Perceptions of family interaction of dual career and traditional couples

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Perceptions of family interaction of dual career and traditional couples
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1983.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 83-94).
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by David Charles Williams.
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PERCEPTIONS OF FAMILY INTERACTION
OF DUAL CAREER AND TRADITIONAL COUPLES

By

DAVID CHARLES WILLIAMS


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



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1983













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The author wishes to express his sincere appreciation to all of

whose who have helped make this study possible. In particular, the

author would like to thank Dr. Ellen S. Amatea who has served as the

chairperson of his doctoral committee and has provided continuous

guidance, support, and suggestions. Sincere appreciation also goes

to Dr. James Algina for his patience and practicality. Dr. Paul Schauble

is also thanked for his support.

Of importance are the numerous professors from the University of

Florida and their spouses who gave so freely of their time in helping

the author conduct this study.

While too numerous to specifically mention, deep appreciation is

extended to close friends, professional colleagues, his staff at the

Adult Clinic of the North Central Florida Community Mental Health Center,

his family at the Crossroads Church of Christ, and Jesus Christ.

Much love is extended to the author's parents, Robert and Betty

Williams, for their continuous support, deep faith, complete confidence

and unending dedication. Enough could not be said of their love for

the author.

Most importantly, love, appreciation, and gratitude are extended

to the author's wife, Eru Ann Williams. She provided patience, love,

support, self sacrifice, and endurance which has only caused their love

to grow deeper.








Also, thanks go the author's son, Christopher, whose interruptions

served to add a little sunshine to an otherwise tedious task.

Lastly, thanks go to all of you who have touched this author's

life in ways which will never leave him the same.













TABLE OF CONTENTS


PAGE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. . . ii
LIST OF TABLES . . vi
LIST OF FIGURES. . . vii
ABSTRACT .. . . ..... viii

CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION ... .. .......... 1
Scope of the Problem .. 1
Theoretical Rationale. .. 5
Need for the Study ............... 8
Purpose of the Study ....... ........ 10
Definition of Terms. . 10
Organization of the Study. . 11

II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ..... 12
Evolution of the Dual Career Family Form 12
Role Expectations of Dual Career Couples 15
Dual Career Issues and Coping Styles 18
Concepts of Family Health. . 21
Research on Family and Marital Cohesion. 25
Research on Family and Marital Adaptability. 27
Research Studies on Cohesion and Adaptability. 29
Marital Satisfaction .. 31
Summary ... . .. 34

III RESEARCH METHODOLOGY .. .. 35
Population . .. 35
Sampling Procedures. . 37
Research Questions . 39
Instrumentation . 40
Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation
Scale. . . 40
Marital Satisfaction Scale . 44
Demographic Data Sheet. .. . 47
Data Collection. ..... . 47
Limitations of the Study ..... 47

IV RESULTS ...... . 48
Statistical Description of the Sample. 49
Comparisons of Dual Career and Traditional Per-
ceptions of Family Interaction and Marital Satis-
faction. ..... .... 52
Comparisons of Perceptions of Family Interaction
and Marital Satisfaction as a Function of Length
of Marriage, Age, and Presence of Children 53








Correlations of Family Interaction Variables
and Length of Marriage, Age, and Presence of
Children. . . .. 54
Husbands. . . 58
Wives ...... ............. 58

V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
FUTURE RESEARCH .............. 61
Summary ......... ............ 61
Discussion. . . .. 62
Limitations . .... 72
Conclusions ..... ......... 73
Recommendations for Future Research ...... 74

APPENDIX

A DEMOGRAPHIC DATA SHEET. . 77

B TELEPHONE PRESENTATION FOR SUBJECT SOLICITATION 79

C DUAL CAREER FAMILY PROJECT. . 81

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . 83

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. . . 95














LIST OF TABLES


TABLE PAGE

1 COMPARISON SAMPLE OF PROFESSORS. .. 36

2 NUMBER OF YEARS MARRIED. . 37

3 NUMBER OF YEARS IN CAREER. . .. 37

4 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FOR COHESION, ADAPT-
ABILITY, MARITAL SATISFACTION AND YEARS OF
MARRIAGE ...... ............. 50

5 COUPLES WITH AND WITHOUT CHILDREN. .. 51

6 T-TESTS COMPARING FAMILY TYPES ON COHESION,
ADAPTABILITY, AND MARITAL SATISFACTION 53

7 SUMMARY OF TESTS OF INTERACTION OF TYPE OF
FAMILY WITH AGE, NUMBER OF YEARS MARRIED, AND
PRESENCE OF CHILDREN . ... 55

8 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN NUMBER OF YEARS MARRIED,
AGE, AND COHESION, ADAPTABILITY AND MARITAL
SATISFACTION ............... 57

9 SUMMARY OF F TESTS COMPARING PRESENCE AND
ABSENCE OF CHILDREN ON COHESION, ADPATABILITY
AND MARITAL SATISFACTION .. 59

10 FACES II: CUTTING POINTS (NORMS). .. 65















LIST OF FIGURES


FIGURES


1 NUMBER OF YEARS MARRIED. . .


vii


PAGE













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



PERCEPTIONS OF FAMILY INTERACTION
OF DUAL CAREER AND TRADITIONAL COUPLES

By

DAVID CHARLES WILLIAMS

April, 1983


Chairperson: Dr. Ellen S. Amatea
Major Department: Counselor Education

Previous research with dual career couples has indicated that

dual careerists report greater stress and decreased marital satisfac-

tion in comparison to traditional couples. The purpose of this study was

to compare dual career and traditional couples in terms of their percep-

tions of their families' cohesion and adaptability, and their reported

level of marital satisfaction. Traditional and dual career husbands

and traditional and dual career wives were compared on these three

variables. Differences between these groups were also assessed as a

function of age, length of marriage, and presence of children.

Family adaptability and cohesion were measured by means of the

Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale II. Marital satis-

faction was assessed with the Marital Satisfaction Scale. Information re-

garding demographic variables was collected through a demographic data sheet.


viii







Data were collected on 72 couples who were university faculty and

spouses and were selected at random. All data were collected through

mail-out procedures to maintain respondent anonymity.

The t-tests assessing the differences between dual career and

traditional husbands and wives on the variables of cohesion, adaptability,

and marital satisfaction revealed no significant differences between

groups. Differences between groups were also examined as a function of

age, length of marriage, and presence of children through analysis of

covariance procedures. The only interaction noted was between adapt-

ability and years married for dual career and traditional wives. Both

younger traditional and older dual career wives reported higher adapt-

ability within their families than did older traditional and younger dual

career wives. Correlations were also computed relating each of the three

variables as a function of age, years married, and presence of children.

An inverse relationship was noted between cohesion and years married for

the husbands' and wives' groups. A positive correlation was noted

between adaptability and presence of children for the wives' groups.

In contrast, cohesion scores correlated negatively with the presence of

children for the husbands' groups. No significant correlations were

found between marital satisfaction and age, length of marriage, and

presence of children for these groups.

These findings stand in contrast to earlier dual career studies.

Implications for future research are discussed.















CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION



The American family has undergone radical change during the past

decade. One major change has been the trend toward husband and wife

jointly participating in wage earning for the family. Married women's

participation in the labor force doubled in frequency between 1900 and

1940, and doubled again between 1940 and 1960 (Troll, 1971). Many women

discovered that working not only brought additional income into the family,

but was quite personally satisfying and ego enhancing (Hunt & Hunt, 1977;

Rapoport & Rapoport, 1975). The family in which both partners view their

employment as permanent, continuous, voluntary, and satisfying has sub-

sequently emerged as a special type of family form known as the dual

career family (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1969).

The increased involvement of women in the work force has resulted

in certain changes within the structure of the family. Roles have

altered, child care arrangements have diversified, and the management of

time and stress have become important issues. Such changes have not always

been viewed favorably. Historically many persons have viewed the traditional

family with the husband as "sole breadwinner" as the ideal standard for

family life and functioning (Vincent, 1966). Adult masculinity itself is

still equated exclusively with successful work role performance. Deviations

from these accepted norms have caused concern as to how the family might be







affected emotionally. Several authors maintain that the emergence of

nontraditional family forms such as the dual career family have con-

tributed to the weakening of the institution of the family (Hunt &

Hunt, 1977; Nisbet, 1953; Parsons & Bales, 1955). Many feared that

problems would be created in marital and family relationships and ad-

justment to new roles would be extremely difficult for all individuals

involved.

Is the traditional family structure with the husband working and

the wife at home more satisfying than the dual career family structure

in which both adults are involved in careers? Orden and Bradburn (1969)

found that wives who had both a job and preschool children reported more

stress in their marital relationship than did full-time homemakers.

Heckman, Bryson and Bryson (1977) described dual career wives as re-

porting a wider variety of problems in adjusting to the lifestyle than did

dual career husbands. In sampling the attitudes of dual career husbands,

Burke and Weir (1976) found them reporting less satisfaction and support

within their marital relationship than did the traditional husbands.

Most family researchers take issue with these findings. They suggest

that satisfaction with a lifestyle depends more upon the quality of the

family's emotional involvement and interrelationships than upon the

specific family structure. Marotz-Baden, Adams, Buecke, Munro, and Munro

(1979), for example, maintain that the manner in which individuals relate

to each other in the family is the most important determinant of emotional

well-being. Following this line of thought, Maccoby (1958) and Hoffman

(1974) contend that not only does maternal employment have very little to do





3


with problems in the family, but employed mothers are viewed as very

important role models. Harrell and Ridley (1975) also observed that

employed mothers provided quality mother-child interactions.

Such conflicting literature frequently seems designed to prove one

family form superior to the other. Approaching this important issue by

examining each lifestyle in terms of the differing expectations dual career

and traditional husbands and dual career and traditional wives hold for

family interaction may be more productive. Since both dual career and

traditional families now comprise significant portions of the overall

population, a comparison of the needs and expectations of spouses in each

of these family types may provide a wider spectrum of information as to

what contributes to the growth and well-being of members in each of these

family forms. This would enable their unique needs to be met and particular

problems addressed.

Scope of the Problem

The dual career couple, a form of the dual income family, has been

considered a less desirable family structure by some experts (Burke &

Weir, 1977). The dual career family has been viewed as insufficient in

providing the necessary emotional support and security needed to insure

a positive emotional family environment. Research writers have reported

dual career husbands describing the marital relationship as less satis-

factory than traditional husbands because they feel less support from their

wives (Burke & Weir, 1976). Bailyn (1970) in assessing 222 couples reported

that dual career marital relationships could be threatened if the wife was

too overly committed to her career. Statistics also indicate that dual







career couples are more likely to divorce than the general population

(Berman, Sachs, & Lief, 1975; Housekneckt and Spanier, 1980). Others

document the dual career couple experiencing increased internal and ex-

ternal family stress due to the newness of their lifestyle (Bain, 1978),

difficulties in resolving role strain (Epstein, 1971; Rapoport & Rapoport,

1971), a more limited spectrum of friends (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976),

less contact with kinship relations (St. John-Parsons, 1978), decreased

attention to household duties (Blood & Wolfe, 1960), reduced quality of

care and emotional development of children (Miller, 1976; bMore, 1969;

Woods, 1972), and a desire for fewer children (Hall & Hall, 1979).

Many researchers interpret these findings as deficiencies in the dual

career family. Is the dual career family a less functional family form

or do its members possess both differing needs and expectations? Those who

support the dual career family insist that it is, in fact, a more satisfying

and growth enhancing lifestyle than that provided by the traditional family.

Literature describes dual career couples as reporting satisfactory relation-

ships when they both agree upon their lifestyle and mutually support each

other (Orden & Bradburn, 1969). Research on dual career women characterizes

them as being more productive than other females in their respective pro-

fessions (Bryson, Bryson, Licht & Licht, 1976), able to adjust to role

strain and marital stress (Holahan and Gilbert, 1979; Poloma, 1972),

encouraging more independence in their children (Hoffman, 1974), and enjoying

a higher standard of living (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971). Still others

insist that the mother who is involved in a career does not negatively affect

the child (Burchinal, 1963; Hoffman, 1974; Rossi, 1965).







While proponents of the traditional and dual career family forms

continue to mount evidence to support their views, the dual career family

form has not been directly evaluated in terms of family member's inter-

actional preferences. Past research efforts have attempted to document

such observed problems in dual career marriages as role overload, con-

flicts in personal and social norms, development of a social network,

and role cycling dilemmas (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1969); difficulties in

marital adjustment between working and non-working women (Staines, Pleck,

Shepard, & O'Conner, 1978); and the potentially unhealthy implications

upon the family structure due to current social trends (Parsons & Bales,1955).

Yet little has been done to note the strengths of each family form as a

legitimate lifestyle whose members have distinctive interactional preferences.

An approach which attempts to describe the personal preferences of family

members in terms of chosen lifestyle and interactional patterns may clarify

whether and in what ways each family form satisfies its members.

Theoretical Rationale
Two constructs which have frequently been used to describe family

interaction are those of cohesion and adaptability (Olson & Craddock, 1980).

In reviewing 29 articles of the literature spanning a twenty year period

on dimensions of family assessment, Fisher (1976) noted that 26 contained

factors which were a part of the two dimensions of cohesion and adaptability.

Noted family theorists such as Minuchin (1974) and Minuchin & Fishman (1981)

have also emphasized the importance of balanced family relationships and

flexibility in adapting to problems. In developing a conceptual clustering

of over 50 marriage and family dynamics, Olson, Sprenkle and Russell (1979)







identified cohesion and adaptability as two encompassing dimensions which

emerged. Olson, Russell, and Sprenkle (1980) noted that both the quality

of the relationships among members (cohesion) and their ability to success-

fully adjust to change (adaptability) determined the level of healthiness

in a family. Barnhill (1979) reviewed current theoretical literature on

family functioning and identified common factors describing optimal family

emotional development. Of these, individuation, mutuality, and clear

generational boundaries related directly to the overall dimension of

cohesion; while flexibility, stability, and role reciprocity related

directly to the overall dimension of adaptability.

Cohesion is the emotional bonding that family members experience

within their relationships coupled with the degree of their own individual

autonomy. Hicks and Platt (1970) found that happiness in a marriage de-

pends upon the extent to which the partner's expectations are being met in

their relationship. If both assess their individual expectations as being

met, they feel satisfied and supported in the marriage. Burke and Weir (1976)

affirm the necessity for mutual support among members of dual career families.

In fact, a lack of this support creates dissatisfaction in the husband toward

the marital relationship. Rapoport and Rapoport (1976) note the increased

reliance of the dual career family upon immediate family members in lieu

of outside relationships because of the lack of time available for socializing.

This places an even greater responsibility upon the marital and family unit

to provide the closeness and emotional security each individual needs. Co-

hesiveness within the dual career structure may therefore be much more

essential to the well-being of the individual than perhaps previously assumed.








The second dimension of family health, adaptability, refers to the

ability of the family system to change in response to situational or

developmental stress. Vincent (1967) emphasized the paramount importance

of the family adapting to various societal changes. The family unit has

historically been considered the "shock absorber" through which outside

changes were filtered and eventually translated in a more palliative manner

to the individual (Hill, 1971). It has provided a natural support system

or "buffer" against the stresses and problems of the outside world. If

this vital function is not offered, the individual family member becomes

more vulnerable to the negative effects of these influences. A balance

of flexibility and stability within a family toward the environment is

therefore necessary to respond in a healthy manner to changes that occur.

Rapoport (1962) has suggested that families must be able to adapt to the

normal transitional crises of parenthood, placement of children in school,

adolescence, children leaving home, and retirement. When these transitions

are not smoothly adjusted to, the individual and family unit can be adversely

affected. This is another reason why the introduction of both adults into

careers particularly creates a need for effective adaptability toward change

within a family (Johnson & Johnson, 1977).

Both cohesion and adaptability have been used to construct a typology

of family functioning called the circumplex model. Olson, Sprenkle, and

Russell (1979) identified cohesion and adaptability as the two variables

which provide a specific measure of family interaction. The circumplex model

has sixteen types of family interaction styles based on a family's level of

cohesion and adaptability. Some of these styles are more healthy than others.

By assessing r.ach of these two dimensions in both dual career and traditional

couples, certain trends could emerge based upon the typologies each of these

lifestyles most commonly reflect.








Need for the Study

Research on the dual career family form has focused almost exclusively

upon either describing the inherent problems of the dual career lifestyle

or more recently, the perceived advantages. Limited attention has been

given to the interactional preferences, personal needs, and sources of

emotional satisfaction of its members.

There is a need to evaluate the dual career family form by examining

husbands' and wives' perceptions of family interaction. How emotionally

close do they feel toward each other and how do these mates respond to daily

changes and demands? Are the interactions of dual career and traditional

mates significantly different?

One criticism of the dual career form has been the reduction in time

family members have together and therefore the closeness those relationships

possibly miss. Hoffman (1974),on the other hand, suggests that such draw-

backs can be compensated for if proper planning is made especially where

working mothers are concerned. Of particular significance is how these

family members adjust so that their emotional needs, family relationships,

and vocational needs are satisfied. Perhaps the dual career family feels

as satisfied as other family types because of how they as a unit have

adapted to this preferred lifestyle. How are their perceptions of family

interaction different from those of traditional family members?

There is also a need to evaluate this family form developmentally.

bost dual career research has examined the lifestyle in a static manner

without considering the natural changes that occur at different family stages.








Obviously, family interaction may differ in later years. Although literature

has focused upon how dual career females attempt to adjust to the many

pressures and conflicts created by their varied role commitments, few

articles describe the evolving nature of this adjustment process (Skinner,

1980). Do dual career mates eventually adapt to the many demands and compli-

cations their lifestyle produces? Research on developmental stages in the

life cycle of families has gained more widespread attention. Literature

addressing family stages of development, relationships in the family, and

adaptability toward change has proliferated (Rhodes, 1977). An evaluation

of the dual career family at different ages in their development could

prove invaluable to learning more about the distinctive features of this

lifestyle.

Lastly, the majority of research studies comparing dual career and

traditional families have used heterogeneous samples involving individuals

from many job areas (Boothe, 1977; Burke & Weir, 1976; Safilios-Rothschild,

1970; Thomson, 1980). Few comparison studies have used homogeneous samples

with at least one spouse engaged in the same occupation (Bryson, Bryson,

Licht, & Licht, 1976). Since a homogeneous sample might control for

extraneous variables which could affect the outcome of the study, specific

interactional preferences might be more clearly attributed to family form.

There is a need to compare the interactional preferences of dual career

and traditional couples who are homogeneous in respect to socioeconomic

class and occupational value structures in a developmental context.








Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to compare the perceptions of family

cohesion, family adaptability, and marital satisfaction of individuals

in traditional and dual career marriages. Differences between dual

career and traditional husbands and between dual career and traditional

wives were examined interms of these three dimensions. These dimen-

sions were also compared across groups as a function of length of marriage,

age, and the presence of children. Specific research questions addressed

in this study were (1) Were there differences on perceptions of family

interaction within dual career and traditional husbands' or wives' groups?

(2) Were there differences in marital satisfaction between these groups?

(3) Were differences between the groups in perceptions of family inter-

action or marital satisfaction influenced by length of marriage, age, or

the presence of children? (4) What relationships existed between cohesion,

adaptability, and marital satisfaction and age, length of marriage and

presence of children for husbands' or wives' groups if dual career and

traditional groups were combined? Data from three different instruments

were used to address these questions.

Definition of Terms

Cohesion. Cohesion is the emotional bonding that family members

have toward one another and the degree of individual autonomy they

experience (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1980). The perceptions of

closeness within the family are considered on a continuum. This

continuum ranges from extremely low or disengaged to extremely high

or enmeshed.

Adaptability. This is the ability of a marital or family system to

change its power structure, role relationships, and relationship rules







in response to situational and developmental stress (Olson, Russell,

& Sprenkle, 1980). Perceptions of flexibility toward change are also

considered on a continuum. This continuum ranges from extremely low or

rigid to extremely high or chaotic.

Income Earning Job. This encompasses any type of part-time or full-

time employment that is not intended to be a continuous or permanent

life-long vocation.

Career. A career is a profession or vocation that both requires

a high degree of commitment and has a permanent and continuous develop-

mental character (Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 1968;

Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971).

Traditional Family. A family in which only one head of the house-

hold, the male, pursues a permanent career is a traditional family.

Dual Career Family. The dual career family is one in which both

heads of household pursue permanent and developmentally continuous careers

and at the same time maintain a family life together (Rapoport & Rapoport,

1969).

Dual Worker Family. A family in which both heads of household are

involved in vocations although at least one does not view their employ-

ment as a permanent career is considered a dual worker family.

Organization of the Study

The remainder of the study is organized into four chapters. Chapter

II contains a review of the literature related to traditional and dual

career couples, the dimensions of family cohesion and adaptability, and

marital satisfaction. A discussion of the research methodology and data

collection procedures is in Chapter III. The results of the study are pre-

sented in Chapter IV including analysis of data. Chapter V contains a sum-

mary, conclusions made from the investigation and recommendations for

future research.















CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE


A review of the related literature will focus upon the evolution

and characteristics of dual career families. Research on family cohesion

and adaptability will also be examined. A description of the marital

satisfaction research literature will complete this chapter.

The trend toward the dual career family form has contributed to a

variety of changes in the American society. Many issues have been raised

concerning the preferences and special needs of these individuals. Be-

cause of the unique differences in this group, past research has tried

to examine how this lifestyle began, its present effects, and future

implications.

Evolution of the Dual Career Family Form

The traditional family has long existed with the husband employed

outside the home and the wife employed inside the home. Post World War

II values also supported this arrangement with the male maintaining a

job that primarily provided economic security and status regardless of

its existing drawbacks. In later years, variables such as defining one's

identity through the work role, experiencing a sense of personal accomp-

lishment, learning and developing new skills, and increasing freedom on

the job have become some of the more important aspects of a vocation

(Hall & Hall, 1979). With the increasing emphasis on job satisfaction,







personal fulfillment, and economic security, many women also began to

enter the work force on a full and part-time basis (Rapoport & Rapoport,

1975). While they generally began working out of economic necessity,

today many are employed out of personal choice (Orden and Bradburn, 1969).

Although Parsons and Bales (1955) very strongly argued that traditional

worker marriages represent the most functional family structure, increas-

ing numbers of married women continue to enter the labor market. Women

who wished to work instead of rearing a family were initially regarded

as aggressive and frightened of the maternal role (Rapoport & Rapoport,

1971). While many of these feelings have generally changed, attitudes

toward employed women with children have continued to be negative (Mason

& Bumpass,1975; Retert & Bumpass, 1974).

One of the most widely accepted typologies of factors influencing

the employment of women was developed by Sobel (1963). This typology

defined three sets of factors that influenced the future working plans

of wives. These included 1) enabling conditions, such as number of children

and other family status variables; 2) facilitating conditions, involving

availability of jobs and educational level; and 3) precipitating conditions,

such as financial need and attitudinal variables (Gorden & Kammeyer,

1980). Some of the more specific factors motivating the employment of

women included financial need, interaction with others, a sense of com-

petence, need for accomplishment, self-confidence, and the use of one's

abilities (Beckman & Houser, 1979; Hoffman & Nye, 1974; Sobel, 1963, 1973).

Gordon and Kammeyer (1980) found that in a longitudinal study of 735 women,








economic need was still the most prominent factor influencing the employ-

ment of women with young children. Hiller and Philliber(1980) noted that

a lower family income level and a high occupational prestige potential

increased the probability that a married woman would enter the labor

force. Apparently all these conditions and factors have contributed

favorably to the emergence of women into the job market.

From 1950 to 1974 the proportion of married women in the labor force

rose from 23.8 percent to 43 percent (Locksley, 1980). Currently, 52

percent of the total labor force is composed of female workers. While

there are presently more women in the labor market, 80 percent are still

employed in traditional jobs such as secretaries, clerks, and waitresses.

Women also earn only about 60 percent of the salary a male earns (Langway,

Lord, Reese, Simons, Maitland, Gelman, and Whitman, 1980). Yet, in spite

of these drawbacks women have continued to seek various types of employment.

In reviewing the history of the entrance of women into the world of

employment, it is apparent that they have made many sacrifices to become

a competitive part of the labor force. Because of the inequities that

have long existed in the jobs, status, and salaries of women, full-time

career commitments have become more lucrative than temporary or nominal

employment. Career-oriented women therefore have significantly contributed

to the emergence of the dual career couple. This new lifestyle is respons-

ible for a variety of adjustments in the marriage and family. These ad-

justments involve how the couples maintain their own relationship as well

as their relationships to their children, and how the family reacts to

changes that occur in this lifestyle.








Role Expectations of Dual Career Couples

The traditional couple has historically been viewed as a family

unit in which the husband pursued a permanent career outside the

home while the wife maintained a variety of responsibilities inside

the home. Conceptually this relationship was established in a comple-

mentary fashion with each adult bearing certain responsibilities for

the benefit of the entire family. Bernard (1974) noted that historically

men have combined a professional career and parenting more easily than

women because less has been expected of men with regard to internal

family responsibilities. Womenwho have subscribed to more traditional

norms have therefore been less likely to be employed outside the home

(Kelly, 1976; Scanzoni, 1975). Some of the reasons cited against women

being employed have included traditional values, role strain, less time

for other activities, conflict with size of family desired, marital

adjustment problems, and less attention to household responsibilities

(Bahr & Day,1978; Blood & Wolfe, 1960; Burke & Weir, 1976; Hoffman, 1960;

Walker, 1970). Interestingly enough, Zeldow (1976) found that men were

typically more traditional than women in their attitudes toward women's

roles. The traditional career couple has also been found to have a

lower divorce rate than both dual career couples and the general popula-

tion (Berman, Sachs & Lief, 1975).

Despite these issues, there has been a steady increase in women

entering the labor force since 1950 (Carnegie Commission on Higher

Education, 1973). Yet dual career couples surprisingly have exhibited

characteristics that are somewhat traditional in nature. Some dual career







couples have been found to behave as traditional couples in their roles at

home (Epstein, 1971; Hall & Hall, 1979; Heckman, Bryson & Bryson, 1977).

This implies that there are still many role-related responsibilities which

husbands and wives traditionally maintain. Keith and Brubaker(1979) noted

that many responsibilities for running the home were still assumed by

women.

In a survey of approximately 80 psychology-related professional

pairs, wives were more willing to make sacrifices for their husband's

careers than they expected their husbands to make for theirs. Even in

this more equality-conscious group, the husband's career position was

still considered foremost (Bryson, Bryson, Licht and Licht, 1976).

In dual career couples who were forced to live apart temporarily,

it was discovered that the traditional marriage was the standard upon

which they assessed their own nontraditional relationship (Gross, 1980).

It appears that in many ways, traditional family role expectations still

significantly influence the lifestyle of the dual career couple (Keith &

Schafer, 1980).

The lifestyle of the dual career couple has also proven to be unique

in many ways. Rice (1979) characterized dual careerists as possessing a

strong need for achievement, reliance on an extrinsic reward system,

hesitancy to make sustained interpersonal commitments, and vulnerability

to self-esteem injury through dependency, frustration, and fear of failure.

As individuals, Rice described them as independent, self-absorbed, highly

motivated and self-sufficient. Because of this, many dual career couples







often establish their occupational direction before having children

(Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971). This enables them to receive the training

and experience necessary to guarantee continued growth and advancement

in their chosen field. Hill and Rogers (1964) noted that dual career

pairs had their children over a more compressed time period. In addition,

Hall and Hall(1979) found that dual career couples generally had fewer

children and later pregnancies.

While much evidence has accumulated regarding the detrimental

effects of working mothers upon children, Pendelton, Poloma and Garland

(1980) found that employed mothers perceived themselves as being better

parents than they would have been had they not worked. Orden and

Bradburn (1969) also reported a higher level of marital happiness in

both husband and wife when the wife was in the labor market out of

choice rather than necessity. In fact, dual career couples reported

experiencing a more positive reaction to marital stress, if they both

maintained a rather high commitment to their careers (Holahan & Gilbert,

1979).

Dual career couples also had a rather high standard of living

(Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971). The 1980 census bureau reported that the

dual wage earning family had an average income of $20,900 per year. It

would reasonably follow that the dual career couple could easily exceed

this average by virtue of their commitment and general longitudinal

employment in a career as opposed to a job.








Dual Career Issues and Coping Styles

There appears to be several common issues and concerns dual

career couples typically confront. The first issue involves the

internal stress of the lifestyle. There are many personally ambivalent

feelings husbands and wives experience when both are working full-

time in a career. Often each holds certain values about the role expecta-

tions they have for their mate (Kaley, 1971). Career women appear less

able than men to reduce role-strain stemming from dual career situations

because of gender-linked sociological, psychological, and psychodynamic

factors (Johnson & Johnson, 1977). Regardless of what personal preferences

an individual holds, his or her own sense of what society approves of

influences them. Trying to successfully balance these differing ex-

pectations seems to create tension, anxiety, and internal stress. Such

feelings of role overload are perhaps the most commonly documented

dilemma facing dual career couples (Epstein, 1971; Garland, 1972;

Heckman, Bryson & Bryson, 1977; Holmstrom, 1972; Poloma, 1972;

Rapoport & Rapoport; 1976; St. John-Parsons, 1978).

The second major problem area involves external stress. A

career is a responsibility that demands a significant amount of dedica-

tion and commitment especially in terms of time. This has been one of

the greatest concerns for the working wife and mother (Orden & Bradburn,

1969). Often, there is not enough time to be employed full-time, main-

tain a household, attend to the marital relationship, and personally

recuperate. The presence and number of children increase the strain

and pressures experienced (Bryson & Bryson, 1978; Keith & Schafer,

1980). Holahan and Gilbert (1979) noted that the dual career couple with








children consistently experienced more stress than the dual career couple

without children. Johnson and Johnson (1977) noted that all wives in

their sample of 28 dual career families reported major concerns over

conflict between their careers and children. These opinions were also

shared by some husbands who felt that the children suffered because of

their wives' employment (Axelson, 1963, 1970). Remedies to the common

dilemma include planning and postponing parenthood. The stage of the

family life cycle has also been found to increase or decrease the external

stress within the family (Skinner, 1980). The dual career couple who

have not yet had children or whose children have already left home seem

to experience a less complicated lifestyle than the dual career couple

who still have children in the home (Holmstron, 1972; Rapoport & Rapoport,

1976).

The final area of difficulty for the dual career couple involves

that of maintaining relationships. Generally both individuals in the

marriage experience an increase in pressure and demands that can detract

from the total amount of time and energy available for the marital

relationship (Nadelson & Eisenberg, 1977). Some husbands view their

wives working as a positive experience while others see themselves as

losing part of their support system (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1975). Re-

search cited by Burke and Weir (1976) indicates that husbands experience

less emotional support from their working wives. Other husbands accept

the dual career arrangement out of a a sense of fair play and want their

wives to be happy (Bebbington,1973). Skinner (1980) noted that the type

of relationship necessary to maintain a mutually acceptable marital

arrangement involves balancing both the advantages and the disadvantages

of the dual career lifestyle. Without a supportive husband who is willing








to sympathize with the aspirations of his wife, it is difficult for

a woman to develop a career pattern (Bailyn, 1970). In spite of the

adjustments many working couples have made so that both individuals

could pursue career goals, Berman, Sachs, Lief (1975) noted a higher

divorce rate among dual career couples than among both traditional

couples and the general population. This implies that the dual career

transition has not evolved without its share of problems.

Dual career couples have also noted concerns about maintain

interpersonal and familial relationships. St. John-Parson (1978) noted

that some kinship relations deteriorate over time when the dual career

couple cannot meet the expected social obligations. Rapoport and Rapoport

(1976) also found problems in balancing these relationships with their

career and domestic responsibilities.

Dual career couples have made certain adjustments in their effort

to contend with the problems specific to their lifestyle. Many couples

have established themselves occupationally before having children to

avoid some of the naturally occurring stresses that child-rearing

creates (Holmstron, 1972; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976). Poloma (1972)

noted four tension management techniques regularly utilized by dual

career women. These included 1) reducing dissonance by defining the

dual career pattern as favorable to other alternatives, 2) establishing

the priority of placing the family needs first, 3) compromising career

aspirations to meet other role demands, and 4) separating business

and family problems.








McCubbin (1979) found that adaptation in the form of prioritizing

and compromising was a necessary coping strategy to reduce stress and

role strain in dual career couples. Rapoport and Rapoport (1976) also

emphasized the importance of achieving a balance between the rewards

and stresses of this type of family.

Because the dual career couple has continued to emerge as a current

lifestyle, ongoing research is necessary to assess the needs this creates

within the family. While most families have some similar basic needs,

these family forms by virtue of their lifestyle have different preferences.

These differences can often promote or prevent a positive family environ-

ment depending upon how they influence family interactions.

Concepts of Family Health

The family is an important part of society whose well-being is

influenced by certain factors. These factors may contribute to or

detract from the growth of individual members. Modern family theorists

have maintained that the family is a complex adaptive system (Buckley,

1967; Hill, 1971). Within this system, the family is acted upon by

both outside societal influences and internal individual family members.

Their reactions to these various interchanges provide some indications

about the functioning level of the family unit. Since a healthy family

environment is necessary for the development of a well-rounded individual,

the manner in which the family responds to these internal and external

demands is imperative.

The characteristic of adaptability allows a family to adjust to

societal influences and internal issues in a healthy, viable way (Vincent,

1966). Therefore, a change in one part of the family system can be








absorbed or reacted to in a constructive manner. Modern systems theory

recognizes the complementarity of relationships among all the members

within a family. As individual family members respond to outside in-

fluences, the family must adapt and adjust or tension and conflict can

result. Changes that are too sudden or radical though can create a

breakdown in family functioning (Hill, 1971). Consequently, social

systems must be capable of altering their basic structure, organization,

and values in order to remain viable (Buckley, 1967).

Hess and Handel (1959) noted that the amount of closeness or

distance (cohesion) individual members of a family feel contributes to

the level of individual and family healthiness. Olson, Sprenkle and

Russell (1979) found a proper balance of cohesiveness within family

relationships cited by most family theorists as a requisite for positive

emotional growth and development. Rosenblatt and Titus (1976) also

encouraged a balance of togetherness and apartness among family members.

When a system is able to support and protect each of its members while

simultaneously encouraging maturity and individuation, an optimal environ-

ment exists (Bowen, 1978; Minuchin, 1974). A maximum viable social

system is characterized by complex structural relationships, high levels

of communication and interaction among its members and subsystems, a

highly flexible organization, and a minimum of rigid constraints (Hill,

1971). Aldous (1967) maintained that the family was similar to a social

system because of the following characteristics:l) family members

occupied various interdependent positions whereby some changes in the

behavior of one member ledto changes in other members; 2) the family







was a relatively closed, boundary maintaining unit; 3) the family was

an equilibrium-seeking and adaptive organization; and 4) the family

performed tasks which served the needs of internal members and external

agencies.

Within these factors, the concepts of adaptability toward change

and cohesion within relationships appear frequently. Olson, Sprenkle

and Russell (1979) documented that over 50 psychological concepts re-

lated directly to family adaptability and cohesion. Otto (1962) reported

that the traits of a strong family included 1) concern for family unity,

loyalty, and interfamily cooperation, 2) the ability for self-help and

the ability to accept help when appropriate, 3) the ability to perform

family roles flexibly, 4) the ability to establish and maintain growth-

producing relationships inside and outside the family, and 5) the ability

to provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the family

members. The dimension of cohesion can be noted in the concern for family

unity and loyalty, the ability to seek self-help and outside help when

appropriate and the provision for the physical, emotional and spiritual

needs of the family members. The dimension of adaptability can be recog-

nized as interfamily cooperation, the ability to perform roles flexibly,

and the maintenance of growth-producing relationships inside and outside

the family.

The first significant family study to include both dimensions of

cohesion and adaptability was done by Angell (1936). His study involved

how families coped with the stresses and problems caused by the depression.

Instead of cohesion, Angell used the term "family integration." He de-

fined integration as "the bonds of coherence and unity running through

family life, of which common interests, affection, and a sense of economic








interdependence are perhaps the most prominent" (1936, p. 15). Adapt-

ability was viewedin terms of the family unit and related to the family's

flexibility in meeting difficulties, their readiness to react and ad-

just to changes, and the ways in which they made decisions. Families

were divided into categories of low, medium, and high on each dimension.

From this model, nine family types were described.

In his review of family assessment and health variables, Fisher

(1976) listed 29 articles related to optimal family functioning. Twenty-

six of these publications include elements related to cohesion and

adaptability.

After twenty years of systematic research, Epstein, Bishop and Levin

(1978) developed the McMaster Model of Family Functioning. This model

examines the level of healthiness within families. The theoretical con-

cepts used for diagnosis and intervention closely parallel the variables

related to the cohesion and adaptability dimensions in the Circumplex

Model (Olson, Russell & Sprenkle, 1980). These concepts include behavior

control, problem-solving, and roles (adaptability); and affective in-

volvement (cohesion).

Lewis, Beavers, Gossert, and Phillips (1976) developed the Family

System Rating Scales. These scales studied family interaction with

healthy and unhealthy families in an effort to assess how optimally

functioning families behaved. Of the thirteen subscales utilized in

this model, eight relate to the cohesion and adaptability dimensions.








Much of the research on family health variables focuses on two

areas. The first has involved the relationships of family members with

each other and others outside the family and includes assessment of the

level of closeness, distance, and independence each member experiences

individually and as a part of the family group. The second area involves

how the family reacts to influences, change, and stress placed upon them.

Research on Family and Marital Cohesion

In the last few years, there has been a significant amount of lit-

erature and research involving the dimension of cohesion in couples and

families. While a wide diversity of terms have been used, they have

often related directly to the concept of cohesion (Olson, Sprenkle &

Russell, 1979). Family cohesion is defined as the emotional bonding that

family members have toward one another and the degree of individual

autonomy they experience within the family system (Olson, Russell &

Sprenkle, 1980). Yalom (1970) maintained that cohesion was one of the

essential therapeutic factors necessary to make a group succeed as a

functional unit. In a study involving 92 couples in an alcohol treat-

ment program, Oxford, Oppenheimer, Egert, Hensman and Guthrie (1976)

found cohesive marriages were twice as likely to have a favorable treat-

ment outcome when compared to noncohesive marriages.

Hill (1949) investigated how 135 families dealt with war separa-

tion and reunion. He suggested that family integration was highly

significant in predicting success. Medium integration allowed family

members to respond in a healthy manner to both separation and reunion.

Bowen (1978) suggested the "differentiation of self" as the most healthy







emotional position for individuals. He advocated a balance of attach-

ment and separation from the family. Minuchin (1974) has maintained that

a healthy balance between enmeshment and disengagement was the most

therapeutic for a family. The more balanced and moderate area of co-

hesion has also been described often as mutuality (Wynne, Ryckoff, Day,

& Hirsch, 1958) and interdependence (Olson, 1972).

Kantor and Lehr (1975) pointed out that affective closeness was a

major goal within the family. They noted that fusion was defined as

extreme emotional unity in which boundaries were diffused. Alienation

occurred when individuals were locked into positions that made them un-

able to move and grow. Napier (1978) described unhealthy extremes of

cohesion in relationships as a "rejection-intrusion pattern" of emotion-

al abandonment or engulfment.

Extremely low cohesion has been described as scapegoating (Bell

& Vogel, 1960), expelling (Stierlen,1974) pseudo-hostility (Wynne,

Ryckoff, Day, & Hirsch, 1958), disengagement (Minuchin, 1974), schism

and skew (Lidz, Cornelison, Fleck & Terry, 1957), and emotional divorce

(Bowen, 1960).

Extremely high cohesion has been called consensus sensitive (Reiss,

1971a, 1971b), enmeshment (Minuchin, 1974), binding (Stierlen, 1974),

undifferentiated ego mass and emotional fusion (Bowen, 1960). In

addition to earlier research, Druckman (1979) reported that families

with extremely high cohesion scores were more likely to have juvenile

delinquent recidivists than families with low or moderate scores on

cohesion.







In general, the literature has consistently supported the importance

of a moderate balance of cohesion within the family. Either extreme of

this dimension has indicated an increase of individual and family

difficulties.

Research on Family and Marital Adaptability

The dimension of adaptability toward change in individuals, couples,

and families has also recently achieved a great deal of attention in

the literature. The definition of adaptability is the ability of a

marital or family system to change its power structure, role relation-

ships, and relationship rules in response to situational and develop-

mental stress (Olson, Sprenkle & Russell, 1979). Kieren and Tallman

(1972) in an earlier study defined adaptability similarly as a spouse's

ability to deal effectively with a problem by changing roles and strategies

in terms of new or modified assessments of the situation. Vincent (1966)

maintained that adaptability in the family was the mediating process

which introduced changes from the larger society into the smaller family

unit. A healthy, adaptive family system maintains a dynamic balance be-

tween these changes and family stability (Brody, 1967; Wertheim, 1975).

Changes that are too sudden or radical cause a breakdown of structure and

functioning with the family (Hill, 1971).

Vincent, Weiss and Birchler (1975) found that nondistressed couples

emitted a balance of adaptive problem solving behavior and negotiation.

Distressed couples demonstrated a significantly greater proportion of

maladaptive problem solving behavior. Sprenkle and Olson (1978) found

that moderate adaptability in the form of an equalitarian marital leader-

ship style was associated with more adequate family functioning. The








wife-dominant power structure did not promote the same level of

healthiness. Family members needed to feel that the system was open

and flexible enough so they could provide input that would effectively

influence the decisions and affective tone of the family.

Balswick and Macrides (1975) measured the effectiveness of parent-

ing practices among a sample of 417 college students. They reported that

moderation achieved the most positive results. The extreme parenting

practices of rigid strictness and permissive flexibility fostered

greater rebellion in the subjects as children.

Extremely low adaptability has been described as inflexible,

rigid, and closed. In this type of system, the family is so homeostatic

and resistent to change that normal emotional growth stages do not

occur in the members (Minuchin, 1974). This immobility in the face of

stress when change and adaptation is needed creates pathology within

the family. Miller (1969) maintained that the level of functionality

or dysfunctionability in a family could be defined in terms of the

morphostasis (reaction to change) and homeostasis resistancee to change).

Extremely high adaptability has been described as chaotic and

lacking in structure. When there are few limits in a system with

highly fluctuating roles, a state of disorganization exists. Vincent

(1966) noted that when all parental control was lost, adaptability

became dysfunctional. Adult and sibling subsystems must exist to

provide the structures necessary to develop functionally. Being able

to reach general consensus in the family in relation to roles is critical

for effective problem solving (Bass, 1963; Hoffman, 1965; Maier & Hoffman,

1960, 1962).









A moderate balance of cohesion and adaptability appears toprovide

the most conducive environment for emotional growth and development for

both the individual and the family. Cohesion allows for the facilitation

of personal individuation and closeness in relationships. Adaptability

enables one to optimally adjust to changes and stresses that promote

growth, maturity and a healthy level of functioning. Extremes in either

of these dimensions can impede emotional progress.

Research Studies on Cohesion and Adaptability

The dimensions of cohesion and adaptability each individually

have a significant amount of research supporting their revelance to

family health. Additional studies have provided continuing evidence

for their combined use as accurate assessment dimensions of family

functioning.

Hill (1949) used both of these dimensions in his study of how

families dealt with war separation and reunion. He combined integra-

tion and adaptability in a term named dynamic stability. This overall

measure gave an indication as to how each family reacted to the adjust-

ments and the consequences caused by the war. It was discovered that the

best overall adjustment to separation and reunion was experienced by

the medium integration-high adaptability type of family. This provided

partial support for a balance of these two dimensions.

Westley and Epstein (1969) did a study with 170 college students

and 88 families in Canada to assess what variables would distinguish

healthy family functioning from problem functioning. They utilized

the variables of problem solving, power, authority, and roles, which








are equated with the adaptability dimension of the Circumplex Model,

and the development of autonomy, which compares to family cohesion

(Olson, Russell & Sprenkle, 1980). The results indicated that a

harmonious husband-wife relationship was essential for the emotional

well-being of the adolescent. The father-led and democratic families

had more strengths and less problems, while the children from mother-

dominated or father-dominated homes had less strengths and more problems.

Families who encouraged the autonomy in individual members to make their

own decisions had significantly more healthy adolescents. This again

reinforces the importance of the two dimensions of cohesion and adapt-

ability.

Minuchin (1974) also maintained the importance of the disengaged-

enmeshed continuum, which relates to the cohesion dimension, and family

adaptation, which relates to the adaptability dimension. He reported

that extremes on either end of these continuums could create an unhealthy

family environment. For instance, in reference to cohesion, a highly

enmeshed relationship between mother and children would exclude father,

fostering disengagement on his part. The result could be the emotional,

developmental retardation of the children's independence and the erosion

of the marital relationship. It is also true that stress often causes a

need for adjustment and change. Since families go through transient

developmental stages, adaptation to the stress experienced is required.

Families who resist change in the face of stress often run the risk of

emotional unhealthiness within individual members. Therefore, a balance

of cohesion within relationships and adaptability toward change is

necessary.









Van der Veen (1976) added empirical evidence to support cohesion

and adaptability as underlying dimensions of family behavior. He

constructed the Family Concepts Test containing 80 items thought to

provide a comprehensive view of family dynamics. The test was admin-

istered to a large sample of families containing disturbed and non-

disturbed adolescents using a Q-sort technique. A factor analysis was

used and the two higher order dimensions that emerged were family inte-

gration and adaptive coping. These are both parallel in meaning to

cohesion and adaptability described herein.

Fisher, Giblin, and Hoopes (1982) surveyed family members and

clinicians and discovered both groups reported the importance of cohesion

and adaptability as essential for healthy family functioning.

While past research has generally evaluated the dual career couple

by contrasting them with other lifestyles, little has been done to

explore how their preferred differences might actually enhance rather

than detract from their feelings of healthy family interaction.

The trend toward the dual career family has introduced a lifestyle

with a wide variety of needs, emphases, and preferences. This ever-

increasing family form has demonstrated the need for spouses to mutually

adjust traditional role expectations in order to deal with the specific

issues created.

Marital Satisfaction

Marital satisfaction has been a prolific area of research in the

marriage and family field. One significant longitudinal study by Pineo

(1961) on couples who were inventoried upon engagement, again after 5

years, and a third time after twenty years suggested a general decline

in marital satisfaction. Later Paris and Paris (1966) found that








satisfied couples tended to report a decrease in marital satisfaction

while maritally dissatisfied couples reported an increase in marital

satisfaction. Research in the late 1960's by Hicks and Platt (1970)

noted a U-shaped relationship to satisfaction over time indicating

greater satisfaction at the beginning of the marriage, a decline in

the middle years, and an increase in later years.

Regarding dual career and traditional couples, Nye (1961) and

Gover (1963) found that employed wives had lower scores than non-employed

wives in marital adjustment, and that this difference was larger in

lower socio-economic groups. On the other hand, Orden and Bradburn

(1969) reported couples describing their relationships as satisfactory

when both spouses agreed upon their lifestyle and mutually supported

each other.

Bailyn (1970) noted that the dual career marital relationship

could be threatened if the wife was overly committed to her career to

the exclusion of her spouse.Safilios-Rothschild (1970) countered these

findings in her study stating that working women with a high work

commitment were more satisfied with their marriage than traditional

women. Holahan and Gilbert (1979) reported dual career couples experiencing

a more positive reaction to marital stress if they both maintained a

rather high commitment to their careers. Rapoport and Rapoport (1975)

noted mixed reactions by husbands with some viewing their dual careers

as a positive experience while others saw themselves losing part of their

support system.







Burke and Weir (1976) found working wives to be generally more

satisfied with their marriages than traditional wives, but the husbands

of working wives were less satisfied than husbands in the more tra-

ditional lifestyle. Booth (1977) refuted these findings stating that

husbands of employed wives evidenced no more signs of discord than

did the spouses of traditional wives.

Nadelson and Eisenburg (1977) reported that two careers definitely

increased the pressures and demands and decreased the time and energy

available for the marital relationship. Houseknecht and Macke (1981)

suggested that a family's willingness to adapt and adjust was more

important to marital satisfaction than employment status.

There is also some interesting research in regard to marital

quality and childrearing. Research in the 1960's found that the presence

of children tended to detract from the marriage. Feldman (1971)

using longitudinal data reported a decrease in marital satisfaction

after the birth of the first child with the greatest decreases occurring

in those couples who had initially reported the highest satisfaction.

Low marital satisfaction couples noted their children were the only source

of mutual satisfaction they shared (Bain, 1978). Houseknecht (1979)

found that women who were voluntarily childless exhibited higher marital

adjustment than did the mothers. Rosenblatt (1974) discovered that

couple's communication was significantly interfered with when children

were present. Consistent with other findings on marital satisfaction,

Gutmann (1975) noted that couples were close before and after childhood,

but further apart during parenthood. Lasswell (1974) suggested for the







optimal success of the marriage that the best years for childbirth

were considerably later than what the general national average was.

In regard to general marital satisfaction, Skinner (1980)

recommended dual career couples to develop a balance between ad-

vantages and disadvantages of their dual career lifestyle.

Summary

The dual career form evolved out of the needs of many women who

were finding satisfaction and fulfillment through a career. This

lifestyle has not developed without its own share of difficulties both

societally and within the family unit. Various coping styles have

emerged to manage these inherent stresses including reapportionment

of responsibilities in the home, postponement of childbearing, dis-

tinctive childcare arrangements, and mutual spouse compromise in a

variety of areas.

Because of the special needs of dual career couples, interest

exists as to how these individuals perceive their family interaction.

Examining mate's perceptions of family adaptability, cohesion, and

reported marital satisfaction could aid in understanding the needs of

individuals in this growing lifestyle.














CHAPTER III
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY



The purpose of this study was to compare spouse perceptions

of cohesion, adaptability, and marital satisfaction in traditional

and dual career couples. Subjects were administered the Family Adapt-

ability and Cohesion Scale (FACES II), the Marital Satisfaction Scale

(MSS), and a demographic data sheet. Differences in dual career and

traditional husbands' and dual career and traditional wives' perceptions

were examined as a function of age, length of marriage, and presence of

children.

This chapter is organized into the following sections of informa-

tion: population, sampling procedures, research questions, instrumentation,

methods of data collection and analysis, and limitations of the study.

Population

The general population consisted of assistant, associate, and full

professors employed at the University of Florida and their spouses. Of

the 2,318 professors employed by the University of Florida, 268 are females

and 2,050 are males. A similar ratio of male and female assistant,

associate, and full professors was utilized in the sample.

Of the 202 who agreed to participate in the study, completed data

sets were returned by 72 professors and their spouses. A sample size of

144 subjects, 72 couples, was utilized for this study. Subjects had to








meet the criteria of having been married to their current spouse between

2 and 25 years, be Caucasian, and qualify as either being a member of a

traditional couple (the adult male was employed in a career), or a dual

career couple (both adults were employed in full or part-time careers of

twenty hours or more which they defined as their lifework). Subjects

ranged in age from 26 to 69 and were restricted to male and female Caucasians.

Table 1 provides a comparison of the research sample to the total population

of University of Florida professors by sex and professorship. Table 2

offers data on number of years married for the sample.



TABLE 1
COMPARISON SAMPLE OF PROFESSORS


PROFESSORS


Assistant

Associate

Full


N
Males Fer

13

21

35


RESEARCH SAMPLE
PERCENTa
nales Males Females

4 17% 5%

2 28% 2%

1 46% 1%


UNIVERSITY
N
Males Females

513 125

605 102

932 41


OF FLORIDA
PERCENTb
Males Females

22% 5%

26% 4%

40% 2%


a Expressed
bExpressed
Expressed


as a percent of the total sample.
as a percent of the total population.








TABLE 2
NUMBER OF YEARS MARRIED


DUAL CAREER


TRADITIONAL


N 68 72

I 15.4 14.6

SD 6.8 5.1

Range 2-25 2-25


Sampling Procedures

Subjects were randomly selected from the University of Florida Staff

Directory. Every fourth faculty member in the directory was telephoned,

given a brief explanation of the study and invited to participate. Based

upon their willingness to participate in the study, a packet containing

the appropriate materials was mailed to them. Assignment to either the

traditional or dual career group was tentatively determined by responses

made over the telephone and later confirmed by the demographic data collected.

Table 3 provides a comparison of traditional and dual career individuals

and their number of years in a career.


TABLE 3
NUMBER OF YEARS IN CAREER


DUAL CAREER TRADITIONAL
MALE FEMALE MALE FEMALE

N 31 32 36 35

I 14.2 9.1 13.7 11.8

SD 6 6.1 10.2 6.5

Range 2-28 1-23 3-47 1-25







Approximately 500 professors were informed and requested to

participate in the study. Approximately 300 of those contacted were

qualified to participate based on marital status, number of years

married, and career lifestyle. Of this sample, 202 couples agreed to

participate in the study. Others declined stating they were not inter-

ested, did not have time, would only participate if financial compensa-

tion were provided, or considered the subject matter too personal. Of

the 202 couples who agreed to participate, three couples returned their

packets too late to be included in the data analysis, four couples were

not Caucasion, 12 packets were returned untouched, two couples sent only

1 set of tests back, five couples had been married over 25 years, three

couples were dual worker families, one couple did not enclose the demo-

graphic data sheet, and one hundred and one couples did not return their

packets at all. The remaining seventy-two couples who returned com-

pleted packets were utilized in the study.

Research Questions
Six research questions were examined in this study:

1) Were there differences in perceptions of family cohesion, adapt-

ability or marital satisfaction between wives from dual career and tra-

ditional marriages?


2) Were there differences in perceptions of family cohesion, adapt-

ability, or marital satisfaction between husbands from dual career and

traditional marriages?


3) Were the differences in cohesion, adaptability, or marital satis-

faction between wives from dual career and traditional families dependent

upon the number of years married, age, or presence of children?








4) Were the differences in cohesion, adaptability, or marital satis-

faction, between husbands from dual career and traditional families

dependent upon the number of years married, age, or presence of children?


5) Were there relationships between cohesion, adaptability, or marital

satisfaction and number of years married, age, or presence of children

for both dual career and traditional wives?


6) Were there relationships between cohesion, adaptability, or marital

satisfaction and number of years married, age, or presence of children

for both dual career and traditional husbands?

Instrumentation
Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale

This scale, developed by Olson, Bell, and Portner (1978) of the

University of Minnesota, is a pencil and paper, self-report instrument.

It assesses perceptions of closeness of family members (cohesion) and

flexibility toward change (adaptability). The two dimensions of cohesion

and adaptability consist of fourteen subscales. The eight subscales of

cohesion include emotional bonding, family boundaries, coalitions, time,

space, friends, decision making, and interests and recreation. The six

subscales of adaptability include assertiveness, leadership (control),

discipline, negotiation, roles, and rules. Two or three questions re-

lating to each of the fourteen subscales are incorporated into the

Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale.

The instrument utilizes a forced-choice format with responses of

5) Almost always; 4) Frequently; 3) Sometimes; 2) Once in a while;

1) Almost never. Subjects are asked to read each statement and make a

choice based on their perceptions of their family. The instrument is hand-

scored providing totals on both cohesion and adaptability dimensions.








The Cohesion scale rates one's perceptions of closeness in one's

family relationships on a continuum from low (disengaged) to high (en-

meshed). According to the authors a low score (disengaged) on cohesion

indicates high autonomy within the family but minimal bonding with

others. Medium cohesion (separated-connected) suggests a balanced

degree of closeness conducive to effective family functioning. This is

optimal for individual development. High cohesion (enmeshment) connotes

an over-identification with the family that results in extreme dependency

and limited individual autonomy (Olson, Sprenkle, & Russell, 1979).

The Adaptability scale rates one's perceptions of one's family's

ability to adjust to situational or developmental stress along a continuum

from low (rigidity) to high (chaos). Scoring low on adaptability in-

dicates significant homeostasis or resistance to change. This impedes

the normal transition through emotional maturational stages. The result

is rigid inflexibility to anything new or different. Medium adaptability

suggests a balance of stability and flexibility. This provides a secure

environment that is also receptive to normal crises of transition such as

parenthood, placement of children in school, adolescence, children leaving

home, and retirement (Rapoport, 1962). High adaptability connotes fre-

quent change and a lack of stability. This environment fosters a state

of disarray and chaos.

The cohesion and adaptability scales when tabulated provide an

assessment of the emotional environment of the family as perceived by

the individual. The authors of the instrument have done research which

combines the joint scores of couples and the family to achieve a family

functioning measure. In this study data collection was limited to in-

dividual spouse scores.







The FACES instrument, first introduced in 1978, was constructed to

assess Olson's Circumplex Model of family healthy functioning. The

Circumplex Model was the result of an attempt to create a theoretical,

methodological, and applied means of assessing family health (Olson,

Sprenkle & Russell, 1979). It was designed to be used in setting treatment

goals, and assessing treatment outcomes. The two dimensions of cohesion

and adaptability within the Circumplex Model have received a significant

amount of empirical support. Sprenkle and Olson (1978) discovered a

moderate balance of both cohesion and adaptability to be best for optimal

family functioning using the simulated Family Activity Measure and the

Circumplex Model. Russell (1979) noted that healthy family functioning

was associated with moderate family cohesion and adaptability and un-

healthy family functioning was associated with extreme scores on these

dimensions as measured by the Simulated Family Activity Measure and a

questionnaire assessing cohesion and adaptability. Druckman (1979) con-

cluded that clinical families in treatment improved and became more

moderate on both dimensions of cohesion and adaptability as measured

by the Moos Family Environment Scale and the Circumplex Model. Con-

struction of the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale began once the

empirical and conceptual bases for the Circumplex Model was established.

Initially a total of 204 statement which related to cohesion and

adaptability were collected by the authors. In order to assess the

content validity of the items, 35 clinical marriage and family experts

were used. They were asked to rate each item according to 1) whether it

tapped cohesion or adaptability, and 2) whether it indicated a low,

medium, or high level of that dimension on a 1-9 numerical scale.








Next, two different groups totalling 410 individuals at both the

University of Minnesota and Iowa State University took the questionnaire.

They were asked to answer each question according to how it related to

their own family on a continuum from (1) true none of the time to (4)

true all of the time. Factor analysis reduced the number of items to

a total of 111.

Olson, Bell and Portner (1978) established the norms for the Family

Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES) by administering it

to 603 individuals, or 201 families. Of these families, 53 were in

counseling at Youth Services Bureaus, 31 had runaway adolescents, and

117 were non-problem families.

Olson and Craddock (1980) established norms on an Australian sample

of 200 subjects at the University of Sidney. They represented all socio-

economic levels and ages ranged from 18 to 45. Norms for both American

and Australian subjects were quite similar and comparable.

Olson, Bell and Portner (1978) reported internal consistency reli-

abilities for these dimensions as .83 for cohesion and .75 for adapt-

ability. They also maintained that the instrument contained acceptable

content, face, and construct validity.

Russell (1979) established the independence of the dimensions of

cohesion and adaptability on Olson's Circumplex Model. Thirty-one

families with adolescents were used in the study and outcomes supported

moderate family cohesion and adaptability as more functional than either

extreme.

Olson, Portner and Bell (1980) used FACES in conducting a study with

460 individuals, or 170 families. The results supported the Circumplex

Model which asserts that clinical families (problematic) are more likely







than non-clinical families (non-problematic) to fall outside the healthy

central region of the model. They are also less likely than non-

clinical families to be in consensus on each member's perception of

family cohesion and family adaptability.

The FACES II inventory was developed to provide a shorter instrument

which could be more easily used by children with limited reading ability.

A 5 point response scale ranging from "almost never" to "almost always"

was also added replacing the 4 point response scale. Questions with double

negatives and low factor loadings were eliminated. The resulting 90 items

from FACES II were given to 464 adults who had a mean age of 30.5. The

items were again reduced to 50 on the basis of factor analysis results.

These items were then administered to 400 adolescents and 1200 couples in

a national survey and reduced to the current 30 item inventory.

Olson,Bell and Portner (1982) maintained that the cohesion scales had

retained their independence and construct validity. The internal consistency

reliability for the revised FACES II was .87 for cohesion and .78 for

adaptability. Norms were established based on data from 2,082 parents and

416 adolescents. Olson (1983) maintains that FACES II demonstrates

excellent discriminant and predictive validity based on its success in

predicting balanced vs. extreme rankings on 1000 families with 85-90%

accuracy.

Marital Satisfaction Scale

The Marital Satisfaction Scale was developed to establish a short,

reliable and valid means of measuring marital satisfaction. Marital

satisfaction refers to an attitude of greater or lesser favorability toward

one's own marital relationship (Roach, Frazier, and Bowden, 1981).








The Marital Satisfaction Scale contains only 48 items and also has a

shorter form (B) which utilizes 24 items. Other instruments often ask

questions in a manner whose instrusiveness creates reluctance by the sub-

ject to answer the item accurately if at all. The Marital Satisfaction

Scale words the questions in a benign fashion utilizing a 5-point Likert

scale format with answers ranging from "strongly disagree" to "strongly

agree."

The Marital Satisfaction Scale was established after Straus (1969)

reviewed 319 family-related instruments and discovered only 14 had

established reliability and validity while only 4 were related conceptually

to marital satisfaction. The initial attempt to construct a new inventory

resulted in a 73 item instrument (Roach, 1975). A pilot study utilized

80 subjects ranging in age from 20-65 years who were either Caucasian or

black and either students or professionals in education or counseling.

A measure of internal consistency which considered all possible

split halves was established at .982. The first form of this test was

named the Marital Satisfaction Inventory.

Frazier (1976) used the Marital Satisfaction Inventory with a

sample of 309 subjects who were faculty and staff at two universities,

and adults in their twenties, college educated, and married. The in-

ternal consistency reliability was established at .969. Analysis also

indicated that concurrent validity was +.78 when correlated with scores on

the Locke-Wallace Adjustment Scale.

Bowden (1977) utilized a group of 30 satisfied and dissatisfied

couples in counseling to study the validity of the instrument. A comparison

of the means for both groups indicated a significant difference at the

.001 level. Discriminant validity was measured by correlating scores from








both the Marital Satisfaction Inventory and the Marriage Problem Checklist.

Results indicated that satisfied couples reported significantly fewer

problems than did the dissatisfied couples.

Thomson (1978) used the MSI as apre- and posttest measure of marital

satisfaction following a weekend sex therapy workshop. Nine couples

ranging from 20 to 50 years of age participated. The pre- and posttest

MSI measure was given three weeks apart and a post-posttest was conducted

eight weeks later. Results indicated statistically significant differences

between the pretest and the two posttest measures. The MSI appeared to

reflect attitude changes which followed brief treatment intervention.

Roach (1981) revised the Marital Satisfaction Inventory and renamed

it the Marital Satisfaction Scale. A subject sample of 463 participants

were given the Marital Satisfaction Scale resulting in a mean score for the

sample of 198.21 with a standard deviation of 29.68. A high internal

consistency reliability of .969 was determined. According to the author,

the Marital Satisfaction Scale also provides high item discrimination and

brevity, and constitutes a single factor scale.

Petzold (1983) noted that the instrument demonstrated high test-

retest reliability on a sex therapy intervention based treatment with

professional couples.

According to the author, there are currently 12 other studies being

conducted, the first of which will be completed within several months.

A great deal of attention is also being expended upon the shorter 24-item

Marital Satisfaction Scale because of its brevity and promise as an accurate

measure of marital satisfaction.








Demographic Data Sheet

This questionnaire was constructed by the author to collect

specific demographic information on each subject involved in the study.

Information was requested on age, sex, race, number of years married,

presence of children, job position, career stage, and combined income

level.

Data Collection

Subjects who met the criteria defining a traditional or a dual

career couple and agreed to volunteer were mailed a packet containing

1) a letter briefly explaining the study (Appendix C),

2) a Demographic Data Sheet (Appendix A),

3) two Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale II

(FACE II) inventories,

4) two Marital Satisfaction Scales,

5) two legal size envelopes marked "Husband" and "Wife," and

6) a return-addressed, stamped manilla envelope.

Subjects were specifically requested to complete and mail the

inventories within two weeks.

Limitations of the Study

1) The sample for this study was chosen from all assistant, associate,

and full professors at the University of Florida. Since this is a

restricted population, results cannot be generalized to the popula-

tion as a whole.

2) It is important to note that all participants were volunteers.

Kerlinger (1973) has noted that volunteers, by the nature of their

willingness to participate, may bias their responses in a per-

ceived socially desirable way.







3) The Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale II and

the Marital Satisfaction Scale are relatively new instruments

and thus have had limited experience in the literature. They

demonstrate great potential in the area of the assessment of

individual and family dynamics and marital satisfaction. Currently

there are a large number of studies being conducted that will

add support to the validity they both have already established.

4) The study is descriptive and therefore does not use an experi-

mental design. Results are the perceptions of the subjects and

are subjective in nature.













CHAPTER IV
RESULTS



The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of

family interaction and marital satisfaction held by spouses in dual

career and traditional marriages. University of Florida faculty

members and their spouses served as subjects in this study. Subjects

completed three instruments: the Family Adaptability and Cohesion

Evaluation Scale II (FACES II), the Marital Satisfaction Scale (MSS),

and a demographic data sheet. Self-reports of family cohesion and

adaptability were assessed through the use of the Family Adaptability

and Cohesion Evaluation Scale II. Marital satisfaction was measured

by the Marital Satisfaction Scale and information regarding length

of marriage, age, presence of children and occupational status was

collected by means of the demographic data sheet.

Perceptions of both dual career and traditional wives and of dual

career and traditional husbands were compared statistically on each of

the three variables of family cohesion, family adaptability, and marital

satisfaction. In addition, differences in the perceptions of each group

on each of the three variables were examined as a function of length of

marriage, age, and presence of children. The criterion for statistical

significance was set at the .05 level of significance.








In this chapter, the dual career and traditional couple samples

will be described. The t-test results comparing the means of both

dual career and traditional wives and dual career and traditional

husbands will also be presented. In addition, the results of the

multivariate analyses comparing differences between the groups as a

function of type of family, length of marriage, age, and presence of

children; and the correlations summarizing the relationships between

these demographic variables will be presented.

Statistical Description of the Sample

Information regarding age, length of marriage, presence of children,

cohesion, adaptability, and marital satisfaction was collected on 144

subjects. The traditional males (N=38) and females (N=38) had mean

ages of 40 and 38 with ranges of 30-65 years and 29-50 years respectively.

The dual career males (N=34) and females (N=34) had mean ages of 42 and

40 with ranges of 31-60 years and 26-69 years respectively. The tra-

ditional and dual career couples had length of marriage means of 14 years

and 15 years, respectively, with similar ranges of 2-25 years for both

groups. Table 4 shows the sample means and standard deviations on age,

number of years married, cohesion, adaptability, and marital satisfaction.

Inspection of Table 5 indicates there were 34 couples with children

(47% of the total sample) and 4 without children (6% of the total sample)

in the traditional sample. Twenty-four dual career couples had children

(33% of the total sample) while 10 couples (10% of the total sample) did not.





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TABLE 5
COUPLES WITH AND WITHOUT CHILDREN


DUAL CAREER COUPLES TRADITIONAL COUPLES
Number of Percent of Number of Percent of
Couples Sample Couples Sample

With Children 24 33% 34 47%

Without Children 10 14% 4 6%

TOTAL 34 47% 38 53%

The mean marital satisfaction scores for traditional husbands and

traditional wives were 200.4 (S.D.=29.4) and 210.3 (S.D.=22.1) re-

spectively. Their scores ranged from 100-240 and from 129-236 respec-

tively. Dual career husbands and wives had mean scores of 200.3 (S.D.=

27.7) and 199.8 (S.D.=33.4), respectively. Roach (1981) noted on the

Marital Satisfaction Scale that the mean score for the normative sample

was 198.2 with a standard deviation of 29.7. The mean scores for all

four groups were similar to the normative score. The differences among

the groups were not significant. Only a slight trend toward higher

satisfaction was noted among the traditional wives whose mean score

average was 210.3.

The traditional husbands' and wives' mean scores on adaptability

were 48.3 (S.D.=5.1) and 48.2 (S.D.=5), respectively, while their

range of scores was both 33-55. The dual career husbands and wives

scored 46.6 (S.D.=7.3) and 48.4 (S.D.=6.4), respectively, while their

range of scores was 28-60 and 32-61, respectively. The scores of the

four groups compared closely to the healthy range of scores of the

normative sample. The differences among the groups, however, was not

significant on this factor.








On cohesion, traditional husbands and wives had mean scores of

64.3 (S.D.=9.5) and 66.6 (S.D.=8.1), respectively, with scores which

ranged, respectively, from 42-81 and 45-78. Dual career husbands and

wives scored 64 (S.D.=8.8) and 64.7 (S.D.=10.1), respectively, while

their range of scores was 42-79 and 22-78 respectively. There were no

significant differences among the groups on this factor.

Olson, Bell, and Portner (1982) reported on the Family Adaptability

and Cohesion Evaluation Scale II that the mean scores for the normative

sample on adaptability and cohesion were 49.9 (S.D.=6.6) and 64.9 (S.D.=

8.4) respectively. Those scores which fall within +1 standard devia-

tion are considered closest to the norm and healthiest. The sample

utilized in this study fell within this range.

Comparisons of Dual Career and Traditional Perceptions of Family
Interaction and Marital Satisfaction

T-tests were conducted to determine the level of significance of

the difference between means of dual career and traditional females and

dual career and traditional males. Wives' scores were compared with

each other as were husbands'.

The t-tests comparing dual career and traditional wives revealed

no significant differences on any of the three variables of adaptability,

cohesion, or marital satisfaction. The t-tests comparing dual career

and traditional husbands also revealed no significant differences on

any of the three variables. These results are reported in Table 6.








TABLE 6
T-TESTS COMPARING FAMILY TYPES ON COHESION,
ADAPTABILITY, AND MARITAL SATISFACTION


COMPARISON OF COMPARISON OF
Dependent FEMALE GROUPS MALE GROUPS
Variable t P t P

Cohesion .87 .39 .14 .89

Adaptability .10 .93 1.12 .27

Marital
Satisfaction 1.59 .12 .00 1.00


Comparisons of Perceptions of Family Interaction and Marital Satisfaction
as a Function of Length of Marriage, Age, and Presence of Children

To test for an interaction between length of marriage or age, and

differences between dual career and traditional wives' scores an adapt-

ability, cohesion, or marital satisfaction, an analysis of covariance was

utilized. A similar analysis was conducted assessing the two groups of

husbands. A two way analysis of variance was used to identify possible

interactions between the presence of children and cohesion, adaptability,

or marital satisfaction for both groups.

Husbands

The results of testing for possible interactions between age,

length of marriage or the presence of children with dual career and

traditional husbands on each of the above mentioned variables revealed

no significant interactions. Table 7 provides a summary of these results.








Wives

The results of testing for possible interactions of age or length

of marriage among the two groups of wives revealed only one significant

interaction. This interaction occurred between adaptability and the number

of years married. Figure 1 presents a graph showing the nature of this

interaction. Inspection of the figure shows traditional females report-

ing perceptions of higher adaptability in the first 10-12 years of

marriage. Both dual career and traditional females reported similar

adaptability during years 13-17. However, dual career females reported

increasingly higher perceptions of adaptability during years 18-25.

No other significant interactions were noted between age, length of marriage,

or presence of children and the variables of adaptability, cohesion, or

marital satisfaction. Table 7 presents a summary of these results as well.

Correlations of Family Interaction Variables and Length of Marriage,
Age, and Presence of Children

Correlations were computed for the combined wives' groups and the

combined husbands' groups relating cohesion, adaptability, and marital

satisfaction to number of years married and age, respectively. An analysis

of variance was conducted to assess the relationship between presence of

children and each of the three variables for both combined groups.

Results of these analyses for number of years married and age are reported

in Table 8 on each group.Results of the analysis of variance comparing the

absence and presence of children and the three variables are reported in

Table 9 for both groups.

















TABLE 7
SUMMARY OF TESTS OF INTERACTION OF TYPE
OF FAMILY WITH AGE, NUMBER OF YEARS MARRIED,
AND PRESENCE OF CHILDREN


Gender

Dependent Interaction Male Female
Variable Variable F P F P

Cohesion Number of 4.01 .31 3 .21
Years Married

Adaptability .62 .65 3.64 .002

Marital
Satisfaction .45 .44 1.04 .62


Cohesion Age 1.03 .86 3.29 .51

Adaptability .93 .71 1.41 .46

Marital
Satisfaction .52 .53 1.66 .13


Cohesion Presence of 5.28 .39 .83 .76
Chi ldren

Adaptability 1.2 .66 4.53 .85

Marital
Satisfaction 1.03 .18 1.1 .83





























































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TABLE 8
CORRELATIONS BETWEEN NUMBER OF YEARS MARRIED,AGE,
AND COHESION, ADAPTABILITY AND MARITAL SATISFACTION


Gender


Male


Cohesion

-.27a


Number of Years
Married


Age

Female Number of Years
Married


Age


Adaptability

.11


-.15


-. 22a


-.25a


a p < .05

b Adaptability interacted with type of family so it is inappropriate to
- report a single correlation coefficient for these variables.


-.07


-.09

-.14


-.14


__








Husbands

There were two types of relationships noted for dual career and

traditional husbands. The first was a significant negative relationship

between number of years married and cohesion (P=.001). That is, the

greater the number of years married, the lower were husbands' percep-

tions of cohesion. They felt closeness in the family was actually less

in the older marriages. The second significant relationship involved

cohesion and the presence of children (p=.002). Husbands in both dual

career and traditional families reported less cohesion with the presence

of children than did husbands' in both groups without children. It thus

appears that the introduction of children promoted feelings of reduced

emotional involvement in the family for the men. No other significant

relationships were noted for husbands.

Wives

There were several significant relationships noted for the combined

group of dual career and traditional wives. A marginally significant

relationship was noted between adaptability and age (P=0.059). Percep-

tions of higher adaptability were reported with increased age for wives.

That is, older wives viewed their family as more responsive to change

than did younger wives.







TABLE 9
SUMMARY OF F TESTS COMPARING PRESENCE AND ABSENCE OF CHILDREN
ON COHESION, ADAPTABILITY AND MARITAL SATISFACTION


Gender Variable

Male Cohesion

Adaptability

Marital
Satisfaction

Female Cohesion

Adaptability

Marital
Satisfaction


Children
Present
X

62.23

48


198.75

64.93

49.48


203.52


Children
Absent
7

72.95

44.93


212.7

68.23

43.4


210.43


Fa

5.28

1.2


1.03

.83

4.53


1.1


aF statistics obtained
marriage and presence


from a two way
of children.


ANOVA with factors of type of


Secondly, there was a significant negative relationship between cohesion

and age for wives (p=.004). Older women reported lower perceptions of

cohesion than did younger women. Thirdly, a significant negative relation-

ship was noted between cohesion and number of years married for the com-

bined wives' group (p=.01). Women who had been married longer reported

lower perceptions of cohesion than women in shorter term marriages.

Lastly, there was a significant relationship noted between adaptability

and presence of children (p=.0007). Women in both groups with children

reported perceptions of higher adaptability than did women in families

where children were absent. These results are reported in Table 8.


P

.0002

.13


.14

.27

.0007


.45





60


No significant relationships were noted between marital satisfac-

tion and any of the three variables for either the husbands' or wives'

groups. That is, there were no changes in marital satisfaction regard-

less of the fluctuations of the other variables.













CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH



Summary

Four major research questions were addressed in this study. Were

there differences in perceptions of family cohesion and adaptability

between wives from dual career and traditional families and between

husbands from these two family types? Secondly, were there differences

in marital satisfaction reported between these groups? Third, did differ-

ences between groups on each of these three variables depend on number

of years married, age, or presence of children? Finally, were there

relationships between each of these three variables and years married,

age, and presence of children? A total of 72 couples, representing

24% of the total number of couples invited to participate and 36% of the

number who agreed, were included in this study.

A comparison of dual career and traditional wives' and dual career

and traditional husbands' perceptions of family cohesion and adaptability

and marital satisfaction revealed no significant differences between

participants of the two family forms.

Differences between the wives' groups and the husbands' groups on

each of the three variables were also examined as a function of length

of marriage, age, and presence of children. For husbands, there were

no significant interactions between differences in the two groups on

cohesion, adaptability, anu marital satisfaction and length of








marriage, age, or presence of children. In the wives' groups, however,

a significant interaction was noted between the two groups on perceptions

of adaptability and length of marriage. For combined wives' groups, sig-

nificant negative relationships were noted between cohesion and length of

marriage and cohesion and age. A significant relationship was noted be-

tween adaptability and the presence of children. For combined groups of

husbands, significant negative relationships were noted between cohesion

and length of marriage, and cohesion and presence of children.

Discussion

Earlier studies have emphasized the potential problems caused by two

careers in the areas of role conflict, adjustment, and marital happiness

(Axelson, 1963; Bailyn, 1970; Burke & Weir, 1976). Many of these studies

reported relatively significant differences in stress and satisfaction

between participants of the dual career and traditional family lifestyles.

The results of this study did not support those findings. There were

no significant differences in perceptions of family cohesion, adapt-

ability, and marital satisfaction between the two groups. There may be

several explanations for this.

First, the subject sample utilized in this study was comprised of

university professors and spouses. University faculty are often more

sensitized to liberal social trends. Because of their heightened aware-

ness, they may be apt to accept and more easily adjust to variations in

lifestyles. Research indicates a higher educated, middle class sample

is more egalitarian in their roles and better problem solvers when

compared to the lower social strata (Tallman & Miller, 1974). In

addition, the average scores for all four groups in this study placed them

in either the structured-separated or structured-connected categories of

Olson's Circumplex Model of family types (Olson, Sprenkle, & Russell,





63

1979). These categories are two of the healthiest of the sixteen

typologies within the circumplex model. They represent a moderate

level of both cohesion and adaptability and are indicative of optimal

adjustment within the family. An inspection of Table 10 provides a

review of this homogeneous sample as it relates to Olson's model.

Differences in lifestyle may be an insignificant issue to this popula-

tion as a whole because of their similarities. Are their really no

differences between dual career and traditional couples or was this

sample so much alike that any differences were lost by virtue of their

context? Using a variety of homogeneous and heterogeneous samples in

different careers across different socioeconomic groups could perhaps

clarify which influences were more significant.

Secondly, the rapid assimilation and acceptance of the dual career

family form into society in recent years may indicate that it currently

has less of an influence on perceptions and family attitudes than

originally believed. The dual career family has received a great deal

of attention during the last decade both publically and in the literature.

These results may be an indication that it is receiving more widespread

acceptance and is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Lastly, the results of this study indicated there were no differ-

ences in marital satisfaction found among dual career and traditional

couples. Previous research has noted differences between these groups

citing loss of support systems, stress and role conflicts as causing

difficulties in the dual career marriage. These lifestyles may be

equally enjoyed by the individuals participating in them if their in-

volvement is by choice. Personal preference is a significant factor







influencing individual satisfaction with one's lifestyle. Orden and

Bradburn (1969), for example, found that dual career women were

generally more satisfied if they were employed by choice rather than

out of economic necessity.

Therefore, the homogeneity of the sample, the possible acceptance

and assimilation of the different lifestyles, and effects of personal

choice or preference may have influenced the outcome and lack of

differences between samples noted in this study.

The only significant interaction in the study occurred between

differences between dual career and traditional wives on adaptability

and number of years married. The results indicated that traditional

wives reported higher adaptability in their families during the first

13 years of marriage while the dual career wives perceived their

families as less adaptable (Table 10). From years 13 through 17, how-

ever, both groups of wives reported similar perceptions of family

adaptability. From the seventeenth year of marriage onward the

traditional females reported less adaptability in their families than

did dual career wives whose adaptability ratings increased markedly.

A possible explanation for this trend may lie in a review of the

developmental nature of these lifestyles. During the initial years of

a dual career marriage, these wives experience the greatest number of

demands upon their time and energy (Rapoport F Rapoport, 1969). Such

demands involve managing a marriage, establishing oneself in a career,

children, housework, and more. Keith and Brubaker (1979) noted that on

the average, little has changed regarding the expectations and implementa-

tion of responsibilities in the home. Even though the wife was employed,

she was still expected by the family to perform the majority of the




























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home-making tasks. Therefore, it is conceivable that the dual career

wives would perceive their families as less adaptable initially. While

the demands have increased significantly for the wife, the family

members may not respond or change their routines appreciably to accommo-

date to her needs. The dual career wives then must bear the respons-

ibilities of both a career and a homemaker, while needing a significant

amount of initial assistance by the family. Unfortunately, they often

fail to receive that assistance internally because of ingrained societal

roles, an initial lack of awareness on the part of the family, and slowly

changing mores. The interactional trend of this study may suggest that

after a period of years the wife becomes more capable of handling those

demands, the family members become more responsive to her needs, and

where there are children involved, they are then at an age of increased

self-sufficiency.

The traditional wives, on the other hand, may not initially per-

ceive their lifestyle responsibilities as inequitable or requiring a

great deal of assistance. Their consistently decreasing level of re-

ported adaptability may indicate a tendency to remain in a fixed routine

which over time becomes less fulfilling. If there are still children in

the family, this period of childrearing is noted as generally more.

pressured and less satisfying (Hicks and Platt, 1970). Does the tra-

ditional structure become more entrenched rather than adaptive to change

over time? The implications are that while the dual career females and

their families may be getting use to their lifestyle, the traditional

females may be entering a different developmental stage. Perhaps the

later group begins perceiving their families as less adaptive to what-

ever changes they are beginning to experience during this period of time.








It is important also to note that this sample contains younger

and older couples who have not been followed over time but according

to the number of years married at the time of the study. In contrast

to the younger couples, older couples are a subset of those marriages

which have survived. People in marriages which have lasted from 17

to 25 years have continued to prefer their marriage and family arrange-

ment while earlier dissatisfied couples may have already left the marriage.

In addition, those in dual career marriages, having the financial means,

may have found divorce a more viable option as opposed to the traditional

marriages where adaptability was lower for wives. Thus, the sample is

not totally comparable on a continuum of years married and predictability.

This should be kept in mind when attaching implications to the results.

A longitudinal approach to studying these couples over time is strongly

suggested to examine the progress and development of the marriage,

family, and career.

Since no significant differences existed between groups, dual career

and traditional husbands groups were examined for significant correlations

on the three variables as a function of length of marriage, age, and

presence of children. Similar procedures were followed for the wives'

groups. Several significant relationships were revealed. Significant

positive relationships were noted in the combined wives' groups between

adaptability and the presence of children, and adaptability and age. Re-

sponsibilities naturally increase with age, the addition of children,

advancement in career, and especially if both adults are actively engaged

in careers (Skinner, 1980). Over time there may exist a greater re-

sponsiveness to demands and needed adjustments within the family.








Earlier research reported less adaptability to change when the wife

first entered a career (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1969). This meant that if

she was going to involve herself in a career, her responsibilities would

increase significantly while maintaining previous duties. This has not

remained the case ancd reallocation and sharing within the family has

increased (Skinner, 1980). Therefore, the wives in this study perceived

their families as becoming more accustomed over time to their chosen

lifestyle. Heckman, Bryson and Bryson (1977) reported that couples

who had been in their careers longer were better able to manage their

various responsibilities.

For husbands, no significant relationships were noted between adapt-

ability and length of marriage, age, or presence of children. Several

explanations could account for these results. Husbands may have been

more willing to accept whatever career lifestyle their wives wished to

choose. They may have perceived this preference as their wives' decision,

personal right, and responsibility if desired without viewing it in

positive or negative terms. Changes caused over time by their wives'

career may not have been seen as appreciable enough to interfere with

their relationship and therefore did not necessarily represent a loss

in support as previous research has reported (Burke & Weir, 1976).

For husbands marital satisfaction was not correlated with age, length

of marriage, or presence of children.








On the variable of cohesion several significant negative relation-

ships were noted. For the wives, cohesion in the family decreased as

age and the number of years married increased. Nadelson and Eisenburg

(1977) reported that one of the most important costs of the dual career

marriage was time lost from companionship. The many demands and re-

sponsibilities unfortunately compete with the closeness family members

experience (Rollins & Galligna, 1978). St. John-Parsons (1978) noted

that dual career couples in comparison to traditional couples often

found little time left to maintain important relationships even within

their extended families. While research has documented the demands

dual career couples experience, these results indicate that lowered

cohesion is found in the husbands and wives of both dual career and

traditional families. Hopkins and White (1978) have suggested implement-

ing regular family meetings to provide an opportunity for family members

to share time together and handle problems which often arise in daily

living.

A significant negative relationship between cohesion and the presence

of children consistent with the above mentioned findings, was also noted

in the husbands' group. Husbands reported lowered cohesion with the

presence of children. Hicks and Platt (1970) reported that one of the

most surprising summaries of the marital research of the 1960's was the

conclusion that the presence of children detracted from the marital

quality of their parents. More recent research has continued to support

and confirm this relationship. For instance, Ryder (1973), using longi-

tudinal data, found for young couples with a new child compared to

controls who had no children, the fathers seemed to pay less attention

to the mothers. No decrease in marital satisfaction was noted though








Gutmann (1975) proposed the concept of the "marital diamond" suggesting

couples were close before and after parenthood but further apart emo-

tionally during parenthood. Parenthood also fostered more traditional

attitudes toward sex roles in the division of labor. Therefore, the

results of this study provide partial support to past research indicating

the husband's loss of exclusive domain and attention from his wife.

A significant relationship was noted between adaptability and presence

of children in the wives' group. Wives perceived their families as be-

coming more adaptable to change with the presence of children. These

findings are consistent with the above mentioned research suggesting that

wives assume much of the initial responsibility of childrearing. This

role places additional demands upon the wife and a naturally occurring

increase in flexibility toward change within the family.

No significant relationships on age or length of marriage and marital

satisfaction between dual career and traditional couples were found in this

study. These findings are in contrast to research results of recent years

which support decreased marital satisfaction during the middle years of

marriage. For example, Hicks and Platt (1970) reviewed numerous studies

which consistently supported a U-shaped trend in marital satisfaction in-

dicating high satisfaction at the beginning of marriage, lowered satisfac-

tion during middle years ,and increasing levels of satisfaction in latter

years of marriage. What do the results of this current study mean? Are

couples really less satisfied during the middle years of marriage or are

they just preoccupied with the demands of rearing a family, advancing in

a career, and maintaining all the other responsibilities of adulthood?

Is there a loss in marital satisfaction or, as the results in this study

suggest, a loweringof cohesion due to the demanding developmental state

in which the family is engaged?









There was a slight trend toward higher marital satisfaction in

traditional wives but to a nonsignificant degree. These results are

difficult to explain in relation to other studies which have documented

higher satisfaction in dual career wives over traditional wives (Burke &

Weir, 1976; Safilios-Rothschild, 1970). Would either of the above

mentioned results in this study haveremained consistent if couples

married longer than twenty-five years had been included in the sample?

These are issues beyond the scope of this study yet a longitudinal

approach with these two groups might be worthy of investigation in terms

of trends, changes, and patterns observed over time.

The findings of this study could lend support to the following summary

of results.

There were no overall differences between wives in dual career and

traditional couples and men in both groups on adaptability, cohesion, and

marital satisfaction. However, traditional wives perceived higher adapt-

ability than dual career wives during the first years of marriage. During

later years of marriage the reverse was true. Both groups of wives per-

ceived higher adaptability in the family with age and with the presence

of children.

On the other hand, wives in both dual career and traditional families

reported lowered cohesion or closeness with age and years married. Husbands

of both groups, likewise, reported perceptions of lowered cohesion both with

the greater the number of years married and with the presence of children.

Finally, for husbands and wives of both groups no relationship between

marital satisfaction and age, length of marriage, or presence of children

was found.





72


Limitations

There were several limitations of this study. While this study

investigated couples married from 2 to 25 years, it was done at one

point in time. A longitudinal approach could use couples married a

similar length of time but evaluate these variables at various develop-

mental marriage and family stages. The benefits of this type of

approach would allow researchers to study naturally occurring changes

and problems at different times during a marriage.

Secondly, the sample of older couples was a subset of those who

have remained married and therefore does not include those individuals

who have chosen not to remain together. By virtue of this fact, perhaps

certain relevant issues affecting these lifestyles have been eliminated.

A longitudinal sample would include those marriages which did and did

not survive adding valuable information about certain predictable crisis

points and how they are typically dealt with.

A homogeneous sample was used in this study. Their similarities

could have minimized the outcomes. Therefore, a broader, more hetero-

geneous sample including different vocations or types of universities

could be considered in future research. By including different samples of

blue-collar, white-collar, and professional individuals, interactional

similarities and differences between the lifestyles might become more

evident. Universities identified as liberal, conservative, or religious

could add to these findings.








Finally, the subjects used in the sample were voluntary. There-

fore, social desirability and social representation are issues to con-

sider when interpreting results. Volunteers by virtue of their willing-

ness to participate bias the sample while those unwilling to participate

perhaps exclude divergent views which would significantly affect the

results.

Conclusions

Dual career and traditional couples composed of professors and

their spouses from the University of Florida were tested using three

instruments: the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale

(FACE II), the Marital Satisfaction Scale (MSS), and the demographic

data sheet. Results of the first two research questions indicated no

overall differences between the wives of dual career and traditional

couples and the husbands of both groups on cohesion, adaptability, and

marital satisfaction.

One significant interaction was noted between differences in dual

career and traditional wives' scores on family adaptability and number

of years married. Traditional wives reported perceptions of higher

adaptability in the early years of marriage while dual career wives

noted higher adaptability during later years. One is led to wonder if

each group of wives actually changed over time by virtue of their life-

style or if perhaps other confounding variables were involved. A

significant positive relationship was also noted between adaptability

scores for both of the groups of wives and the presence of children.








Husbands in both groups reported less closeness when children were

present in the family. This finding is consistent with current literature

indicating children affect and detract from the involvement of husbands

and wives. Both husbands and wives reported less cohesion the longer

they were married even though no differences were noted in marital sat-

isfaction. Wives also experienced less cohesion with age. Do husbands

and wives prefer to be less cohesive during this time because of multiple

demands and the developmental stage of marriage and family? Some of these

results support current literature yet some differences in past trends

were also noted suggesting the need for further investigation.

Recommendations for Future Research

Dual career and traditional husbands and wives were evaluated on

the variables of cohesion, adaptability, and marital satisfaction. Each

of these variables in both groups of husbands and wives were examined

as a function of number of years married, age, and presence of children.

Recommendations will address the need to further examine these variables

using heterogeneous samples, longitudinal research, stages of marital

and family development, and comparisons of real and ideal perceptions.

Results of this study support the need for additional research on

the variable of adaptability in wives and other family members when

wives make changes in their lifestyle. This study noted differences in

perceptions of adaptability between groups with age suggesting that

certain adjustments occur in families developmentally based on their

particular lifestyle. Do some family forms become more adaptive while

others more entrenched? This area needs to be explored in greater depth.







The use of heterogeneous samples are also recommended to determine

the consistency and applicability of results. Evaluating different

vocational groups may enable researchers to draw consistent conclusions

regarding the effects of specific family forms. The approach may also

reveal what other variables, if any, could be influencing the results.

Longitudinal studies would allow monitoring of the developmental

differences which occur over time with families. It could also help

us understand if and how the dual career lifestyle is being absorbed or

assimilated into our society. The longitudinal results would add

support to the literature and theory of developmental stages. This

approach would assess the different needs of the same family types at

different points in time.

Self-report inventories are often biased by the subjectivity and

social desirability of the subjects' responses. Individuals are like-

wise more prone to support the lifestyle which they have chosen. Com-

parisons of both the real and ideal perceptions of subjects toward their

lifestyles would identify areas of both satisfaction and dissatisfaction

in the dual career and traditional family. This could provide more in-

sights into the particular areas of unattended or unmentioned needs.

The concept of cohesion seems to be related but significantly

different from marital satisfaction. These results indicated that while

cohesion was low in the family under certain conditions, there was not

a corresponding decrease in marital satisfaction. There is a need for

further studies investigating reasons why cohesion decreases,in what

periods of marriage this occurs, and how it affects a couple's relation-

ship. This could also help clinicians identify and be aware of potential

crisis periods in the family.







Finally, an in-depth investigation of marital satisfaction with /

dual career and traditional couples at all stages of marriage is highly

recommended. Do levels of marital satisfaction differ at various points

in the marriage? A longitudinal approach with the same group of couples

over time and at different stages would provide invaluable insight into

changes couples naturally experience and how different variables such as

career, age, and children affect these stages.

The results of this study support the need to further investigate

the variables of family cohesion, family adaptability, and marital

satisfaction as they relate to dual career and traditional families.

The use of heterogeneous samples, longitudinal research, stages of

marital and family development, and comparisons of real and ideal per-

ceptions are specific focal areas recommended for future examination.







APPENDIX A
DEMOGRAPHIC DATA SHEET



1. Husband: Age Race Wife: Age Race

2. Number of years married:_ 3. Do you have children living at home:

4. Present Educational level. Husband; H.S. Tech. BA/BS
MA/MS Ed.S. Ed.D. Ph.D. ___ ABD_ Other _

Present Educational level. Wife: H.S. Tech. BA/BS
MA/MS Ed.S. Ed.D. Ph.D. ABD --Other

5. Husband: Current Position Title: As Ao Professor
a) # years Full-time # Part-time hrs?_

Wife: Current Position Title: As Ao Professor
Homemaker Other a) # yrs. FulT-ime
# Part-time-hrs?

Definitions:
Job An area of work or employment that you do not define as permanent,
have a high commitment to, or consider your life's work.

Career A voluntary, continuous occupation considered to be your life's
work and to which you have a high commitment.

6. Husband: Do you perceive yourself as presently involved in a job or
a career ?
a) total # years in the general work force (any and all types of
jobs)
b) total # years in current income-earning career (including present
career position)

Wife: Do you perceive yourself as presently involved in a job or
a career ?
a) total # years in the general work force (any and all types of
jobs)
b) total # years in current income-earning career (including present
career position) / Not applicable. (I am a Homemaker).

7. Husband: Plan to continue career /job in the future?
Yes No Why?

Wife: Plan to continue career /job /homemaking in the
Yes No Why?








8. Husband: What stage are you in your career progress?
Initial Becoming Stable & Considering
Exploration Established Satisfied_ Career Change

Considering
Retirement

Wife: What stage are you in your career progress?
Tnitial Becoming Stable & Considering
Exploration_ Established Satisfied Career Change__

Considering
Retirement

9. Combined Family (Husband & Wife) Income Level

10. I would like a summary of the results.

Address:
















APPENDIX B
TELEPHONE PRESENTATION FOR SUBJECT SOLICITATION



Hello, my name is D. Charles Williams. I am a doctoral candidate

in the Department of Counselor Education working in conjunction with

the Dual Career Family Project in Norman Hall here at the University of

Florida.

I am exclusively using the University of Florida professors in a

dissertation study of Dual Career and Traditional Couples investigating

their perceptions of what family life is like today. A Dual Career couple

is defined as one in which each spouse is involved in a continuous,

voluntary occupation of at least 20 hours per week and toward which there

is a high level of commitment. A Traditional couple is one in which the

husband is involved in a career and the wife is primarily involved in

homemaking. I am also interested in couples who have been married between

2 and 25 years.

The study itself will only take about 30-40 minutes of both your and

your spouse's time. It will involve each of you answering two inventories

which I will mail to your home.

The study is confidential and all returned data is anonymous.

Would you be interested in participating in the study?

Are you and your spouse a Dual Career or a Traditional couple?





8Q


How long have you been married?

Is yourhome address still ?

You will be receiving a packet in the mail with instructions

enclosed within several days.

Thank you for your cooperation.















APPENDIX C
DUAL CAREER FAMILY PROJECT

Norman Hall
University of FLorida



FACES II ITEMS

The following statements concern your current feelings, beliefs,

or attitudes toward your present immediate family. There are no right

or wrong responses to these statements. The answer that best describes

your family as it is right now is the desired response.

There are 30 items in this inventory for each statement, a five-

point scale is provided for indicating your response. Write the

appropriate number on the answer sheet to indicate your response to

that statement.

Then go back through the statements a second time and indicate the

number that best describes how you would ideally like your immediate

family to be. Again, use the attached FACES II answer sheet.

Please do not share your answers with your spouse. When you have

completed both tests (FACES II & Marital Scale) fold and place them in

the appropriate envelope (husband or wife) and seal it. Then place

both envelopes in the large stamped, self-addressed envelope and mail

it back to me. All information collected is anonymous and confidential.





82


It is important that you fill these out within 2 weeks upon

receipt. If for some reason you are not able to participate as

agreed, merely place all contents in the self-addressed envelope

provided and mail back to me.

I certainly appreciate your participation and thank you for

your time.



David Charles Williams
Doctoral Candidate













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