the most important aspect of the

capacity for positive mental health and the de3velcpnent of









maturity. Fromm (1947), in discussing the need for related-

ness, identified intimacy as an essential for productive

love. Angyal expressed the need for intimacy when he stated

that "to be is to mean something to someone else"

(Angyal, 1965, p. 78). Angyal "continues to outline the need

to be 'needed' in an intimate relationship as a fundamental

precept to his theory" (Schaefer & Olson, 1981, p. 48).

Dahms (1972) views intimacy as an "overlooked requirement for

survival" (p. 1). Striving for intimacy is rooted in the

most fundamental needs of the human organism. In infancy,

to be held, touched, comforted, and nourished is mandatory

for survival (Lee, 1980). In adults, the desire for intimacy

is a major motivation for entering and maintaining a marital

relationship (Feldman, 1979). Thus, "although there is much

disagreement about the essential meaning of the term, there

seems to be a consensus that intimacy, whatever it may be, is

of central importance in human relationships (Fisher

& Stricker, 1982, p. xi).

In reviewing these theories, it appeared that the

development and maintenance of intimate relationships are

crucial for the adjustment of the individual. Furthermore,

these theories appear to indicate that intimacy involves

two individuals; that it is a reciprocal concept. Yet not

all definitions of intimacy allude to this reciprocity. In

the next section several definitions of the concept of inti-

macy are reviewed.









Conceptualizations of Intimacy

Conceptually, several approaches have been followed in

defining intimacy. Some writers have viewed intimacy as an

intrapsychic phenomenon. Others have viewed intimacy as in-

teractive in nature. Others define intimacy as a process

rather than an outcome. In discussing intimacy, Fisher and

Stricker (1982) state that there have been two primary

approaches to the conceptualization of intimacy. "One

approach to intimacy focuses on an intrapsychic conception"

(p. xi). From this viewpoint "intimacy occurs when ar

individual achieves full self-knowledge, and is fully in touch

with his or her feelings and wishes" (p. xi). Therefore,

an act of intimacy occurs when the individual is willing to

share these feelings and wishes with another. Moreover, this

definition does not imply reciprocity. The other approach to

intimacy described by Fisher and Stricker stresses the

interpersonal nature of the concept. "Intimacy is seen as

the product of an interaction, and can only occur between

people." From this interactive perspective, each individual

"is able to touch something meaningful in the other, whether

at a conscious, behavioral level or an unconscious and

inferential level" (p. xi).

Mendelschn, defined intimacy as "a cognitive state that

relates to knowledge of one's psychic reality" (Mendelsohn,

1982, p. 39). Although he viewed intimacy as an intrapsychic

process, he stated that one's emotional attitude

towards this knowledge is the affective component of








intimacy" (p. 39). Therefore, intimacy is defined as an

interpersonal process as well.

Existential writers have also been concerned with the

concept of intimacy. Denes (1982) defined intimacy as "an

intentional action between like creatures whose will it is to

bridge the echoless silence of the universe. Intimacy is a

self-transcendent act of faith based on courage and trust"

(p. 136). Mahrer (1982) viewed intimacy as a three-tiered

concept. The first tier refers to "a particular kind of

experiencing or feeling. It is a bodily-grounded felt

sense" (p. 141). The second tier refers "to a particular

kind of relationship. It is a dual mode of relating in which

two intact individuals risk a bit of their respective sense

of self or I-ness" (p. 142). The third tier, which Mahrer

describes as "the highest plateau of value," is considered "a

state of fusion between two persons. There is a blending ,

an assimilation, a cojoining integration of two persons"

(p. 142).

Ladner (1982) provides yet another definition of inti-

macy: "Intimacy is a special quality of emotional closeness

that binds two people to one another. It may be described as

an affectionate tie composed of trust, mutual respect and

caring, and open sharing of feelings, experiences, love, and

sexual expression of that relatedness" (p. 219). In contrast,

Hatfield, Utne, and Traupmann (1979) define intimacy as a

static concept, stating that intimates are individuals whose

love for each other made their lives deeply entwined. In a









more recent article, Hatfield (1982) describes intimacy not

as a static concept but as a process. She defines intimacy

"as a process by which a dyad--in expression of thought,

affect, and behavior--attempts to move more towards complete

communication on all levels" (p. 271).

Clinebell and Clinebell (1971) define intimacy as a

multifaceted concept. These authors state that intimacy is

the satisfaction of a mutual need in the following areas:

sexual, emotional, spiritual, communication, creative,

recreational, aesthetic, crisis conflict, commitment, and

work. Similarly, Dahms (1972) defines intimacy as a close-

ness of one individual to another on three specific levels:

intellectual, physical, and emotional. Recognizing the

works of the Clinebells and Dahms as the most extensive

and refined conceptual definitions of intimacy, Schaefer

and Olson (1981) define intimacy as "a process that occurs

over time and is never completed or fully accomplished .

an intimate relationship is where an individual shares

intimate experiences in several areas, and there is the

expectation that the relationship will persist over time"

(p. 50). Five areas of intimacy are defined and described by

Schaefer and Olson: emotional, social, intellectual, sexual,

and recreational. Since, according to Schaefer and Olson

intimacy is viewed as occurring in different areas, a

person's relationships can be described not just as intimate

or non-intimate, but rather, in terms of specific behaviors.

Given this advantage Schaefer and Olson's definition appeared

the most functional for use in this study.








The Assessment of Intimacy

Although conceptualizations of the role of intimacy in

human development have a time-honored tradition, it is only

recently that the investigation and assessment of intimacy

has emerged as a viable field of study. Moreover, attempts

to operationally define intimacy and thus measure this con-

cept have been plagued with contradictions.

Schaefer and Olson (1981) in their review of the liter-

ature on intimacy found that many writers use the terms self-

disclosure and intimacy interchangeably (e.g.,Altman &

Taylor, 1973; Huesmann & Levinger, 1976; Jourard, 1964).

Schaefer and Olson (1981) describe the differences between

self-disclosure and intimacy. They state "past operational

measures of intimacy have been either too global, such as

marital satisfaction measures, or have measured closely

related concepts, such as self-disclosure" (.

51). Two critical elements are identified by Schaefer and

Olson as separating intimacy from self-disclosure: time and

commitment. Intimacy occurs over time, and there is the

expectation of commitment in the relationship. Cn the other

hand, self-disclosure may occur between strangers and in

casual encounters (Hatfield, 1982). According to Schaefer

and Olson (1981) self-disclosure scales attempt to measure

the individual willingness to disclose intimate feelings,

although they "do not indicate the kind, character, or

frequency of intimacy experienced in the relationship" (p.

51). Hatfield (1982) suggests that too much self-disclosure









may be detrimental to one's relationships. Similarly,

Schaefer and Olson (1981) suggest a curvilinear relation-

ship between self-disclosure and intimacy. They state

"that self-disclosure is a necessary ingredient in the

development of intimacy, but that given the setting, too

much self-disclosure can be counter-productive" (p. 56).

Therefore, Schaefer and Olson (1981) provide an opera-

tional definition of intimacy as "a process and an

experience which is the outcome of the disclosure of intimate

topics and sharing of intimate experiences" (p. 51). To

assess the degree of intimacy that individuals perceive in

their relationships with others, these authors have developed

an inventory, The Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Re-

lationships (PAIR), that measures expected versus realized

degrees of intimacy in five areas.

Research on Intimacy and Marital Quality

The definition of intimacy postulated by Schaefer and

Olson implies that a relationship exist between intimacy and

marital adjustment. In fact, many theorists and clinicians

contend that there is a link between intimacy and marital

quality.

Although the construct of intimacy has been linked to

marital quality,little empirical verification of this

relationship had been conducted. There was a need to examine

if in fact such a relationship existed.

Common sense seems to indicate that intimacy is a pre-

requisite for the smoother functioning of any "intimate









relationship." In our culture, most people get married to

seek and maintain intimacy (Schaefer and Olson, 1981).

Marriage has evolved from providing an outlet for sexual

expression, the procreation of the family, and fulfilling

economic functions to fulfilling the needs for intimacy, sex,

and companionship (Ramey, 1976). Tremendous expectations

have been placed on marriage today. Most people want mar-

riages that fill their needs; and although many needs can be

met outside of a primary relationship, the need for love and

commitment can not be met in any casual connection. They

require the involvement in an intimate relationship (Sager

and Hunt, 1979).

"In general, the more satisfied people are with such

characteristics as love and affection, friendship, interest,

sexual gratification, the more satisfied they are with their

marriage as a whole" (Rhyne, 1981, p. 942). Moreover,

Schaefer and Olson (1981) hypothesize that couples who in

general receive high scores on marital adjustment scales,

should also have rather high scores on an intimacy scale.

These statements as well as numerous marital enrichment pro-

grams, books, and articles (e.g., Cox, 1978; Davis, 1973:

Eshleman & Clarke, 1978; Levinger & Raush, 1977; Ramey, 1976;

Sager & Hunt, 1979; Shor & Sanville, 1978) emphasize the

need for intimacy in marital or dyadic relationships. It

must then be assumed that there is a substantial relationship

between levels of intimacy and marital or dyadic adjustment.

Yet, the existing evidence appeared to be clinically rather








than empirically based. Professionals involved in doinz

marital therapy frequently testify to the move in therapy

couples make from a position of non-intimacy to greater

intimate contact. Hoffman (1981) discussing family theravp

described the denial of intimacy between spouses as a typvial

covert conflict which manifests itself as a family symptom.

On the other hand, Farson (1977) stated that sometimes good

marriages fail because marriage counseling "has further

burdened our marriages by asking us to live up to what we

know to be our best" (p. 253). Thus individuals strive

to achieve higher levels of intimacy in their relationships

which may create disparity between husbands and wives, be-

cause mass education, the media, and psychotherapists endorse

and even promote higher expectations from marriage (Farson,

1977).

This emphasis on higher levels of intimacy in marital

relationships is a modern cultural phenomenon. DeBurger

(1977) stated that "marriages which today do not provide a

sufficient level and range of closeness or intimacy between

the partners are likely to be perceived as deficient, as

seriously lacking the prime ingredients necessary for

sustaining a vital, satisfying relationship" (p. 234).

Frankel (1982) similarly stated that intimacy in marital

relationships is sought and valued as a modern marital ex-

pectation, while Grunebaum and Christ (1976) warn against

conveying dogmatic assertions about "good" and "bad"

intimacies under the guise of marital expertise.








There are some other notions postulated by theorists and

clinicians alike that although acknowledging the significance

of intimacy in marital relationships do not lend support to

the striving for higher levels of intimacy. These theorists

and clinicians emphasize the importance of the relative

similarity in needs for intimacy between the individuals in

a couple. Martin (1976) states that individuals that become

a couple are matched in their levels and degrees of intimacy.

Frankel (1982) discussing intimacy and marital adjustment

alludes to the developmental similarities of the spouses

comprising a couple. This is what Bowen (1976) has referred

to when he states that individuals choose a mate who is at

their same level of differentiation. Frankel (1982) states

that if this were not true, "they would never marry in the

first place, or would probably be divorced rather than seek

marital therapy" (p. 250). Therefore it is important

to establish whether the goals of marital therapy should be

helping couples achieve higher levels of intimacy, or helping

them to deal with their difficulties in intimacy at their

similar stage of emotional development.

The clinical evidence of the relationship between marital

quality and intimacy is abundant. Based on clinical evidence

it can be assumed couples experiencing marital difficulties

are also experiencing difficulties in some areas of intimacy

or vice versa (no causality implied). Yet the tendency has

been towards the encouragement of attaining higher levels of

intimacy rather than the identification of a common








thermostat that would allow couples to regulate their own

levels of comfort in the areas of intimacy. The need for a

study that first empirically validates the clinical assump-

tion that a relationship between intimacy and marital quality

exists appeared evident. Furthermore, there was a need to

identify whether higher levels of intimacy were better

predictors of marital quality than relative levels of inti-

macy subjectively experienced by the couple at similar or

close levels of emotional development. Finally, there was

a need to identify if specific intimacy variables were

related to marital quality, and if there were some areas of

intimacy more critical than others.

Marital Quality and Intimacy in Childless Couples

As implied by the concept of adjustment on a continuum,

couples can move back and forth on this maladjustment-

adjustment continuum. There are some external variables that

have been identified as influencing movement on this con-

tinuum. One of them, the presence or absence of children in

the relationship seems to be of critical importance.

In their review of the sixties, Hicks and Platt (1970)

reported the surprising conclusion that the presence of

children detracts from the reported quality of marital rela-

tionship. Several studies since continue to report very

similar findings. Spanier and Lewis (1980) reviewing the

seventies corroborated the same findings at the same time

that pointed out some specifications. They reported that

"research in the past decade substantiates the fact that the









birth of a child has a negative impact upon most marriages,

especially for wives" (p. 99). Ryder (1973) also compared a

group of recently-turned-parents couples with a group of

childless couples. Using the Locke-Wallace Short Marital

Adjustment Test, the results point out to a decrease of

marital adjustment with the arrival of the first child.

Using a "Lovesickness" questionnaire, Ryder also found that

"wives who had had children became significantly more likely

than those in childless couples to report that their husbands

were not paying enough attention to them" (Waldron & Routh,

1981, p. 785). This may point to a decrease in intimacy

between husband and wife. Waldron and Routh (1981) repli-

cating Ryder's (1973) study added a new dimension. They

wanted to know if sex roles (androgynous, masculine,

feminine) had any bearing on the marital quality of couples

after the birth of their first child. Although no relation-

ship was found between parental sex role and adjustment, the

findings of negative impact on couples' marital quality were

replicated. In another study, Glenn and McLanahan (1982)

analyzed the data from six U.S. National Surveys conducted

from 1973 through 1978. These investigators concluded that

the presence of a child or children in the family adversely

impactson the parents' marital quality. Overall it appears

that the decline in marital quality after the arrival of

children is more prevalent among wives than husbands (Ryder,

1973; Spanier & Lewis, 1980). Considering the concept of

choice, Houseknecht (1979) studied a group of childless by










choice women matched on several criLical variables to a group

of mothers. She found that "the women who were voluntarily

childless exhibited higher marital adjustment than did the

mothers" (Spanier & Lewis, 1980, p. 99).

There are some indications that this decrease in marital

quality prevails throughout the parenting career of the couple

and that marital quality increases again as the last child

leaves home (Burr, 1970; Glenn, 1975). Research on the

quality of marriage over the family life cycle is flawed

however since marital researchers studying the relationship

between marital quality and "stages" of the family life cycle

have not utilized longitudinal studies (Spanier & Lewis,

1980).

Since the evidence points to a decrease in marital

quality with the presence of a child or children, this

research study was designed to examine levels of intimacy

as related to marital quality in childless couples only.

Summary

In summary, the construct of intimacy has appeared

with great regularity in both clinical and theoretical dis-

cussions of marriage and marital quality and seems to be

an intrinsic part of modern Americans' expectations regarding

marriage. Only limited research has been done to explore

the manner in which perceptions and expectations of intimacy

impact upon one's assessment of the quality of the marital










relationship. Thus, there appeared to be a need to determine

in what ways perceptions and expectations of intimacy

interact both individually and within the couple dyad tc

affect the quality of the marital relationship. Moreover,

marriage and family clinicians theorize that individuals in

a couple are matched in their capacity for intimacy. his

clinical notion needed to be confirmed empirically. Finally,

since research with couples with children indicated that many

of these couples experience an erosion of intimacy due to

demands of childrearing and thus present an additional

confounding effect, only childless couples were examined

in this study in order to clarify this relationship.













CHAPTER III
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY


This study examined the relationship between marital

quality and intimacy in childless couples. Couples partici-

pating in this study had been married no less than one year

and no longer than ten. The relationship between marital

quality and intimacy was examined both for individual mates

and for couples as a whole. Marital quality was assessed by

means of the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (Spanier, 1976). Intimacy was

measured through use of the Personal Assessment of Intimacy

in Relationships (Schaefer & Olson, 1981).

This chapter is organized into the following sections of

information: research design, hypotheses, subjects,

procedures, criterion instruments, methods of data analyses,

and limitations of the study.

Research Design

This study employed a correlational research design.

Data were collected to determine whether, and to what degree,

relationships existed between marital quality and five dif-

ferent types of intimacy.

The dependent variable for this study was ratings of

marital qualtiy as measured by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale

(Spanier, 1976). Five independent variables were studied:

intellectual, social, recreational, emotional, and sexual

intimacy. These were assessed by means of the Personal

34









Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships (Schaefer & Olson,

1981). Two scores were derived for each type of intimacy:

a perceived or realized score and an expected or ideal

intimacy score. The relationship between perceived and

expected intimacy and marital quality was investigated for

husbands and wives individually and for couples as a whole.

Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses, stated in null form, were

tested in this study:

Hypothesis one: There is no relationship between scores on

each of the five areas of perceived intimacy measured by the

PAIR and scores on marital quality measured by the DAS.

Hypothesis two: There is no relationship between scores on

each of the five areas of expected intimacy measured by the

PAIR and scores on marital quality measured by the DAS.

Hypothesis three: There is no relationship between indivi-

dual scores on marital quality assessed by the DAS and any

discrepancy between individual scores on perceived and

expected levels of intimacy as measured by the PAIR.

Hypothesis four: There is no relationship between a couple's

combined scores on the DAS and their differences in scores on

perceived intimacy in each of the five areas of intimacy

assessed by the PAIR.

Hypothesis five: There is no relationship between a couple's

combined scores on the DAS and their differences in scores on

expected intimacy in each of the five areas of intimacy

assessed by the PAIR.










Hypothesis six: There are no differences between males and

females on perceived and expected intimacy as assessed by the

PAIR inventory.

Subjects

The potential participant-pool for this study was com-

prised of all couples in the Gainesville area who satisfied

the requirements for inclusion in the study sample. Gaines-

ville is the major urban area of Alachua County, Florida. It

is located in north central Florida. The population of the

city of Gainesville is approximately 83,000. Gainesville is

the home of the University of Florida, a public, state-funded

institution. The university enrollment is approximately

33,000 with a faculty and staff of 9,332.

Participation in the study required couples to be

married or living together for a minimum of one year and a

maximum of ten; they also had to be childless at the tire of

participation in the study.

A total of eighty-five couples participated in this

study. Twenty-seven couples were recruited from the

community at large, while fifty-eight couples were recruited

from the University of Florida family housing complexes.

Procedures

Couples for this study were selected from the Gaines-

ville population. First, several attempts were made to

recruit couples by advertising the opportunity to partici-

pate, without cost, in a one and a half hour enrichment pro-

gram for couples. This advertisement was delivered door to










door to the two largest family housing complexes at the

University of Florida and was also disseminated throughout the

campus and the community at large. This approach was

not successful in recruiting couples. A second attempt

to recruit couples was made by contacting several churches

in the Gainesville area and offering a program for couples.

Although this attempt was a little more successful in

attracting some couples, they all had children and there-

fore did not satisfy the requirements for inclusion in

this investigation.

The procedure that proved successful for recruitment

of childless couples was the personal contact. Two

approaches were followed for recruiting childless couples

by personal contact. One was contacting friends, colleagues,

and acquaintances throughout the community to develop a

search network for childless couples. These individuals

through their places of employment and/or their community

involvement located thirty-six childless couples willing to

participate in this study. The researcher distributed the

questionnaire packages to the contact persons and they

distributed them to the childless couples. Each package con-

tained two envelopes coded for males and females each con-

taining all the inventories and consent form (see Appendix

A) for each participant. The envelopes were self-addressed

to the researcher and with postage so that once completed

each participant could put it in the mail. Of the









thirty-six childless couples located by this approach thirty

returned their inventories and of these, three were incom-

plete and therefore were not included in the study. A total

of twenty-seven sets of usable responses were collected via

this approach.

The second successful approach in recruiting childless

couples was directly conducted by the researcher. A list of

all students registered at the University of Florida for

Summer Semester who had reported their marital status as

married was secured from the office of the Registrar. This

list contained the names and telephone numbers of 248 indivi-

duals living in four of the family housing complexes of the

University of Florida. An attempt was made to contact on the

phone all 248 individuals to locate those living with their

spouses and without children. A total of 185 family housing

households were contacted, and 81 childless couples wee. located

through this method. Seventeen of the located childless

couples declined to participate in the study, while sixty-

four couples agreed to participate. Those childless couples

willing to participate were delivered to their apartment

doors a package containing two envelopes coded for males and

females each containing all the inventories and consent form

for each participant. Instructions were given for each

spouse to complete the inventories independently of each

other and to place the responses back in the envelope and

seal it. Couples were later contacted on the phone again to

make arrangements to collect their envelopes at their homes.










All sixty-four packages were collected. Two packages were

left blank by both spouses, and four packages were incomplete

and therefore they were not included in the study. A total

of fifty-eight packages containing the responses of both

spouses were secured in this manner.

Instrumentation

Two paper and pencil instruments and a demographic

questionnaire were used in this study.

Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships

The Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationship

(PAIR) is a self-report inventory developed by Schaefer and

Olson (1981). Published by Family Social Science, University

of Minnesota, the PAIR contains 36 items and assesses five

types of intimacy: recreational, social, emotional,

intellectual, and sexual. Six items measure each of the five

areas. In addition, a conventionality scale (adapted from

Edmonds, 1967) has been incorporated into the scale. Sub-

jects are instructed to respond in two steps to the inven-

tory. An individual first responds to the items in terms of

how his/her relationship is at the present time (perceived

or realized intimacy). After this step is completed, indivi-

duals are asked to respond to the same items in terms of hou

they would like their relationship to be (expected or ideal

intimacy). Thus two scores are obtained for each of the five

types of intimacy measured--a perceived score and an expected

intimacy score; there is no "total" score.









The authors of this instrument indicate that the PAIR

can be used with different types of relationships, from

friendships to marriages (Schaefer & Olson, 1981). Test

items are in the form of statements about the relationship:,

and the individual responds to them by using a five point

scale: from strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, neutral,

somewhat agree, to strongly agree.

The PAIR was developed in a relatively rigorous manner.

There were seven a priori conceptual areas of intimacy:

intellectual, emotional, sexual, recreational, social,

aesthetic, and spiritual (Olson, 1975). Statements from

professionals in the field of marriage and family studies

were solicited in relation to these seven areas as well as in

relation to intimacy in general. In addition, discussions

with several groups about intimacy were taped and analyzed

in order to search for additional dimensions of intimacy.

These groups were composed of individuals involved in marital

enrichment programs and graduate level family studies

students. These statements, discussions, and tapes yielded

350 potential items which were classified by marriage and

family professionals into the seven types of intimacy. One

hundred and thirteen of those 350 items were selected

based upon the criteria that they were conceptually related,

clear and appropriate to the categories (Schaefer & Olson,

1981).

The first sample selected to validate the PAIR ranged

in age from 18 to 61 with a median age of 29. Over 50% of










these individuals were married, 70% were females, and 30%

males. The criteria used in selecting items for each scale

were (1) that items had a frequency split of approximately 50%-50%,

(2) that only items correlated highly with their own a priori

scale were selected, (3) that items loaded sufficiently high on

one factor, (4) and that items be balanced in terms of positive

and negative scoring (Schaefer & Olson, 1981). Based on this

item analysis, the aesthetic and spiritual intimacy scales

were eliminated from the instrument.

Of the original factor pool of 113 items, 60 were selected

for the inventory, ten items for each scale. Fifteen items of

the Edmonds Conventionality Scale (Edmonds, 1967) were also

included and scored separately in order to determine if the

individual taking the inventory was attempting to create a good

impression.

For the second application of the PAIR. 192 non-clinical

couples were selected. Once again, both an item analysis and

factor analysis were conducted to test for adequacy of the items and the

scale. The same previously discussed criteria were utilized

for item selection. At this time the inventory was modified to its

present 36 item format in which six items are used in measuring each of

five intimacy categories and an additional six items measure conventionality.

Validity and Reliability. Since the PAIR is a relatively new scale

it is not reported in the measurement literature as of yet.

Schaefer and Olson (1981) report, however, that in a concurrent









validity study conducted by Hanes and Waring (1979) the

Waring Intimacy Questionnaire was compared to the PAIR. It

was found that these two scales were significantly related

(r = .77; p < .01) (Schaefer & Olson, 1981).

In its final form, the PAIR perceived scores were cor-

related with scores from the Locke-Wallace Short Marital Ad-

justment Test. The Pearson Correlation Coefficients reported'

from this comparison were as follows:

PAIR Marital Adjustment
Subscales Husband Wife Couple

Emotional .47 .57 .62

Social .38 .44 .48

Sexual .34 .36 .41

Intellectual .51 .55 .61

Recreational .51 .51 .59

Testing for reliability was done by the split-half

method of analysis. The authors report that no test-retest

analysis has been conducted. The Cronbach's Alpha Reliabil-

ity Coefficients reported are as follows:

Subscale
(6 items per scale) Alpha Reliability Coefficient

Emotional .75

Social .71

Sexual .77

Intellectual .70

Recreational .70

Conventionality .80










Scores on the PAIR can range from 0 to 96. Average

perceived scores reported for non-clinical couples are as

follows: Emotional X = 46 SD = 17; Social 7 = 61 SD = 16.9;

Intellectual X = 50 SD = 17; Sexual X = 58 SD = 18.8; Recrea-

tional I = 58 SD = 15; Conventionality X = 38 SD = 17. The

average expected score ranged between 80 and 86. The average

discrepancy between males and females in perceived scores was

14 to 20 points (Schaefer & Olson, 1981).

Dyadic Adjustment Scale

The Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) is a self-report

inventory developed by Spanier (1976). It contains 32 items

and measures overall marital quality. The inventory is

composed of four subscales: Dyadic Consensus (13 items),

Dyadic Satisfaction (10 items), Dyadic Cohesion (5 items),

and Affectional Expression (4 items). This scale was

developed for use with any type of primary relationships, but

its validity and reliability were established with married

and divorced individuals. The DAS does not have a measure of

conventionality or social desirability.

Validity and Reliability. Extensive evidence regarding con-

tent validity, criterion-related validity, and construct

validity are available for the Dyadic Adjustment Scale.

Content validity was obtained by evaluation of the scale

by three judges. Items were included only if the judges con-

sidered them to be (1) relevant measures of dyadic adjust-

ment for relationships of the seventies; (2) consistent with

the theoretical definitions expressed by the author for









marital quality; (3) carefully worded with appropriate fixed

choice responses (Spanier, 1976). Criterion-related validity

was established by comparing responses of married vs.

divorced individuals. "Each of the 32 items in the scale

correlated significantly with the external criterion of

marital status for each item, the divorced sample

differed significantly from the married sample (p < .001)

using a t-test for assessing differences between sample

means" (Spanier, 1976, p. 23). Construct validity was

established by correlating the DAS with the Locke-Wallace

Short Marital Adjustment Test (Locke & Wallace, 1959). The

correlation reported between these two scales for the total

sample was .93 ( p < .001) (Spanier, 1976).

In terms of reliability, Spanier (1976) reports a Cron-

bach's Coefficient Alpha of .96. A reliability coefficient

of .96 was also obtained with the Spearman-Brown formula.

In a recent confirmatory analysis of the DAS, Spanier and

Thompson (1982) report obtaining a reliability coefficient of

.91 using Cronbach's coefficient alpha with a new sample.

Scores for the DAS can range from 0 to 151. The

average total scale score for the married sample was 114.3

with a standard deviation of 17.8; and for the divorced

sample was 70.7 with a standard deviation of 23.8.

Applications of the DAS. Soanier and T:P-::p (1932) report than nore

than three hundred researchers have contacted the developer

of the Dyadic Adjustment Scale indicating their wishes to usa

the inventory in research.









The following studies are just a few of those to have

reached publication. They are reported here in chronological

order. Houseknecht (1979) utilized the DAS to compare the

marital adjustment of childless women with the marital ad-

justment of mothers. Fitzpatrick and Best (1979) employed

the DAS to discriminate among various types of couples in

terms of agreement-disagreement on couple's involvement to-

gether in outside activities. The DAS has also been utilized

to study the relationship between female employment and

marital adjustment (Houseknecht and Macke, 1981). Hanse:n

(1981) reexamined the functionality of conventionalization on

marital adjustment by means of the DAS. McRoy and Fisher

(1982) examined the marital quality of graduate students

using the DAS; while Davis and associates (1982) utilized the

DAS to compare the effects of two different types of marital

enrichment programs on marital adjustment. Spanier and

Furstenberg (1982) utilized the DAS to establish the effects

of remarriage status, sex, and presence or absence of

children in the home on well-being. Finally, in 1983, two

studies appeared in the literature utilizing the DAS. David-

son and associates (1983) studied the relationship between

affective self-disclosure and marital adjustment in college

students; while Thompson and Spanier (1983) studied the rela-

tionship between marital termination and marital history

variables.

As this review of the utilization of the DAS demonstrates

this inventory has been employed to study a wide variety of

topics .









Demographic Information Ouestionnaire

The Demographic Information Questionnaire (see Appendix

B) is a data sheet developed by the researcher to assess

demographic characteristics of the sample to be studied. The

use of this questionnaire allowed the investigator to assess

the sex and age of participants, the number of years the

individual has been married and whether or not there had been

a previous marriage. It also assessed the number of children

in the family, and if there were no children, the reasons for

this decision. The Demographic Information Questionnaire

also assessed the participants occupation, education,

religious affiliation, and ethnicity. A final area of

inquiry was assessing the individual's reaction to marital

counseling.

Information obtained from this questionnaire was

utilized solely for the purpose of describing the sample.

Analysis of Data

The data collected for this study were analyzed by

several statistical procedures. Pearson Product Moment

Correlation Coefficients were computed to analyze hypotheses

one, two, three, four, and.five. Furthermore, regression

analyses with quadratic and cubic terms included in the

models were computed to further investigate the relationships

postulated in hypotheses four and five. Hypothesis six ~as

analyzed by computing a series of related sample t-tes-s.

To assess the combined contribution of all the inde-

pendent variables to marital quality ratings,t:o overall





47



regression models were generated, one for males and one for

females. These models were then reduced by use of stepwise

regression procedures. Other regression models were also

generated to assess the combined contribution of several

clusters of intimacy variables to marital quality ratings.

These models were also computed separately for males and for

females, and the contributions of each variable to the total

model we analyzed y testing partial regression coefficients.

Limitations of the Study

There were several factors involved in this study that

may limit its generalizability. The first limitation

concerns the sample employed. Couples selected for this

study were volunteers; therefore they may not resemble the

general population of couples. Generalizations of the find-

ings of this study to non-volunteers should be done with cau-

tion. Another consideration is that data were collected only

once. Relationships are processes in constant state of flux;

therefore the study sampled just a point in time in the rela-

tionship rather than the relationship per se. A further

limitation was related to the use of self-report measures.

These types of assessment allow for the possibility of

faking, attempting to present a good image, response set, and

misunderstandings. Although some of these difficulties may

have been balanced by the positive and negative scoring in

the PAIR, others were not controlled for, and therefore they

may have somewhat affected the results.






48


Finally, it is important to limit any generalization

from this study to childless couples only, since it has

been demonstrated by other researchers that these couples

are a unique group with several differences from other

couples populations.













CHAPTER IV
RESULTS


The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship

in childless couples between marital quality and five differ-

ent intimacy variables. To accomplish this, responses -o the

Dyadic Adjustment Scale and the Personal Assessment of Inti-

macy in Relationships were collected from 85 childless

couples. To analyze these relationships, Correlation Coef-

ficients and related sample t-tests were computed. In addi-

tion, several regression models were developed to assess the

combined contribution of the identified intimacy variables to

ratings of marital quality.

This chapter includes a description of the sample

utilized in the study, the results of the data analyses test-

ing the six postulated hypotheses, and the results of the

regression models.

Description of the Sample

A total of 117 childless couples were contacted for this

study. Of these, seventeen couples refused to participate,

eight couples did not return their inventories, and seven did

not return completed questionnaires. Eighty-five couples

(N = 170) returned complete data sets and were included in

the study.

Results of the demographic questionnaire administered to

all subjects revealed the average age for male subjects to










be 28.3 years, and the average age for female subjects to be

26.3 years. In terms of education the average number of

years of school completed for males was 17.1, while for

females it was 15.6. These findings are presented in Table

1. T-tests for related samples indicated that these differ-

ences between males and females were significant in both

areas at the p < .0001 level of significance (age t = 6.56;

school t = 5.31).


TABLE 1
AGE, EDUCATION, AND RELATED SAMPLE t-TEST
FOR MALES AND FEMALES.


VARIABLE MALEa FEMALE t
VAIABLt-TEST
MEAN SD RANGE MEAN SD RANGE

Age 28.3 5.8 20-53 26.3 4.7 19-48 6.56*

Education 17.1 2.5 12-24 15.6 2.1 10-24 5.31*
(in years)


n=85 for each sex group
p < .0001


The sample was composed primarily of individuals in

their first marriage (n = 158). Only nine participants re-

ported that they were currently in a remarriage. In addition

two participants reported their relationship status as

divorced/cohabiting, while another reported widowed/remarried

status. The average length of the present marital relation-

ship for the total sample was 3.1 years. These sample char-

acteristics are presented in Table 2.










TABLE 2
RELATIONSHIP STATUS OF PARTICIPANTS


CHARACTERISTICS N YEARS


Average length of present 170 3.1
relationship

Number of married only once 158

Number of divorced/remarried 9

Number of divorced/cohabiting 2

Number of widowed/remarried 1



Other characteristics describing the sample were those

of religious affiliation, race or ethnicity, reasons for

not having children, and occupational status. The sample

consisted of 38% protestants, 28% without religious affilia-

tion, 22% Catholics, 2% Muslem, 2% Jewish, 2% Buddists, 3%

reporting either other religious affiliations or a combina-

tion of several of the above religions, and 3% did not

respond to the religious affiliation question. The majority

of the sample was white, 75%, followed by 12% of His-

panic origin, 9% Asian, and 3% black, other unspecified

race or ethnic background comprised 1% of the sample.

Since the sample was restricted to childless couples,

the decision concerning their childless status was assessed.

Fifty-six percent reported they were postponing becoming

parents. Sixteen percent reported they were unsure as to

whether they wanted children. Fourteen percent reported they

were expecting a child or in the process of attempting to










conceive one. Eight percent of the sample reported not

wanting to have children, while 2% reported to be physically

unable to have children and 2% reported disagreement with

their spouse regarding wanting children. Two percent of

the sample did not respond to the children question.

The occupational status of the participants was classi-

fied using a variation of the classification system devel-

oped by the U.S. Department of Labor (1965). Forty-four

percent of the participants were students. (Another 8%

reported student status as well as some sort of employment.)

Twenty percent were classified as professional/managerial.

Twelve percent were classified as sales/clerical. Nine

percent reported occupations that were classified as skilled.

Housewives comprised 3% of the respondents. One percent

were in semi-skilled occupations, and 1% were unemployed.

Two percent of the sample did not respond to the occupation

question. These characteristics are summarized in Table 3.

In order to determine how representative the sample used

in this study was of couples in general, mean scores and

standard deviations were computed for both the DAS and the

PAIR inventory by sex group and for the total sample.

Results of these computations indicated that the sample can

be classified as one of happily married couples based on its

similarities with the DAS normative sample. Table 4 presents

a comparison of DAS scores from this study with those

reported for the development of the DAS.










TABLE 3
SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS OF PARTICIPANTS (IN PRECENTAGE)


CHARACTERISTICSa %


RELIGION
Protestant 38
None 28
Catholic 22
Muslem 2
Jewish 2
Buddist 2
Other 3
No response 3

RACE/ETHNICITY
Caucasian 75
Hispanic 12
Asian 9
Black 3
Other 1

REASONS FOR NOT HAVING CHILDREN
Postponing 56
Not sure of wanting children 16
Expecting or in the process of 14
attempting to have children
Do not want children 8
Unable physically to have children 2
Disagreement with spouse regarding 2
wanting children
No response 2

OCCUPATION
Student 44
Professional/Managerial 20
Sales/Clerical 12
Skilled 9
Student/Employed 8
Housewife 3
Semi-skilled 1
Unemployed 1
No response 2


aN = 170










TABLE 4
MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND RANGE FOR THE DYADIC ADJUSTMENT
SCALE FOR THIS STUDY-SAMPLE AND THE NORMATIVE SAMPLE


VARIABLE THIS SAMPLEa SPANIER'S SAMPLE
Mean SD Range Mean SD Range


DAS 116.4 17.3 30-148 114.8 17.8 not
report-
ed


aN = 170


Results from the PAIR inventory yielded two sets of

scores: one on perceived intimacy and the other on expected

intimacy. A comparison between the scores obtained in this

study and the ones reported by Schaefer and Olson (1981) in

the Perceived Intimacy Scales is presented in Table 5. They

are reported as with the normative sample by combining hus-

band and wife scores and dividing them in half. Results from

the Expected Intimacy Scales are presented in Table 6. Since

Schaefer and Olson do not report these scores for the

development of the PAIR, it isimpossible to offer a comparison.

To further describe the sample from this study, another

computation was executed. The discrepancy between perceived

and expected intimacy was obtained for every participant in

each of the five areas of intimacy studied and conventional-

ity. The average discrepancies are presented separately for

males and females in Table 7.










TABLE 5
MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND RANGE FOR PERCEIVED SCORES ON
THE PERSONAL ASSESSMENT OF INTIMACY IN RELATIONSHIPS FOR THIS
STUDY-SAMPLE AND THE NORMATIVE SAMPLE


PAIR SCALES THIS SAMPLEa SCHAEFER AND OLSON'S SAMPLE
MEAN SD RANGE MEAN SD RANGE


Perceived
Emotional
Intimacy
(PEI)

Perceived
Social
Intimacy
(PSI)

Perceived
Sexual
Intimacy
(PSXI)

Perceived
Intellectual
Intimacy
(PII)

Perceived
Recreational
Intimacy
(PRI)

Convention-
ality


71.7 20.9 00-96




65.4 20.8 08-96




73.6 20.9 04-96




69.5 19.8 00-96




72.8 17.5 00-96




66.8 20.8 00-96


aN = 170


16.9


18.8


10-88




14-92




06-94




12-88




16-92




08-86










TABLE 6
MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND RANGE
FOR EXPECTED SCORES ON THE PERSONAL ASSESSMENT
OF INTIMACY IN RELATIONSHIPS


PAIR SCALES MEANa SD RANGE


Expected Emotional Intimacy (EEl) 90.7 8.3 64-96

Expected Social Intimacy (ESI) 75.9 15.8 28-96

Expected Sexual Intimacy (ESXI) 88.4 11.1 48-96

Expected Intellectual Intimacy (EII) 83.6 12.6 48-96

Expected Recreational Intimacy (ERI) 86 9.9 56-96

aN = 170



TABLE 7
MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND RANGE FOR THE DISCREPANY SCORES
ON THE PAIR INVENTORY BETWEEN PERCEIVED AND EXPECTED INTIMACY


MALESa FEMALES
AREA OF DISCREPANCY MALESa FEMALES
Mean SD Range Mean SD Range


Emotional Intimacy 15.6 18.2 -08 84 22.2 21.6 -08 84
(DEI)

Social Intimacy 11.2 16.5 -16 76 9.6 16.5 -44 72
(DSI)

Sexual Intimacy 14.0 20.0 -24 80 15.3 20.2 -16 92
(DSXI)

Intellectual 12.7 16.2 -12 72 15.3 17.2 -12 60
Intimacy
(DII)

Recreational 13.9 15.4 -20 84 12.3 15.5 -16 72
Intimacy (DRI)


*Discrepancy scores
Perceived Score


= Individual


Expected Score minus


an = 85 for each sex group










Findings Relating to the Null Hypotheses

Six research hypotheses were postulated for this study

in terms of single relationships between the dependent vari-

able of marital quality and each of the independent variables

of perceived and expected intimacy. All hypotheses were

tested separately for males and for females.

Hypothesis one: There is no relationship between
scores on each of the five areas of perceived
intimacy measured by the PAIR inventory and scores
on marital quality measured by the DAS.

To test this hypothesis, correlations coefficients be-

tween scores on the Dyadic Adjustment Scale and scores on the

five areas of perceived intimacy assessed by the Personal

Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships were computed

separately for males and females. As shown in Table 8, all

correlations obtained were significant at the p < .0001 level

of significance. Therefore hypothesis one was rejected.

The trend in the correlations was very similar for both

males and females. The relationship between marital quality

scores and perceived emotional intimacy scores was the highest

for both males and females: males r = .80, females r = .82.

Perceived intellectual and recreational intimacy were the next

two more powerful correlations. Perceived intellectual

intimacy correlated with the DAS scores as follows: for males

r = .72, for females r = .79. Perceived recreational intimacy

correlated with the DAS scores in the following manner: for

males r = .67, for females r = .79. The perceived social

intimacy scale correlated with the DAS scores r = .58 for










TABLE 8
PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS RELATING DAS
SCORES WITH EACH OF THE FIVE PAIR PERCEIVED SCALE SCORES AND
CONVENTIONALITY


PAIR SCALES DYADIC ADJUSTMENT SCALE
Malea Female


Perceived Emotional Intimacy .80* .82*

Perceived Social Intimacy .58* .53*

Perceived Sexual Intimacy .49* .65*

Perceived Intellectual Intimacy .72* .79*

Perceived Recreational Intimacy .67* .79*

Conventionality .73* .82*

an = 85 for each sex group
p < .0001


males, r = .53 for females. The perceived sexual intimacy

relationship to the DAS scores was r = .49 for males and r =

.65 for females.

A correlation coefficient was also computed to assess the

relationship between the Dyadic Adjustment Scale scores and

PAIR Conventionality Scale scores. The correlation coeffi-

cients obtained for this relationship were r = .73 for males

and r = .82 for females.

Hypothesis two: There is no relationship between
scores on each of the five areas of expected intimacy
measured by the PAIR and scores on marital quality
measured by the DAS.

The relationships between marital quality and each of the

five areas of expected intimacy were assessed by computing










Pearson Correlation Coefficients between DAS scores and the

scores from the five expected intimacy scales of the PAIR for

males and females. These results are presented in Table

9. Although the relationships were not as strong as those

demonstrated with the perceived scores, several of them

were statistically significant. Thus hypothesis two was

rejected.

The relationship between expected emotional intimacy

scores and the DAS scores was not significant for males;

however it was significant for females r = .44 (p < .0001).

The relationship between expected social intimacy scores and

the DAS scores was not significant for either males or

females. Expected sexual intimacy turned out to be signi-

ficant for females r = .30 (p < .005) but not significant

for males.

The relationships between marital quality scores and

expectations of intellectual and recreational intimacy were

significant both for males and females. Expected intellectual

intimacy scores correlated with the DAS scores r = .31

(p < .005) for males and r = .27 (p < .01) for females.

Expected recreational intimacy scores correlated with the DAS

scores r = .26 (p < .01) for males and r = .24 (p < .05) for

females.

Hypothesis three: There is no relationship between
individual scores on marital quality assessed by the
DAS and any discrepancy between individual scores on
perceived and expected levels of intimacy as measured
by the PAIR.










TABLE 9
PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS RELATING DAS
SCORES WITH EACH OF THE FIVE PAIR EXPECTED SCALE SCORES


PAIR SCALES DYADIC ADJUSTMENT SCALE
Malea Female


Expected Emotional Intimacy .21(ns) .44*

Expected Social Intimacy .10(ns) .17(ns)

Expected Sexual Intimacy .01(ns) .30**

Expected Intellectual Intimacy .31** .27***

Expected Recreational Intimacy .26*** .24****


a
n = 85 for each sex group
p < .0001
p < .005
p < .01
p < .05


To test this hypothesis a new set of variables was devel-

oped by subtracting the perceived PAIR intimacy score for each

area from the expected score in that same area. Five differ-

ential scores were obtained in this manner; these differential

scores were then correlated with individual DAS scores for

males and for females. Each of these five differential vari-

ables scores was significantly related at the p < .0001 level

of significance to the DAS scores for both males and females.

Thus hypothesis three was rejected. These findings are

presented in Table 10. The relationships among the DAS scores

and the differences between perceived and expected intimacy










TABLE 10
PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS RELATING DAS
SCORES WITH EACH OF THE FIVE PAIR DIFFERENTIAL SCORES


DIFFERENTIAL VARIABLES DYADIC ADJUSTMENT SCALE
(Expected-perceived) Malea Female


Diff. in Emotional Intimacy -.72* -.73*

Diff. in Social Intimacy -.65* -.48*

Diff. in Sexual Intimacy -.49* -.54*

Diff. in Intellectual Intimacy -.58* -.77*

Diff. in Recreational Intimacy -.55* -.77*

a
n = 85 for each sex group
p < .0001

scores were all negative, suggesting an inverse relationship

between marital quality and individual discrepancies in inti-

macy. That is marital quality scores decreased as the gap

between perceived and expected intimacy scores increased.

Although all these relationships were significant, no apparent

trend emerged. For males, the correlations among the DAS and

the differential intimacy variables were as follows:

Emotional r = -.72; Social r = -.65; Sexual r = -.49; Intel-

lectual r = -.58; Recreational r = -.55. For females, the

correlations among the DAS and the differences between

expected and perceived intimacy were as follows: Emotional

r = -.73; Social r = -.48; Sexual r = -.54; Intellectual r =

-.77; and Recreational r = -.77.










Hypothesis four: There is no relationship between
a couple's combined scores on the DAS and their
differences in scores on perceived intimacy in each
of the five areas of intimacy assessed by the PAIR.

Hypothesis four postulated that there was no relation-

ship between a couple's combined marital quality score and

differences in their perceptions of intimacy. To assess

these relationships two new sets of variables were created.

A combined couple marital quality score variable was

created by adding the scores of husbands and wives on the

Dyadic Adjustment Scale. A couple's perceived intimacy

discrepancy variables were created by subtracting the wife's

scores on perceived intimacy from the husband's scores for

each couple on each of the five areas of intimacy studied.

Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficients were then gen-

erated for each of these hypothesized relationships. Setting

the probability level of significance at p < .05, none of

these relationships were found to be significant. Therefore

hypothesis four was not rejected. Table 11 depicts these

findings.

Since the findings of Table 11 suggested the possibility

of a nonlinear relationship between the combined DAS scores

and each of the differential variables of intimacy, a second

and third degree regression equation was generated and

examined. Results of these computations are shown in Table

12. Tests of partial regression coefficients indicated

that adding a quadratic term to the regression equation was

significant for some of the relationships. The relationship










TABLE 11
PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS RELATING
COMBINED COUPLE'S DAS SCORES WITH DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPOUSES
IN EACH OF THE FIVE AREAS OF PAIR PERCEIVED SCORES


DIFFERENTIAL VARIABLES
(Husband Perceived-Wife
Perceived)


DYADIC ADJUSTiEiT7 SCALE
(Husband + wife scores)a


Diff. in Emotional Intimacy -.19(ns)

Diff. in Social Intimacy .16(ns)

Diff. in Sexual Intimacy -.15(ns)

Diff. in Intellectual Intimacy -.09(ns)

Diff. in Recreational Intimacy -.17(ns)

aN = 85 couples

p < .05


TABLE 12
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F AND R-SQUARE OF THE
NONLINEAR MODEL OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES
ON PERCEIVED INTIMACY GIVEN THAT THE LINEAR TERMS
ARE ALREADY IN THE MODEL


DIFF. BETWEEN F VALUE P > F R-SQUARE
SPOUSES


PEI 2.59 .06 .08

PSI 1.86 .14 .06

PSXI 3.80 .01* .12

PII 1.43 .23 .05

PRI 3.73 .01* .12

Conventionality 2.87 .04** .09


N = 85










between combined scores on the DAS and the differences between

spouses in the areas of perceived emotional, social, and

intellectual intimacy were not significant. On the other

hand, combined scores on the DAS were significantly related

to the differences between spouses in perceived sexual

(F = 3.80 p < .01), and recreational intimacy ( F = 3.73 p <

.01) as well as on conventionality (F = 2.87 p < .04).

Hypothesis five: There is no relationship between a
couple's combined scores on the DAS and their differ-
ences in scores on expected intimacy in each of the
five areas of intimacy assessed by the PAIR.

Hypothesis five postulated that there were no relation-

ships between a couple's combined DAS scores and their differ-

ences in expectations of intimacy. To assess these relation-

ships the combined marital quality variable created to test

hypothesis four was employed, and new differential variables

were created by subtracting the wife's scores on expected

intimacy from the husband's scores for each couple for each of

the five areas of intimacy. Pearson Product Moment Correla-

tion Coefficients were then calculated for all these relation-

ships. None of these relationships were significant at the

p < .05 level of significance. Thus hypothesis five failed to

be rejected also. These findings are illustrated in Table 13.

As with the case of hypothesis four, these findings may

indicate that in reality there is no relationship between

combined scores on the DAS and the differences between sDouses

scores on intimacy, but they may also suggest a nonlinear










TABLE 13
PEARSON PRODUCT MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS RELATING
COMBINED COUPLE'S DAS SCORED WITH DIFFERENCES BETWEEN:
SPOUSES IN EACH OF THE FIVE AREAS OF PAIR EXPECTED SCORES


DIFFERENTIAL VARIABLES DYADIC ADJUSTMENT SCALE
(Husband Expected-Wife (Husband + Wife Scores)a
Expected)


Diff. in Emotional Intimacy -.ll(ns)

Diff. in Social Intimacy -.02(ns)

Diff. in Sexual Intimacy -.18(ns)

Diff. in Intellectual Intimacy .08(ns)

Diff. in Recreational Intimacy .02(ns)

aN = 85 couples
p < .05


relationship. To investigate the possibility of a nonlinear

relationship a second and third degree regression equation was

generated and analyzed. Table 14 depicts these findings.

The relationship between differences between spouses

scores on expected social, and intellectual intimacy with com-

bined scores on the DAS yielded non-significant results. A

significant relationship was established between combined

scores on the DAS and differences between spouses on expected

emotional intimacy (F = 6.09 p < .001), expected sexual

intimacy (F = 11.46 p < .0001), and recreational intimacy

(F = 3.60 p < .01).

Hypothesis six: There are no differences between
males and females on perceived and expected intimacy
as assessed by the PAIR inventory.










TABLE 14
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE OF THE
NONLINEAR MODEL OF DIFFERENCES BEIWEE;, MALES AND FEMALES
ON EXPECTED INTIMACY GIVEN THAT THE LINEAR TERMS ARE
ALREADY IN THE MODEL


DIFF. BETWEEN SPOUSES F VALUE P > F R-SQUARE


EEI 6.09 .001* .18

ESI 0.23 .87 .003

ESXI 11.46 .0001* .29

EII 0.77 .51 .02

ERI 3.60 .01 .11


N = 85


Since hypothesis six postulated that there were no dif-

ferences between the sexes in their perceptions and expecta-

tions of intimacy the analyses utilized to assess this ques-

tion were those of t-tests for related samples. T-tests of

the differences between male and female PAIR score means were

calculated. The results of these t-tests appear in Table 15.

Significant differences between male and female mean scores

were found for both the perceived emotional and recreational

intimacy scales ( p < .05). Thus hypothesis six was rejected.

Although not stated as a research hypothesis, one

important aspect of this study was to ascretain the combined

effect of intimacy on marital quality. Since it was demon-

s-rated in this study that each of the rating of perceived

intimacy, and several of the expected intimacy ratings are










TABLE 15
RELATED SAMPLE T-TEST OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALE AND
FEMALE MEAN SCORES ON THE PAIR INVENTORY SCALESa


PAIR SCALES t PR T


PEI 2.30 .02*

PSI -1.91 .06

PSXI 0.48 .63

PII 0.61 .54

PRI -2.36 .02*

Conv. 0.40 .69

EEI -1.48 .14

ESI -1.10 .27

ESXI -0.25 .80

EII -1.07 .28

ERI -1.46 .14


aN = 85 couples
p < .05


significantly related to marital quality, the next logical

step was to estimate the amount of variance in marital quality

scores that could be attributed to the combined independent

variables. To accomplish this, a series of regression equa-

tions were computed and analyzed separately for males and

females.

To estimate the combined contribution of perceived inti-

macy and conventionality to marital quality, a regression model










that included the five areas of perceived intimacy and the

conventionality scale was generated. Results of these find-

ings are presented in Table 16.


TABLE 16
F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE REGRESSION
MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DAS AND
PERCEIVED INTIMACY AND CONVENTIONALITY FOR MALES AND FEMALES


MALESa FEMALES
F P > F R-SQUARE F P > F R-SQUARE

PEI PSI PSXI 38.59 .0001 .74 57.81 .0001 .81
PII PRI CONV


n = 85 for each sex group


The combined contribution of perceived emotional, social,

sexual, intellectual, and recreational intimacy plus conven-

tionality was found significant for both males and

females. For males, this contribution accounted for 74% of

the variance in marital quality scores (F = 38.59, P > F =

.001, R-Square = .74), while for females, the combined contri-

bution of perceived intimacy and conventionality accounted for

81% of the variance in marital quality scores (F = 57.81,

P > F = .0001, R-Square = .81). By analyzing the partial

regression coefficients for this model,it was discovered that

some of the variables were not significant beyond the contri-

bution of others when entered into the model. Therefore a

stepwise regression procedure with a criterion of .05 level of
significance was computed to estimate the best predictive

models of marital quality from the perceived intimacy and









conventionality scores model. The stepwise regression proce-

dure identified perceived emotional intimacy, perceived social

intimacy, conventionality, and perceived recreational intimacy

as the best predictor of marital quality scores for males,

accounting for 74% of its variance (F = 57.95, P > F = .0001,

R-square = .74). Partial F values, probability levels, and R-square

increases for this model depicting the contribution of each

significant variable to the total model are presented in Table 17.

TABLE 17
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND PERCEIVED INTIMACY AND CONVENTIONALITY
SCORES FOR MALES



VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SQUARE

PEI 154.24 .0001 .65

PSI/PEI 11.58 .001 .69

Conv./PEI, PSI 8.13 .005 .72

PRI/PEI, PSI, Cony. 6.87 .01 .74

n = 85


The stepwise procedure eliminated both perceived sexual intimacy

and perceived intellectual intimacy as not contributing to marital quality

scores beyond the contribution of the four identified signi-

ficant variables. Perceived emotional intimacy by itself

predicted 65% of the variance in marital quality scores, while

perceived social intimacy, conventionality, and perceived

recreational intimacy contributed an additional 4%, 3%, and 2%

respectively as each variable was added to the model.









The three variable model that best predicted marital quality

scores for females was composed of perceived emotional intimacy,

perceived recreational intimacy, and conventionality. These

three variables accounted for 80% of the variance in marital

quality (F = 111.58, P > F = .0001, R-Square = .80). Table 18

reports the partial F values, probability levels, and R-square

increases for this model.

TABLE 18
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BITU!EEN DAS SCORES AND PERCEIVED INTIMACY AND CONVENTIONALITY
SCORES FOR FEMALES


VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SOUARE

PEI 179.32 .0001 .68

PRI/PEI 27.44 .0001 .76

Conv./PEI,PRI 17.56 .0001 .80

n = 85

Perceived social intimacy, perceived sexual intimacy, and

perceived intellectual intimacy were eliminated from the model

as not contributing to the marital quality of females beyond

the contribution of perceived emotional intimacy, perceived

recreational intimacy, and conventionality. These three

variables increased the R-Square value 68%, 8%, and 4% respec-

tively when each of them was entered into the model.

Since conventionality is not a measure of intimacy it

was decided to also assess the contribution of perceived










intimacy to marital quality once conventionality was removed

from the regression model. These findings appear in Tabal

19.


TABLE 19
F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE REGRESSION
MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DAS AND
PERCEIVED INTIMACY FOR MALES AND FEMALES


MODEL MALEa FEMALE
F P > F R-SQUARE F P > F R-SQUARE


PEI PSI PSXI 42.06 .0001 .72 60.17 .0001 .79
PII PRI

an = 85 for each sex group.


Once conventionality was eliminated from the model,

perceived intimacy scores continued to be a powerful and

significant predictor of marital quality for both males and

females. For males this model reached 72% of the variance

in marital quality scores (F = 42.06, P > F = .0001,

R-Square = .72). For females, 79% of the variance in marital

quality scores was predicted from the perceived intimacy

scores (F = 60.17, P > F = .0001, R-Square = .79). Since the

partial regression coefficients indicated that some of the

terms in the equation did not contribute to the predictive

value of the total model, a stepwise regression procedure was

employed for each sex group to ascertain the best predictive

model of marital quality based on perceived intimacy.

For males, the perceived intimacy model that best

predicted marital quality was the one including the variables









of emotional intimacy, social intimacy, and recreational in-

timacy. These findings are depicted in Table 20. These three

variables combined contributed 71% of the variance in male

marital quality scores (F = 68.84, P > F = .0001, R-Square = .71).

The individual cumulative contribution of each of these variables

to the predictive model was 65%, 4%, and 2% respectively.


TABLE 20
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND PERCEIVED INTIMACY SCORES FOR MALES


VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SQUARE

PEI 154.24 .0001 .65

PSI/PEI 11.58 .001 .69

PRI/PEI,PSI 7.14 .009 .71

n = 85


The stepwise procedure for perceived intimacy resulted

in a different model for females. These results are shown in

Table 21. The best model for the female sample included the

variables of perceived emotional intimacy, perceived intellectual

intimacy, and perceived recreational intimacy, and accounted

for 77% of the variance in female's marital quality scores

(F = 94.97, P > F = .0001, R-Square = .77). The individual cumulative

contribution of each of these predictive variables to marital

quality scores was 68%, 8%, and 1% respectively.

In order to better understand the relationship between

intimacy and marital quality, several additional regression










TABLE 21
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN SCORES ON THE DAS AND PERCEIVED INTIMACY
FOR FEMALES


VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SQUARE


PEI 179.32 .0001 .63

PRI/PEI 27.44 .0001 .76

PII/PEI ,PRI 5.75 .01 .77

a
n = 85


analyses were executed.


First the combined contribution of


expected intimacy to marital quality was investigated. All

of the expected intimacy variables were entered into a re-

gression model and computed separately for males and for

females. Results of these computations are presented in

Table 22.


TABLE 22
F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE REGRESSION
MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DAS AND
EXPECTED INTIMACY FOR MALES AND FEMALES


MODEL MALEa FEMALE
F P > F R-SQUARE F P > F R-SQUARE

EEI ESI ESXI 2.80 .02 .15 4.54 .001 .22
EII ERI

n = 85 for each sex group.










The results obtained from combining the contribution of

expected intimacy scores, although significant, demonstrated

that expected intimacy scores account for only 15% of the

variance in marital quality scores for males (F = 2.80, P >

F = .02, R-Square = .15) and 22% of the variance in marital

quality scores for females (F = 4.54, P > F=.001, R-Square =

.22).

The importance of the differences between perceived and

expected intimacy in relation to marital quality was also

investigated. Again, a separate model for males and females

was generated and the discrepancy between perceived and

expected intimacy was entered into the regression model.

These discrepancy or differential variables were created by

subtracting perceived intimacy scores in each of the five

intimacy areas from their corresponding area of expected

intimacy. Table 23 illustrates these findings.


TABLE 23
F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE REGRESSION
MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DAS AND
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PERCEIVED AND EXPECTED
INTIMACY FOR MALES AND FEMALES


MODEL MALESa FEMALES
F P > F R-SQUARE F P > F R-SQUARE


DEI DSI DSXI 24.28 .0001 .60 46.63 .0001 .74
DII DRI

n = 85 for each sex group










The combined contribution of differences between

perceived and expected intimacy scores was significant for

both males and females. For males the combined difference

between perceived and expected intimacy scores accounted for

60% of the variance in marital quality scores (F = 24.23,

P > F = .0001, R-Square = .60). This relationship was even

stronger for females. Seventy-four percent of the variance

in female marital quality scores was accounted by the

differences between perceptions and expectations of intimacy

(F = 46.63, P > F = .0001, R-Square = .74).

A look at the partial regression coefficients for this

model indicated that not all the variables were significant

contributors to marital quality. Hence a stepwise regression

procedure was utilized to eliminate the non-contributors from

the model. Results from the stepwise procedure identified a

two variable model for males (See Table 24), and a three

variable model for females (See Table 25).

This stepwise procedure resulted in a reduced model in

which the difference between perceived and expected emotional

intimacy scores, and between perceived and expected social

intimacy scores accounted for 60% of the variance in marital

quality scores for males (F = 60.38, P > F = .0001,

R-Square = .60). Individually, each of these two differen-

tial variables contributed 52% and 8% respectively to male's

marital quality scores. Fdr teI female subsample the stepwise

procedure yielded a three variable model that included the










TABLE 24
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PERCEIVED
AND EXPECTED INTIMACY SCORES FOR MALES


VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SQUARE


DEI 90.74 .0001 .52

DSI/DEI 14.85 .0002 .60

n = 85


TABLE 25
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND DIFFERENCES IN PERCEIVED AND
EXPECTED INTIMACY SCORES FOR FEMALES


VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SQUARE


DEI 76.88 .0001 .59

DRI/DEI 27.21 .0004 .72

DII/DEI, DRI 13.71 .0001 .74

a
n = 85


difference between perceived and expected emotional intimacy,

between perceived and expected recreational intimacy,

and between perceived and expected intellectual intimacy

scores. This model accounted for 74% of the variance in

marital quality scores for females (F = 76.88, P > F =

.0001, R-Square = .74). Partial regression coefficients for

this model indicated that each of these variables contributed

59%, 13%, and 2% respectively to the combined prediction of


marital quality scores, in a cumulative manner.










In an attempt to estimate the relationship between the

DAS scores and the PAIR inventory scores, an overall

regression model including perceptions and expectations of

intimacy was generated and analyzed separately for males and

females. This model included the scores on the five areas of

perceived intimacy, the five areas of expected intimacy, and

the conventionality scale. The results are reported in

Table 26.


TABLE 26
F VALUES, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE OVERALL
REGRESSION MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE
DAS AND THE PAIR INVENTORY FOR MALES AND FEMALES


MODEL MALESa FEMALES
F P > F R-SQUARE F P > F R-SQUARE


PEI PSI PSXI
PII PRI CONV 25.94 .0001 .79 35.15 .0001 .84
EEI ESI ESXI
EII ERI

n = 85 for each sex group



The results of the overall model showed a strong

relationship between scores on the DAS and scores on the PAIR

inventory. For males, this relationship had a mnltiplecorrelatimn

coefficient of R = .88, and indicated that 79% of the

variance on the DAS scores was accounted for by scores on

the PAIR inventory (F = 25.94, P > F = .0001, R-Square = .79).

For females the multiple correlation coefficient between DAS

scores and PAIR scores was R = .91, indicating that 84% of









the variance on female DAS scores was accounted by their scores

on the PAIR inventory (F = 35.15, P > F = .0001, R-Square = .54).

Analysis of the partial regression coefficients for all the

variables in the overall model suggested that the model could

be reduced without lowering its predictive value since several

of the terms in the equation were not significant contributors

to the R-square value. Therefore, the stepwise procedure was

employed to generate the best predictive model. This procedure

resulted in a five variable model for males, and a three variable

model for females. When all the PAIR variables were entered

into the regression model, the stepwise procedure selected per-

ceived emotional intimacy, perceived social intimacy, expected

social intimacy, expected intellectual intimacy, and perceived

recreational intimacy as the best model to predict male scores

on the DAS. The reduced model accounted for 77% of the variance

in marital quality scores (F = 53.49, P > F = .0001, R-Squara = .77)

and is depicted in Table 27. The partial regression coefficients

for this model indicated that perceived emotional intimacy scores

contributed 65% of the variance on marital quality scores,

while the other four variables contributed an additional 4%, 3%,

3%, and 2% respectively as each variable was added to the model.

The reduced model for females was composed of perceived

emotional intimacy scores, perceived recreational intimacy scores,

and conventionality scores. These three variables combined

accounted for 80% of the variance on the DAS scores (F =










TABLE 27
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE DAS AND THE PAIR INVENTORY SCORES FOR MALES


VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SCUARE


PEI 154.24 .0001 .65

PSI/PEI 11.58 .001 .69

ESI/PEI, PSI 10.19 .002 .72

EII/PEI, PSI, ESI 8.92 .003 .75

PRI/PEI, PSI, ESI, EII 5.87 .01 .77

a
n = 85


111.58, P > F = .0001, R-Square = .80).


These findings


are shown in Table 28. Individually, perceived emotional

intimacy contributed 68% of the variance in marital quality

scores when all these variables were in the model, in addition

perceived recreational intimacy contributed 8%, and conven-

tionality scores contributed 4%, when entered into the model.


TABLE 28
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE DAS AND THE PAIR INVENTORY SCORES FOR FEMALES


VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SQUARE


PEI 179.32 .0001 .68

PRI/PEI 20.93 .0001 .76

Conv./PEI, PRI 17.56 .0001 .30

a
n = 85










Finally, the combined contribution to marital quality

scores of perceived intimacy and differences between percep-

tions and expectations of intimacy was assessed. This model

included the five perceived intimacy variables and the five

differential variables, and was computed separately for males

and females. These results are presented in Table 29.


TABLE 29
F VALUE, PROBABILITY OF F, AND R-SQUARE FOR THE REGRESSION
MODEL ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND.
PERCEIVED INTIMACY AND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PERCEPTIONS
AND EXPECTATIONS OF INTIMACY


MODEL MALESa FEMALES
F P > F R-SQUARE F P > F R-SQUARE

PEI PSI PSXI
PII PRI DEI 27.63 .0001 .78 35.23 .0001 .82
DSI DSXI DII
DRI

a
n = 85 for each sex group

Analysis of the partial regression coefficients

indicated that several of the variables in both the male and

female models did not contribute significantly to the overall

prediction of marital quality scores. A stepwise regression

procedure was then generated to identify the best predictive

models for males and females from all the variables included

in the perceived-differential intimacy model. The model

generated from this procedure for males is depicted in Table

30. It included the variables perceived emotional intimacy,

the difference between perceptions and expectations of social










intimacy, perceived recreational intimacy, and perceived

intellectual intimacy. This model accounted for 76% of the

variance in male's marital quality scores (F = 64.84, P > F =

.0001, R-Square = .76). Given that all these variables were

in the model, their individual cumulative contribution to the a.,rall

prediction of marital quality scores was 65%, 7%, 3%, and 1%

respectively.


TABLE 30
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND, PERCEIVED INTIMACY AND THE
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS OF
INTIMACY FOR MALES

VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SQUARE


PEI 154.24 .0001 .65

DSI/PEI 21.00 .0001 .72

PSI/PEI, DSI 9.62 .002 .75

PII/PEI, DSI, PSI 4.49 .03 .76

n = 85


The female model that emerged from the stepwise regres-

sion procedure was also a four variable model. It included

perceived emotional intimacy, the difference between per-

ceptions and expectations of recreational intimacy, perceived

intellectual intimacy, and the difference between perceptions

and expectations of social intimacy. These variables individually

and culatively contributed 68%, 8%, 3%, and 1% respectively to

the variance in marital quality scores accounting for a total










of 80% of the female's marital quality scores (F = 83.20,

P > F = .0001, R-Square = .80). Table 31 depicts these

findings.


TABLE 31
PARTIAL F VALUES, PROBABILITY LEVELS, AND R-SQUARES FOR THE
STEPWISE REGRESSION PROCEDURE ESTIMATING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN DAS SCORES AND, PERCEIVED I7TIM!ACY AND THE
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS OF
INTIMACY FOR FEMALES


VARIABLEa PARTIAL F P > F R-SQUARE


PEI 179.32 .OOC1 .68

DRI /PEI 27.73 .00C1 .76

PII/PEI, DRI 12.66 .00C6 .79

DSI/PEI, DRI, PII 4.41 .03 .30

n = 85


Summary

The results of this study indicated that a relationship

exists between marital quality and intimacy. These results

were analyzed separately for males and females, and yielded

different findings for the two groups.

In terms of the single relationships between each of

the independent variables and the dependent variable,

hypotheses one, two, three, and six were rejected. Tests for

hypothesis one indicated that a strong and significant

relationship existed between each of the five areas of

perceived intimacy and marital quality scores for both males

and females. A strong and significant relationship was also









established for both sexes between marital quality scores and

conventionality scores. Testing of hypothesis two yielded a

significant relationship between marital quality scores and ex-

pected intellectual intimacy scores and expected recreational

intimacy scores for males. For females, the significant relation-

ships derived from testing this hypothesis were between marital

quality and expected sexual intimacy, expected intellectual in-

timacy, and expected recreational intimacy scores. Significant

relationships were also established both for males and females,

between the differences in perceived and expected intimacy scores

in all five areas and marital quality scores by testing hypothesis

three. Tests for hypothesis six established that there were

significant differences between males and females perceptions

of intimacy in the emotional and recreational areas, but no sig-

nificant difference was found between males and females

expectations of intimacy.

Hypotheses four and five were not rejected because no

significant linear relationship was found between the combined

couples' marital quality scores and their differences in

perceptions nor expectations of intimacy scores. However,

when a quadratic and a cubic terms were added to the tests of

these hypotheses, significant results were found. These

results suggested a non-linear relationship between combined

couples' marital quality scores and differences in perceptions

of sexual intimacy, and recreational intimacy; between

differences in conventionality scores and combined couples'










marital quality scores; and between differences in expected

emotional, and sexual intimacy scores, and combined couples'

marital quality scores.

Finally, the assessment of the combined contribution of

intimacy scores to marital quality scores was estimated, for

men and women separately, by a series of regression equa-

tions. These regression equations were estimated for the

combined contribution of perceived intimacy, and convention-

ality; for the combined contribution of perceived intimacy by

itself; for the combined contribution of expected intimacy;

for the combined contribution of the differences between

perceptions and expectations of intimacy; for the combined

contribution to marital quality of all eleven intimacy

variables: and for the combined contribution of the differ-

ences between perceptions and expectations of intimacy, and

the perceived intimacy variables. These results were all

significant, and in all areas different models emerged for

men and women.













CHAPTER V
DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS


The primary objective of this study was to assess

whether and to what degree a relationship existed between

marital quality and intimacy in childless couples. The

results indicated that a strong and significant relation-

ship existed between marital quality and intimacy in the

sample studied. This chapter presents a discussion of :he

results reported in Chapter four. A comparison will be made

between the present sample and the normative samples cited

by Spanier (1976), and Schaefer anrrOlson (181). A discussion of the

findings relating to the hypotheses tested will also be

offered. Conclusions based on this study will be presented.

In addition, a section on recommendations for the future

will be found at the end of the chapter.

Discussion

There are several similarities and differences between

the present study sample and the normative sample of the DAS.

Although the sample size was smaller than the one discussed

by Spanier (1976) the average score on the DAS for this

sample compared quite well with the average score reported

by Spanier for happily married couples. In terms of sample

characteristics this study sample was younger, had more

advanced education, was married for less number of years,

and had less of a religious affiliation than that reported

85










in the Spanier sample. These demographic differences, given

similar scores on the DAS, tend to support the notion

presented in the review of the literature that demographic

characteristics have very little to do with the prediction of

marital quality (Campbell, et al., 1976; Gottman, 1979;

Young, 1982).

A comparison of this study sample with the one described

by Schaefer and Olson (1981) for the development of the PAIR

inventory yielded several differences. Schaefer and Olson's

sample was a larger, older, less educated group. In addi-

tion, they had been married for a longer period of time than

the sample used in this study. The findings of this study in

terms of averages on the five perceived intimacy scales were

significantly higher than those reported by Schaefer and

Olson. The average score on the Conventionality Scale was

also higher for this study sample than the one established

for the development of the PAIR inventory.

One possible explanation for these differences, other

than demographic characteristics, may lie in the nature of

these different populations. The population from which this

sample was selected was considered happily married based on

DAS scores. The Schaefer and Olson sample, although reported

happily married, consisted of participants of marital

enrichment programs. Couples who participate in marital

enrichment programs have been considered by some researchers

(Powell & Wampler, 1982) to fall in the mid-range between

clinical and happily married couples. Therefore, given the










strong relationship between marital quality and perceived

intimacy it might be expected that perceived intimacy scores

would be lower (as indeed they were) for the Schaefer and

Olson sample than for the sample in this study.

One parallel explanation may be found by looking at the

Conventionality Scales scores. This explanation is offered

by Hansen (1981) in his study of the relationship between

marital adjustment and conventionality. Hansen found that

conventionality "makes a genuine, contribution to mari-

tal adjustment scores" (p. 861-862). It can be inferred by

comparing the results from the Conventionality Scale from

this study with those from the Schaefer and Olson sample,

that the Schaefer and Olson sample camefrom a population of

lower marital quality and therefore obtained lower scores on

perceived intimacy and conventionality than those found in

this sample.

Another possible explanation for the differences in

scores between this sample and the Schaefer and Olson sample

may be the presence or absence of children. This study

utilized childless couples while the Schaefer and Olson study

does not mention this variable, therefore it is assumed that

both childless couples and couples with children were

included in the study. Several studies have demonstrated

that there are significant differences between childless

couples and couples with children (Feldman, 1981; Houseknecht,

1979; Ryder, 1973; Waldron & Routh, 1981). Higher scores on










perceived intimacy and conventionality may be one more dif-

ference between childless couples and parents.

Although the average scores on perceived intimacy were

higher for this study than for the normative sample, they do

follow the same trend of the Schaefer and Olson sample.

Schaefer and Olson (1981) reported that perceived emotional

intimacy, perceived intellectual intimacy, and perceived

recreational intimacy had the highest correlations of all the

intimacy scales when correlated with the Locke-Wallace Short

Marital Test. A high correlation was identified between all

five areas of perceived intimacy and the DAS in this study,

with the three more powerful correlations being those of

perceived emotional intimacy, perceived intellectual intimacy,

and perceived recreational intimacy. These findings are

congruent with those reported by the authors of the PAIR

Schaefer and Olson.

Since Schaefer and Olson do not offer normative data for

the expected intimacy scales, or for the differences between

perceptions and expectations of intimacy, a comparison of

findings in these areas can not be offered.

The sample for this study, on the other hand, seemed to be

quite representative of childless couples. In addition to

reporting higher levels of marital quality, more childless

couples than parents tend to report lack of religious affiliation.

Women in childless couples also tend to report higher levels

of education and more involvement in the workforce than mothers.








These were all characteristics found in this study sample;

therefore results from this study can best be generalized to

happily married childless couples in general.

Findings in relation to the hypothesized relationships

were quite congruent with the expected results, and they lend

support to the theoretical and clinical notions of the importance

of intimacy in marital relationships. More specifically they

lend support primarily to a positive relationship between per-

ceived intimacy and marital quality. Furthermore the findings

suggested that there are differences between males and females

in the manner they experience both perceptions and expectations

of intimacy. Men tend to perceive their marital relationships

as higher on levels of emotional intimacy than women, while

women perceived higher levels of recreational intimacy than men.

Although no other single measure of perceived intimacy resulted

in differences between males and females, when perceived in-

timacy was combined to assess: its contribution to marital quality,

the best predictor of marital quality for males was the model

composed of emotional intimacy, social intimacy, and recreational

intimacy. On the other hand, female marital quality was best

predicted from the model of perceived emotional intimacy, per-

ceived intellectual intimacy, and perceived recreational intimacy.

Expectations of intimacy although significant in some

areas do not appear to be a powerful predictor of marital

quality. For men, expectations of intellectual intimacy and

expectations of recreational intimacy were significant when

analyzed individually; for females, all areas of expected intimacy

except social intimacy, were significant when analyzed individually.