Title: Evaluation of a dual career couples guidance program
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Title: Evaluation of a dual career couples guidance program
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Copyright Date: 1986
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EVALUATION OF A DUAL CAREER
COUPLES GUIDANCE PROGRAM










BY

DAVE WORTLEY


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

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1986





















This dissertation is dedicated to

Maryann and Seth.














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This project could not have been completed without the

help of a number of people. Each of my committee members

(Drs. Ellen Amatea, Larry Loesch, Peggy Fong,and Constance Shehan)

sacrificed his or her time to read, edit,and provide support in

order that I could complete this dissertation and finally

graduate. My chairman, Dr. Amatea, has been particularly

helpful in this regard, as well as having provided me much

support and encouragement through my protracted tenure as a

graduate student. I would also like to extend special

thanks to Dr. Harold Riker, who was originally a member of

this committee but couldn't wait for me to finish before he

retired. His patience, confidence, kindness,and nurturing

have been gifts that I will not forget.

The faces of my parents, friends,and the many teachers

who have helped me to this point, I will carry forward with

me. Many people have believed in me and my abilities when I

would not. Their confidence has made a difference. I thank

all of them.

Most specifically I thank my wife, Maryann, without whose

love, encouragement,and technical assistance this would not

have been completed. Her confidence and understanding have

sustained me through many things--the frustrations of this

project included.


iii














TABLE OF CONTENTS



CHAPTER PAGE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.............................. .. i

LIST OF TABLES ................................vi

ABSTRACT..................................... viii


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

Scope of the Problem ...........................1
Need for the Study ............................11
Purpose of the Study..........................12
General Research Questions ...................14
Definition of Terms ...........................15


II REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE..............18

The Dual Career Family........................18
Characteristics of the Dual Career
Couple.................................... 20
Dual Career Lifestyle Conflicts and
Stresses ................................. 21
Available Interventions.....................32
Marital Enrichment Programs ...................33
Classification of Marital Enrichment
Programs ............. ....................36
Research on Marital Enrichment
Programs ........ ........................39
The Coupling and Careers Program...............43
Summary.......................................... 47

III RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ..........................49

Introduction..................................49
Research Design ...............................50
Population and Sample .........................52
Sampling Procedures...........................53
Treatment Procedures.......................... 55
Data Collection Procedures ...................57










CHAPTER PAGE

Instrumentation................................... 59
Demographic Data Sheet..................... 59
Life Role Salience Scales.................. 59
The Marital Communication Inventory........ 62
Relationship Change Scale.................. 64
Hypotheses ....................................66
Analysis of Data ..............................66

IV ANALYSIS OF DATA ..............................68

Introduction..................................68
Description of the Sample.....................69
Work and Family Role Salience..................72
Quality of Marital Communication Patterns.....76
Perceptions of Relationship Change...........78

V SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS......87

Summary.......................................... 87
Discussion of Results..........................88
Discussion of Intervention...................93
Recommendations For Further Research...........100

APPENDICES.....................................

A. Dual Career Couples Workshop: Outline of
Goals and Activities...................106
B. Data Sheet............................... 110
C. Relationship Change Scale................113


BIBLIOGRAPHY.................................116
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .........................124















LIST OF TABLES


TABLE PAGE TITLE


3-1 50 RANDOMIZED PRETEST-POSTTEST
DESIGN

4-1 70 DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF SAMPLE

4-2 74 RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS OF
COVARIANCE OF WORK AND FAMILY
ROLE SALIENCE BY GROUP AND BY
SEX

4-3 77 RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS OF
COVARIANCE ON WORK AND FAMILY
ROLE SALIENCE MEAN AND
ADJUSTED MEAN SCORES BY GROUP
AND BY SEX

4-4 79 RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS OF
COVARIANCE ON SUBJECTS'
EVALUATION OF THE QUALITY OF
THEIR MARITAL COMMUNICATION BY
GROUP AND BY SEX

4-5 79 MEAN AND ADJUSTED MEAN SCORES
FOR RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS
OF COVARIANCE ON SUBJECTS'
EVALUATION OF THE QUALITY OF
THEIR MARITAL COMMUNICATION
BY GROUP AND BY SEX

4-6 81 RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS OF
COVARIANCE OF PERCEIVED
RELATIONSHIP CHANGE BY GROUP
AND BY SEX

4-7 81 MEAN AND ADJUSTED MEAN SCORES
FOR RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS
OF COVARIANCE OF PERCEIVED
RELATIONSHIP CHANGE BY GROUP
AND BY SEX










TABLE PAGE


4-8 84 RELATIONSHIP CHANGE SCALE
ITEM SCORES BY GROUP RELATED
SAMPLE t TEST

4-9 85 RELATIONSHIP CHANGE SCALE
ITEM SCORES BY SEX RELATED
SAMPLE t TEST

4-10 86 SAMPLE MEANS RELATIONSHIP
CHANGE SCALE ITEM SCORES BY
GROUP

4-11 86 SAMPLE MEANS RELATIONSHIP
SCALE ITEM SCORES BY SEX


vii


TITLE















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

EVALUATION OF A DUAL CAREER COUPLES GUIDANCE PROGRAM

By

Dave Wortley

August, 1986

Chairperson: Ellen Amatea
Major Department: Counselor Education

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a short-term

intervention program for dual career couples. The program

was designed to expand couples' awareness of the predicaments

experienced in a dual career relationship, to help them clarify

their work and family role values and commitments, and to

develop their communication and decision-making skills. The

program was delivered by trained counselors to a total of 40

dual career couples in the University of Florida and surround-

ing Gainesville community.

A randomized control group pretest-posttest design was

utilized. Dual career couples volunteered to participate in

the program through various university, community, civic and

church affiliated organizations.

The treatment group and gender were the independent

variables. The dependent variables were 1) couples' work and


xiii













The treatment group and gender were the independent

variables. The dependent variables were 1) couples' work

and family role expectations or salience, as measured by the

Life Role Salience Scales; 2) their attitudes regarding the

equality of their marital communication patterns, as

measured by the Marital Communication Inventory; and

3) perceptions of change in their satisfaction with their

interpersonal relationship, as measured by the Relationship

Change Scale.

Analysis of couples' responses on the Life Role

Salience Scale and the Marital Communication Inventory

revealed no significant differences between experimental and

control group subjects (p4.05). There were also no

significant differences noted between male and female

subjects nor significant interaction between treatment and

sex on these measures. Although, no significant difference

by sex or interaction by treatment and sex were recorded on

the Relationship Change Scale, a significant difference

between treatment and control groups subjects (p<.05) was

reported, with treatment group subjects reporting significantly

more positive change than the controls during posttesting.

A series of related t tests were conducted to determine,

as a post hoc analysis, those Relationship Change Scale

items demonstrating a significant difference by group.













Items in which treatment groups subjects reported changes

concerned changes in 1) how they felt they were perceived by

their spouse, 2) their self-perceptions and self-

understanding, 3) their perceptual accuracy and listening

skills, 4) their ability to constructively handle

disagreement, and 5) their general relationship. A

discussion of results, their implications and limitations,

and recommendations for further research are offered.














CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION


Scope of the Problem


The proportion of people choosing to follow a dual

career pattern in which both husband and wife maintain

a commitment to a career and a couple/family relationship

has risen steadily over the past 10 years (Hershman &

Levenson, 1979; Katz, 1978). For such individuals their

career typically requires a high degree of commitment of

personal time, energy, and training; is highly salient

personally; and has a continuous developmental quality

where advances in responsibility, power, pay, and status

are accrued over time (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976). It is

estimated that the proportion of dual career marriages in

the general population of the United States has increased

at the rate of approximately 7 percent per year since 1970

(Rice, 1979).

Although work and family traditionally have been

treated as separate areas of research interest (Ridley,

1973), the interface between the working lives and the

personal lives of people in this society is of growing











concern to families, researchers, managers, and policy

makers. One reason for this concern is that the proportion

of married women in the labor force has increased

substantially in the last several decades, indicating that

many women expect to combine family life with work outside

the home (Ladewig & White, 1984).

Rather than working primarily for added income, both

husband and wife have high achievement aspirations and seek

to exercise their fullest capacities in their respective

occupations (Scanzoni & Scanzoni, 1981). Even though dual

career families currently are a minority, Scanzoni and

Scanzoni (1981) suggested that it is a lifestyle that may

represent the wave of the future. Because of the enormous

implications for family life and for the larger society, it

seems important that greater research efforts be devoted to

the dual career family (Berardo, 1981).

Many social indicators suggest that the number of

dual career couples in this country will continue to

increase. Larger numbers of women are preparing for

careers by extending their education. Since it has been

found that professional women are more likely to marry

professional men (Feldman, 1973), it is expected that

the dual career pattern will become more and more prevalent

(Rapoport & Rapoport, 1978). According to many writers,

contemporary professional couples bring not










only an uncharted set of occupational problems, but also a

new set of psychological and philosophical constructs to the

traditional marriage structure, including a preoccupation

with independence and achievement (Hall & Hall, 1979; Parker,

Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976). The

traditional family marker events, e.g., the age of marriage

or the birth of the first child, even the nature and timing of

the midlife period of reevaluation, seem to be altered by the

dual career couple/family process (Wilke, 1979).

Research on the dual career family pattern has focused

on dual career families from the psychological (Burke & Weir,

1976; Johnson & Johnson, 1980; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971, 1978;

St. John-Parsons, 1978) and organizational (Hall & Hall, 1979;

Holmstrom, 1972; Hunt & Hunt, 1977) perspectives. The first

view examines issues, trends, and dilemmas of dual career

couples as a divergent form of family development; the second

analyzes the problems of matching the needs of the couple as a

unit to the individual's career growth and the needs of the

organization.

Psychologically oriented research reports describe the

pressures and stresses, as well as many benefits. Problems

of role overload have repeatedly been documented in the

literature (Johnson & Johnson, 1977; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976,

1978). Discrepancies between personal norms for career and

family role performance and social/environmental sanctions

frequently created "normative dilemmas" for participants of










this family form. Sex role and personal identity conflicts

have also been reported frequently by dual career participants

attempting to merge personal definitions of career and family

roles with sociocultural definitions of what is intrinsically

masculine or feminine (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976; Shaevitz

& Shaevitz, 1979). Finally, role cycling dilemmas and the

restriction of social support systems are commonly cited

sources of stress for dual career participants (Lein, 1979;

Rapoport & Rapoport, 1978).

With the growth of this family form and the increasing

recognition of its inherent stressors, specific attitudes

and strategies have been reported for coping successfully

with the pressures of this lifestyle (Hall & Hall, 1979;

Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981; Price-Bonham & Murphy, 1980;

Rapoport & Rapoport,1969, 1976; Shaevitz & Shaevitz, 1979).

Such attitudes and strategies seem to be either individual or

couple based. The need to combine individual and couple based cop-

ing strategies has been widely documented in the literature on

dual career couples (Hall & Hall, 1979; Parker, Peltier,

& Wolleat, 1981).

Successful individually based strategies for reducing

or at least managing the stresses of this lifestyle were

those of 1) increasing one's awareness of the typical issues

and common stressor situations faced by dual career couples

so that one can be better able to generate adaptive alterna-

tives (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1978); 2) employing a "stress






5



optimization" mentality, in which stress is acknowledged as

inevitable and preferable to the stresses of alternative

lifestyles (Bebbington, 1973, Poloma, 1972); establishing

priorities among and between roles (Rapoport & Rapoport,

1978); 4) compartmentalizing or focusing on roles at

different times (Shaevitz & Shaevitz, 1979); 5) compromising

of personal standards; (Rice, 1979); and 6) utilizing

personal relaxation techniques such as meditation and

physical exercise to develop a greater taking care of self

mentality (Hall & Hall, 1979).

The couple centered strategies for effective coping

mentioned by dual career theorists involved more complex

processes. One critical element in the successful

management of stress was the presence of a "helping

component" in the couple relationship characterized by open

communication, empathy, emotional reassurance, support, and

sensitivity to each other's feelings (Burke & Weir, 1976;

Hall & Hall, 1979). Interviewing both dual career and dual

working couples, Rapoport and Rapoport (1971, 1978) reported

that a significant number of the couples emphasized the need

for partners to possess effective interpersonal skills so

that communication and decision-making processes were more

efficient and equitable. Parker, Peltier, and Wolleat (1981)

in their review of essential dual career coping elements,

discussed the need for the couple to communicate feelings

honestly and to develop a basic sense of trust and mutual respect










A second critical coping element described by couples

is the frequent use of explicit techniques to resolve dif-

ferences in partner preferences, wants, and needs. Lawe and

Lawe (1980) described the use of conflict resolution tech-

niques. Hall and Hall (1979) and Parker, Peltier, and

Wolleat (1981) described joint problem-solving techniques

used in resolving such inevitable differences. Scanzoni and

Fox (1980) recommended "joint decisioning" techniques as

necessary elements in the everyday workings of dual career

marriages. In summary, it appears that most writers indicate

that a dual career family life requires consistent use of

problem-solving skills; a genuine willingness to take the

other person into account; to change oneself and to accept

change in one's partner; to develop a basic sense of mutual

trust, respect, and esteem; and to retain a separate sense of

identity (Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981).

The relative importance of these general coping

strategies and skills to a well-functioning marriage have

been widely discussed in the marital enrichment literature

(Gurman & Kniskern, 1977; L'Abate, 1981). Marital enrichment

programs are educational and preventative in nature. Such

programs are quite similar in their emphasis on teaching open

communication, conflict resolution,and decision-making skills

(L'Abate, 1981). Of these three areas, the importance of

"open communication" to satisfactory marital functioning is

addressed most often (Guerney, 1977; L'Abate, 1981; Mace, 1977;










Miller, Nunnally,&Wackman, 1975; Otto, 1975) in the marital

enrichment literature.

Efforts to develop educational programs for dual

career couples have usually been shaped by researchers'

documentation of the specific characteristics and styles

which seem to be common among individuals who choose this

lifestyle. According to Rice (1979), for example, certain

personality characteristics often common to dual career

couples which result in certain generalizable conflicts

typically emerge. Rice (1979) noted a prominent need for

achievement and individual recognition among both members of

dual career couples. When these self-esteem enhancing needs

were not met in their relationship, the dual career spouse

tended to withdraw emotionally from his or her partner and

invest more in work (Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981). Work

was a ready "escape route" from conflicts with intimacy, as

it was accessible to both partners and was a highly valued

social activity.

Rice (1979) also noted that while dual career couples

are supportive of one another, they can also be quite com-

petitive. Helping couples to establish or restore a sense of

equity or fairness in their relationship has often been cited

as a primary goal of counseling with dual career couples

(Rice, 1979). Thus it seems crucial that over time and

across situations, benefits and constraints balance and

are fairly distributed between spouses.










According to Amatea and Cross (1983), many young dual

careerists, in particular, tend to think in an individualistic

manner and lack a clear sense of the process of interdependent

planning and decision making. The single-minded focus of

the career training context and the relative lack of life

experience available to young dual careerists appear to

restrict their ability to think objectively about their

lifestyle alternative or to prioritize among competing

life roles and goals. In addition, Amatea and Cross (1983)

contend that the professional training environment endorses

only a narrow range of paths to "personal success," each

tied to individual career entry and steady upward mobility.

Few, if any, models depict patterns of joint career entry

and mobility and only limited opportunities exist for viewing

the impact of joint career commitments on the execution of

other life roles.

While the predicaments and stresses facing the young

dual career couples may be most obvious and most readily

identifiable, there is also a more continuous developmental

quality to these that has been noted by researchers. Wilke

(1979) has offered a model summarizing a systems viewpoint

of dual career families. Dual career themes are presented

within a social systems framework; the issues of marriage,

family, and career are identified at successive stages of the

family life cycle, including early marriage, decision stage

(e.g., will we have children?), young family midlife (with










children living at home), and midlife (with adult children).

She identifies prototypical issues and coping demands common

to each stage in the marriage, family, and career areas.

Wilke (1979) asserted that by using a systems perspective

one can focus on the simultaneous nature of the multiple

forces at work, including the complex interplay of individual

personality and developmental growth and change, issues

related to career development and to behavior, and relationships

toward children, toward peers, and finally, to aging parents.

She emphasized the interdependence of all these elements and

stressed the idea that any alteration in one part (e.g.,

the female role), will surely and directly alter all other

parts.

Since increasing numbers of couples are choosing a

dual career lifestyle, there will, in all likelihood, be an

increased need to learn methods for coping more effectively

with the stress generated. Recently, specially designed dual

career interventions have been developed (Amatea & Cross,

1983; Kahnweiler & Kahnweiler, 1980; Parker, Peltier, &

Wolleat, 1981).

One such intervention is the Coupling and Careers

(Amatea & Cross, 1983) program. It was constructed to assist

dual career couples in developing effective personal and

couple-based coping strategies. The program is designed for

couples to attend together with a major focus on the examina-

tion of each couple's decision-making style. Acquiring a











well-functioning style of collaborative decision-making is

facilitated through the modeling and teaching of specific

communication and problem-solving skills. Concurrent with the

couple focus, individual participants are given the opportunity

to examine their own personal system of expectations and

priorities regarding career, marital,and parental roles in

order to develop a more effective individual coping style.

The method of teaching these skills is through the medium of

specific immediate concerns of the participants.

Amatea and Clark (1984) have reported some initial results

on evaluation of the Coupling and Careers program. Pre-workshop

and post-workshop data on 12 couples revealed that participants

became significantly more accurate in their perceptions

of their spouses' attitudes and feelings. They also

reported a significantly increased level of satisfaction with

their relationship immediately following participation in the

workshop.

The current study sought to incorporate the specific

recommendations for further research made by Amatea and Clark

(1985) in their report on the pilot studies of the Coupling

and Careers program. For instance, Amatea and Clark (1985) sug-

gest that control groups be used to determine whether there were

other related individual and couple program outcomes of this

program. The current study utilized control groups and alterna-

tive criterion instruments that were specifically fitted to the











designated/goals outcomes outlined for the Coupling and Careers

program (Amatea & Cross, 1983). Additionally, a larger

(n = 40 couples, 80 individual data sets) and more diverse

sample was utilized with subjects recruited from the wider

community, as well as the university.

An effort to address the more general criticisms of

previous evaluations of related marital enrichment programs

included the following design considerations. First, an

effort to utilize an evaluation design fitted to the goals

of the programs (Schumn, 1983) and to fit criterion

instruments, protesting to posttesting, to major program

components (Gurman & Kniskern, 1977) was made.

Further, in an attempt to address durability of effects

(i.e., the extent to which initial gains from program

oarticipationware maintained over time) (Joanning, 1982;

Schumn, 1983), posttesting was conducted on a delayed basis

Finally, in an effort to explore sex-related variations in

response (L'Abate, 1981), differences between males and

females, as well as possible interactions between treatment

and sex, were examined.



Need for the Study

Since interventions have been developed with the hope of

preparing dual careerists to cope more effectively with the

pressures of this lifestyle, there is a need to










evaluate the outcomes of such programs. Although the

initial reports on short term dual career education programs

are encouraging, most of these reports have been anecdotal

in nature, conducted with very limited samples, and have

included little empirical data on specified outcomes. Thus

there is a need to examine more rigorously the effects of

such programs on dual career couples since none of these

programs have been evaluated in a systematic fashion.

Design of an evaluation study of a dual career guidance

program must be completed in full acknowledgement of

criticisms of marital enrichment program research. Efforts

to evaluate marital enrichment programs have been criticized

for not always having an evaluation design fitted to the

goals of the program (Schumn, 1983); for not fitting

criterion instruments, pretest to posttest, to each program

component (Gurman & Kniskern, 1977); and for not addressing

durability of effects issues. While many couples show

significant gains on criterion measures immediately

following such programs, most measures return to

pretest levels soon after completion of the program

(Joanning, 1982; Schumn, 1983).



Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effec-

tiveness of a short term intervention program for dual career











couples. This program was designed to expand couples'

awareness of, adjustment to, and management of problems

typically experienced by dual careerists, as well as to

provide them basic coping strategies for dealing with such

and to build on their communication, conflict resolution,

and decision-making skills.

Three outcome variables were selected to assess the

effectiveness of this program: 1) participants' work and

family role salience; 2) their attitudes/perceptions

regarding the quality of their marital communication; and

3) any reported changes in satisfaction with the quality of

their interpersonal relationship. Since several of the

coping strategies presented in the Coupling and Careers

program suggest consideration of the values ranking

associated with work and family role performance, changes

in work and family role salience were a major outcome

examined in this study. In addition, since the primary

goals for the Coupling and Careers program were

to train participants in the use of effective communication

and joint problem-solving skills necessary for the con-

structive management of interpersonal conflict (Amatea &

Cross, 1983) participants' perceptions/attitudes regarding

their marital communication process were a second important

area of interest. Finally, an assessment of changes in











couples' perceptions of the quality of their interpersonal

relationship was undertaken.



General Research Questions

The specific research questions addressed in this study

were

1) Did participation in a short-term dual career couples

program have an impact on levels of dual career spouses'

work and family role salience? More specifically, did

participation in such a program change dual careerists'

evaluation of or commitment to career, marital, or parental

life roles?

2) Did participation in such a program affect dual

career mates' perceptions of their couple-based communica-

tion?

3) Did participation in such a program affect dual

career mates' relationship satisfaction level?

4) Did the program have a differential impact on males

and females?

5) Were treatment effects observable four weeks

following program completion?



Definition of Terms

Dual Career Couple Two persons engaged in a lifestyle

in which each individual pursues a separate career role











along with a committed relationship (Parker, Peltier, &

Wolleat, 1981) constitute a dual career couple. The term

career designates a job sequence that requires a high degree

of commitment (time, energy, training); is highly salient

personally (substantial ego involvement); and has a

continual developmental quality (advances in responsibility,

power, pay, and status) (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976). The dual

career couple becomes a dual career family when they

establish a family life with at least one child.

Dual Worker Couple Such a couple is characterized

by both spouses working outside the home, but not necessarily

committing themselves to a long term developmental progression

of occupational pursuit. Often both spouses are not working

by choice but by necessity.

Marital Communication It is the process of mates

transmitting feelings, attitudes, facts, beliefs, and ideas.

Communication is not limited to words but also occurs

through listening, silences, gestures, touch, and all the

other nonlanguage symbols and clues used by persons in

giving and receiving meaning (Bienvenu, 1979).

Career Role Salience The extent to which the

individual commits personal resources to the enactment of a

career role and values rewards accruing from the career

role, including the extent to which the individual depends

on such roles to provide self-definition and feelings of











compentency, and the extent to which individuals commit

themselves to their work effort and career development

(Amatea, Cross, Clark, & Bobby, in press).

Family Role Salience The extent which the

individual commits personal resources to enactment of a

parental role and values rewards accruing from the parental

roles, including the extent to which competencies of the

role are valued by the individual and the extent to which

they plan to take an active role in the development and

management or implementation of parental role activities

(Amatea, Cross, Clark, & Bobby, in press).

Marital Role Salience The extent to which the

individual commits personal resources to the enactment of

the marital role and values rewards accruing from the

marital role, including the extent to which competencies of

the role are valued by the individual and the extent to

which they plan to take an active role in the development,

management, and implementation of marital role activities

(Amatea, Cross, Clark, & Bobby, in press).

Relationship Change The subjective attitude, or

perception of feeling between a couple which may indicate to

them that some facet of their relationship (i.e.,

satisfaction, communication, trust, intimacy, sensitivity,






17


or understanding) has changed over a given period of time

(Schlien, 1971).














CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE


In this chapter, a review of the literature related

to the evolution and characteristics of the dual career

couple and family form will be presented. The marital

skill training and enrichment literature will then be

reviewed as it pertains to the evaluation of dual career

couples' educational programs. Finally, a description of

the Coupling and Careers program, its rationale, goals,

format,and previous findings are presented.


The Dual Career Family


Massive social changes in American society have

radically affected the interface of work and family life

and have led to the evolution of the dual career couple

and/or family form. Certain changes over the past 30 years

have contributed to the development of this lifestyle.

Following a period of more active involvement in the

work force during World War II, the postwar era evolved as

a time when women once again concerned themselves primarily

with domestic tasks. As white collar jobs increased for













men, they again assumed the "breadwinner" role. During the

1950s the nature of work for middle class men and women was,

for the most part, very different and unrelated.

During the 1960s, however, several social changes

affected the work world. The advent of birth control, the

women's liberation movement, the increasing value placed on

individual development, high divorce rates, inflation and the

demand for well-educated workers, all provided new opportunities

for women and led to their steadily increasing involvement in the

work place. This period was also a time in which expecta-

tions about marriage were changing. Shaevitz and Shaevitz (1979)

note that during this time some women became dissatisfied at

home and looked for outside work to meet their needs and

interests. By the end of the 1970s, nearly half of the

labor force was comprised of women (Johnson & Johnson, 1980).

Through the 1970s American society has shown an increasing

emphasis on partnership in family life (Rapoport & Rapoport,

1971, 1976). Equity between husband and wife, joint activities,

and collaboration in decision-making so as to maximize the

possibilities for each family member to share the benefits of

participation external to the family (e.g., leisure and educa-

tional as well as occupational participation) were increasingly

evident. At work, new values emphasized rising expectations

for personal development, self-expression, and the capacity to











accommodate to multiple role demands in the face of rapid

social change. Individuals can be expected to face the

demand to readapt to evolving work and family demands

throughout the life-cycle (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976).

The number of young people choosing to follow the dual

career family pattern continues to rise rapidly (Hershman &

Levenson, 1979; Katz, 1978). Many social indicators suggest

that dual career couples will continue to rise in number.

Higher education among women has been shown to lead to

increased commitment to work, and an increased level of

professionalization of career choice (Oppenheimer, 1973).

Since professional women are more likely to marry

professional men (Feldman, 1973), the dual career pattern

may become more prevalent as more women seek advanced

professional training.

Characteristics of the Dual Career Couple

Utilizing survey and interview formats administered to

limited samples, various researchers have sought to identify

characteristics of dual career marriages and families which

differentiate them from more traditional families (Price-Bonham

& Murphy, 1980; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971; Rice, 1979). When

compared to members of single career families, spouses in dual

career marriages report a lower level for social interchange in










the areas of affection, inclusion, and control and are more

self-reliant and self-sufficient (Burke & Weir, 1976). It has

also been reported that both husbands and wives in dual career

marriages have high needs for recognition and achievement

(Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981) and are likely to be more

inner directed and flexible in applying their personal values

(Burke & Weir, 1976) than spouses from traditional families.

Certain structural characteristics also differentiate dual

career from single career marriages. They often have only one

child and seldom have more than two (Bebbington, 1973; Leslie

& Leslie, 1977). Also, career women are much more likely to

be continuous full-time workers than women employed at lower

occupational ranks (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976). Finally, dual

career couples, being highly educated and having attained some

degree of success at their careers, tend to have higher

incomes (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971).

Dual Career Lifestyle Conflicts and Stresses

Most literature on the dual career couple or family has

centered on reporting the personal characteristics of two

spouses, the stresses inherent to this lifestyle, and the

variably successful methods of coping and adaptation

utilized by them. While the dual career lifestyle provides

many economic and emotional benefits, it frequently creates

conflicts and stresses for both men and women. The










critical issues seem to revolve around role overload, role

conflict, the division of household labor and child care

responsibilities, the level of support provided each partner

by his or her career, and the level of satisfaction gained

from work and family roles. Problems with role overload,

role strain, and role conflict have repeatedly been documented

in the literature (Hall & Hall, 1979; Johnson & Johnson,

1977; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1969; Sigall, 1979).

Role overload occurs when a spouse suffers a sense of

distress and helplessness at not being able to handle

effectively both their personal and professional

responsibilities (Shaevitz & Shaevitz, 1979). Overload

arises when more roles are expected or accepted than can

be effectively performed (Johnson & Johnson, 1977). Johnson

and Johnson (1977) found that, while the husband's description

of role strain was vague and unemotional, women clearly

described it as resulting in fatigue, emotional depletion,

and guilt. Women were less likely to resolve the role strain

than men. In addition, young couples appeared to experience

the greatest role strain, due to the demands of raising young

children as well as the acquiring of new roles and financial

obligations (Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981). Apparently,

demands of a particular life stage can influence the role

strain of both sexes.

Role conflict has been defined as a subjective

feeling of frustration in which persons are pulled in












opposite directions in the performance of their roles.

Criteria for success in the work world and at home are often

discrete and mutually exclusive. The problems of combining

these two different worlds are not only those dealing with

competitive demands on and energy but those that exist at a

deeper level as well. Sheer physical overload of tasks is often

further exacerbated by social/psychological factors involving

normative conflicts (Rapaport & Rapoport, 1969). Normative

dilemmas arise as individuals diverge from socially

prescribed patterns of behavior or norms. Such dilemmas can

come in the form of identity and sex role conflicts,

discrepancy between personal norms and social norms, and/or

lack of social or kinship support for the dual career life-

style (Price-Bonham & Murphy, 1980; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1969).

One area of frequent struggle for dual career couples

evolves out of a real or an anticipated redistribution of

resources and influence power. Couples usually struggle

with sex role tensions (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971) which can

involve the need for partners to transcend previous role

socialization. Sex role tension can be can be reflected in the

amount and type of domestic and child care tasks that will be

shared by the husband as well as the extent to which the wife

will assert herself to achieve outside of the home and/or to

share responsibilities within the home. Hall and Hall (1979)

note that the most difficult part of role sharing is giving up










the ego needs that we satisfy by keeping a role all to

ourselves.

Such changing sex role expectations have typically

produced role conflict in men as well as women (Sigall, 1979). Thei

role conflicts often occur when men attempt to respond to

new domestic roles while simultaneously continuing a high

work profile or success pattern. Couples may compete with

one another as certain roles are redefined. This

competition may stimulate power, control,and dominance

issues that inhibit effective interpersonal exchange

(Price-Bonham & Murphy, 1980). In addition, many men have

not been socialized to assume domestic and child rearing

functions in a family. They may feel awkward, uncomfortable,

and inadequate to perform these new functions. Radical shifts

in traditionally female-dominated roles can stimulate masculine

fears of losing power, control, and authority in the relation-

ship. The sex identity or tension lines which sometimes

result coalesce around monetary, supervisory, and division of

domestic responsibility issues (Shaevitz & Shaevitz, 1979).

Many dual career couples are greatly concerned with

the possible effects on their children of their both

pursuing careers. Johnson and Johnson (1977) interviewed

28 dual career families with young children and found that

all of the wives, without exception, retained major

responsibility for most areas of child rearing and reported a

major concern over the conflict between their career and their

children.











While some research suggests that the wife has more

difficulty in jointly handling work and family roles

(Johnson & Johnson, 1977; Sigall, 1979), other research

suggests that the husband has equal difficulty in adjusting

(Lein, 1979). In one study, it was found that men who

performed feminine household tasks more often experienced a

greater depression than men who did not (St. John-Parsons,

1978). Thus, to some extent, the dual career lifestyle

affects both husband and wife.

The reasons given for men not being more involved in

household responsibilities are many. Some suggest that men

have been reluctant to increase their participation in home

life because they get little or no support for this from

coworkers, friends, and families of origin (Lein, 1979).

Rice (1979) suggests that most men feel on the outside of

the home because, traditionally, they have not been

socialized to express their personalities through the home.

Psychic strain increases when dual career couples have

a child (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976). A decision must be

made as to whose career will take a secondary role. In many

cases, the woman simply takes on three jobs--wife, mother,

and career person--in order to meet her own needs, as well

as society's expectations (Sigall, 1979).

Sex role sanctions are strong in the area of child

rearing, with the expectation that the mother will be the










primary psychological parent and the one principally

responsible for raising the child (Johnson & Johnson, 1977).

This usually means that she is the one who either adjusts

or interrupts her career or arranges for child care services.

Although both partners may initially espouse egalitarian

principles, research has shown that women do more than

their share of domestic and/or child care tasks (Johnson &

Johnson, 1980).

Maintenance of personal identity becomes a problem

when one departs from the standard patterns of behavior

that are institutionally supported in traditional role

structures. Where men and women continue to pursue their

personal development through the same, rather than

different,channels or roles,with their different norms and

sanctions, they may find themselves confronting the issue

of how to maintain their distinct identities (Price-Bonham &

Murphy, 1980).

As the dual career couple undergoes more stress and

becomes more isolated from relatives and friends, increased

expectations are placed on the marital relationship for

satisfying intellectual, emotional, and social needs (Johnson

& Johnson, 1977). Because of a commitment to both career

and family, dual career couples usually have less time for

sociability with friends and extended family (St. Johns-Parsons,

1978).











The husband and wife in the dual career family are

involved in three role systems, the work system of each

spouse and the family system which they share. Each system

makes different demands according to the position of the

role in the system, and each role makes different demands on

the individual according to developmental period or life

phase. The two career roles plus the family role must be

complementary if the family is to function smoothly (Hall &

Hall, 1979; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1978; Shaevitz & Shaevitz,

1979).

Consistent with role theory, transition points in these

roles may be especially stressful. If one spouse is offered

a more attractive position, through relocation, but there is

nothing inviting for the other spouse, then the couple must

decide whose career is to take precedence. The general

conclusion is that some career sacrifices are inevitable in

dual career marriages (Holmstrom, 1972).

In the family, the heaviest strain is at the time of

having infants and preschool children. If the couple

arrangestheir lives so as to have the family role demands

peak first, they may miss opportunities for career advance-

ment. If they choose to let career role strains peak first,

they may pay the costs later in family life through fatigue

of being older and having greater age gaps between themselves













and their children. If one spouse peaks while the other

defers heavy involvement, one may pay a price in career

development as well as perhaps bear a heavier brunt of

family role strain. Obviously, many combinations are possible.

The issue of role cycling, and achieving desirable fits in the

family among the various role cycles is only now beginning

to be understood (Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981; Wilke, 1979).

While the predicaments and stresses facing the young

dual career couple may be most obvious and most readily

identifiable, there are also more long term developmental

stresses noted by several researchers. Wilke (1979), for

example, identifies prototypical issues and coping demands

common to each stage of the family life-cycle. In her

article, she highlights the complex interplay of individual

personality and developmental growth and change, and describes

issues related to the stage and nature of the couples'

development as a unit, and the issues related to career

development, to behavior and relationship toward children,

toward peers, and finally, to aging parents. She emphasizes

the interdependence of all these elements stressing the idea

that any alteration in one part (e.g., the female role) will

surely and directly alter all other parts.

The literature indicates that a variety of mechanisms

--some functional and some dysfunctional--are employed by










dual career couples in their attempts to cope with the

stress interference of their lifestyle. Shaevitz and

Shaevitz (1979) discuss several of the most common mistakes

dual career couples make in trying to deal with the pressures

of their situation. Some unproductive reactions include

1) denial, 2) blaming and scapegoating, 3) depression,

4) psychosomatic reactions, 5) withdrawal, 6) rigidity,

and 7) "going crazy." The problem with each of these

"solutions" is that, while they give some expression to,

and possibly some temporary relief from the stress people

feel, they do not help people deal constructively with

the environmental or situational stress factors, or their

personal internal reactions (i.e., feeling pressured,

helpless, tired,or depressed). Instead of resolving the

difficulty, these mistaken mechanisms often end up escalating

stress (Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981).

Adaptive strategies for coping with the stresses

of the dual career lifestyle involve a balancing of both

person centered and couple centered elements. Person centered

elements involve classic stress reduction and time

management techniques (Bebbington, 1973; Hall & Hall, 1979).

The use of explicit techniques to resolve differences and to

carry out effective joint decision making has also been

discussed (Hall & Hall, 1979; Lawe & Lawe, 1980).

Person centered stress management techniques involve

1) "stress optimization" (i.e., acknowledging of dual










career stress as inevitable and preferable to the stress

of alternative lifestyles) 2) prioritization among and

between roles (i.e., the clear identification of a salient

role can serve to minimize feelings of personal conflict

among dual careerists), 3) compartmentalization (i.e., the

mental focusing on roles so as to increase efficiency and

decrease distracting conflicts and pressures); 4) compromising

or moderating one's personal performance standards,' 5) personal

relaxation/stress reduction strategies such as exercise,

leisure,and recreational pursuits.

Rapoport and Rapoport (1971, 1978) emphasize the need

for a three-level approach to stress management for dual

career couples involving 1) an increased awareness of the

issues involved in stressor situations so that individuals are

better able to formulate more adaptive alternatives,

2) enhancement of communication/interpersonal skills between

partners so that rapport is sharpened and decision making is

more equitable and efficient, and 3) the development of a

well-functioning external support structure for all family

members so that emotional and physical needs can be met

outside the family as well as within.

A critical element in the successful management of

stress described by many dual careerists is the presence

of a "helping component" in the marital relationship

(Burke & Weir, 1976) characterized by open communication,

empathy, emotional reassurance, support,and a sensitivity










to one another's feelings. Rice (1979) notes that while

dual career couples tend to be supportive of one another,

they can also be competitive although they generally deny it

(Johnson & Johnson, 1977).

Once a couple or a partner becomes aware of the

normative and excessive stressors in the dual career

situation and has communicated this understanding to the

partner, couples can begin taking action. Various

researchers have offered the following suggestions:

1) Asking each other for assistance and support

(Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971).

2) Discussing expectations, needs and goals with one

another (Rice, 1979; Sager, 1976).

3) Scheduling and spending regular time alone and

together (Hall & Hall, 1979; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976;

Shaevitz & Shaevitz, 1979).

4) Limiting the number of obligations that are taken

on at any one time (Hall & Hall, 1979).

5) Setting priorities for household tasks and reducing

standards (Johnson & Johnson, 1977; Shaevitz & Shaevitz,

1979).

6) Looking for help outside the family for domestic

maintenance and child care needs (Rapoport & Rapoport,

1976).

7) Talking to other couples who share a similar

lifestyle (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976).










Available Interventions

Few models are typically available depicting patterns

of joint career entry and mobility and only limited

opportunities exist for viewing the impact of joint career

commitments on the execution of other life roles.

Although a variety of career counseling interventions have

been designed to influence individuals' life role

expectations and planning,and the idea of visualizing a

career choice in the context of a total lifestyle is a

commonly heard career guidance maxim, few guidance

interventions to date incorporate information about the

issues, decisions, stresses, and benefits inherent in the

dual career lifestyle (Amatea & Cross, 1983). Few career

counselors of women deal with the issue of combining work

and family roles in a realistic fashion (Super, 1969).

Women especially are often encouraged to believe that they

can do it all rather than to examine closely the demands

and expectations involved. Furthermore, career guidance

efforts involving young men continue to be organized

around a structure in which the husband is viewed as the

primary (if not the only) 'breadwinner" (Super, 1969).

Little attention has been given to his potentially greater

family work role or to the implications of how his wife's

career progress might affect his own course.

As writers and researchers are increasingly

identifying the problematic aspects of this lifestyle, a










variety of different resources are being developed to

assist dual career couples in coping more comfortably with

this lifestyle. A number of books for dual careerists are now

available (e.g.,Hall & Hall, 1979; Lawe & Lawe, 1980;

Shaevitz & Shaevitz, 1979), and dual career preparation

and planning programs have begun to be developed (Amatea &

Cross, 1983; Kahnweiler & Kahnweiler, 1980).

One such program is the Coupling and Careers program

(Amatea & Cross, 1983). This program was designed to

impact on dual careerists, individually, as well as to

address their interaction and collective decision making

as couples. The development of this program had its roots

in the marital skills training and enrichment literature.

Since this is a marital training program, the literature on

marital enrichment will be reviewed prior to describing the

actual program.


Marital Enrichment Programs


Most marital enrichment models are related by their

general emphasis on communication, negotiation, conflict

resolution, and/or decision-making skills. Attempts to

offer marital enrichment programs challenge what Vincent

(1973) has referred to as "the myth of naturalism" in marriage;

that is, the widespread idea in our culture that success

in marriage requires no particular skills, and that persons










who need help in this area are inadequate and/or

incompetent.

Contemporary couples are increasingly prone to judge

their marriages by internal standards, being more

concerned with the quality of the relationship (Mace,

1977). Within this framework has arisen a movement toward

marital enrichment. Such programs are for couples who

have what they perceive to be a fairly well functioning

marriage and want to make their marriage even more

mutually satisfying. Marital enrichment programs are

generally concerned with enhancing couples' communication,

emotional life, and/or sexual relationships. They are

designed to foster marital strengths and develop marriage

potential while maintaining a consistent and primary focus

on the relationship of the couple (Otto, 1975).

Structured marital skill training programs are designed

to enhance marriage and family life and cover a wide range

of interests and concerns including 1) communication

skills, 2) couple encounter, 3) couples enrichment,

4) fair fighting, 5) problem solving training, 6) parenting

skills, and 7) family enrichment. These diverse programs

vary on dimensions of content area, target populations,

method of instruction, length of training, therapeutic

objectives, and psychological rationale. Classification of

these programs has primarily focused on what the program










teaches (i.e., content) and whom the program addresses

(i.e., target population) (L'Abate, 1977; Otto, 1976;

1981).

Typically, the goals of marital skill training

programs are educational or enrichment oriented in nature

rather than therapeutic and are primarily concerned with

prevention. Such programs involve time-limited contracts,

specific predetermined topics,and are not oriented to

changing the basic structure of the couple relationship

(L'Abate, 1981).

Mace (1977) has stated that marital enrichment

usually involves helping couples make a serious commitment

to growth. The basic skills needed for interpersonal

competence are many and varied but three are often

identified as most significant. The first is

"awareness," developing the couple's ability to understand

their rules of interaction, to reflect on this process,

and to accurately predict communication strengths and

weaknesses. The second, "effective communication" (i.e.,

communication skills), is seen as necessary to changing

past rules and allowing flexibility of interaction

patterns. The third, "conflict resolution," is the area

in which creative use of conflict is stressed. Since the

inevitability of disagreement and anger between marital

partners is often ignored, Mace (1977) and others feel

that the art of accepting and resolving one another's










anger is a significant marital interaction skill and

potential growth point that can deepen and strengthen a

relationship.

Classification of Marital Enrichment Programs

Skill training programs can be classified according

to a family lifestyle cycle sequence: 1) premarital or

neomarital training, 2) marital, 3) parenthood, 4) total

family, 5) divorce mediation and adjustment. This review

will focus only on marital enrichment programs.

Major marital enrichment programs reviewed by L'Abate

(1981) included 1) Couples Communication Program

(Miller, Nunnally, & Wackman, 1975); 2) the Association of

Couples for Marital Enrichment (Mace & Mace, 1976);

3) Marriage Encounter (Bosco, 1973; Calvo, 1975);

4) Conjugal Relationship Enhancement (Guerney, 1977); and

5) structured enrichment programs (L'Abate, 1975, 1977).

L'Abate (1981) lists several characteristics common to

most of these programs: 1) an emphasis on open and direct

exchange of feelings without emotional put-downs or other

manipulations; 2) the assumption of personal

responsibility for whatever is said or done in the

marriage; 3) the classification of feelings as distinct

from thoughts and actions (i.e., what we feel is one

thing, negotiating and translating feelings into mutually

acceptable courses of action another); 4) the

identification of multiple available interaction










alternatives with the selection by the couple of options

most constructive for their marriage.

L'Abate (1981) has suggested that a major

differentiating feature of most marital skill training and

enrichment programs is whether they emphasize sharing of

emotions and feelings or deal with actions and

negotiations. He compares such programs differentiating

them in terms of their degree of structure, group size,

theoretical emphasis, teaching modality,and length.

Moreover, Ulrici, L'Abate, and Wagner (1981) have offered a

model categorizing marital and family skill training

programs according to their theoretical orientation or

orientation to change. They proposed emotions, reasons,

and actions (E-R-A) as the three primary modalities for

therapeutic change and classify intervention methods

according to this model. They suggest that this framework

can provide researchers with a more explicit investigation

of program outcomes, and clinicians and counselors with a

structure for identifying the "significant psychological

dimensions operating within the various skill training

programs as well as the effect that these variables might

have on program clientele" (Ulrici, L'Abate, & Wagner,

1981, p. 307). According to the E-R-A model, methods with

an emotional orientation focus on 1) experiential

exercises which differentiate feeling states,

2) development of self- and interpersonal awareness through










interaction and role play, 3) teaching skills of

interpersonal sensitivity and communication, and

4) developing body awareness through movement and

interpersonal body contact. Methods with a rational

orientation focus on the development of rational

understanding which supports control of emotions and

behavior. These programs utilize 1) teaching of facts,

theories, and strategies through reading, lecture,and

discussion; 2) developing insight and cognitive

understanding to differentiate feelings from actions

through analysis of past and present relationships; and

3) teaching skills of rational thinking and ego control

with emphasis on problem solving and decision making.

Methods with an action orientation generally utilize some

form of behavior modification principles. They tend to

focus on 1) teaching behavior principles through lectures,

models, and practical exercise; 2) solving behavioral problems

through experimental analysis; 3) teaching and increasing

wanted behavior and extinguishing unwanted behavior;, and

4) regulation of overt behavior through observational

learning and cognitive mediational process. Within each

general E-R-A category specific programs are referenced

and differentiated as to their content focus, method of

training, and theoretical orientation. This listing and

categorization of marital and family skill training

enrichment program (Ulrici, L'Abate, & Wagner, 1981) is the










most comprehensive comparison of such programs currently

available.

Research on Marital Enrichment Programs

Much research on marital skill training and

enrichment programs has examined the efficacy of a

particular program content to improve the skill of a

target sample. Findings report the degree of change

between pretest and posttest evaluations of a designated

program (Gurman & Kniskern, 1977). Yet, as L'Abate (1981)

and Schumn (1983) note, there are few studies which

compare the relative effectiveness of one program with

another. In addition, investigations which examine how

marital skill training programs operate to effect change

have been quite limited.

In reviewing the outcome research on two popular

marital enrichment programs, the Minnesota Couple

Communication Program (Miller, Nunnally, & Wackman, 1975)

and the Conjugal Relationship Enhancement Program

(Guerney, 1977), Gurman and Kniskern (1977) observed that

outcome criteria typically fell into three general

categories: 1) overall marital satisfaction and

adjustment, 2) relationship skills, or 3) individual

personality variables such as self-actualization and

self-esteem. In each of these categories, 60 percent of

the investigations reported positive change. However,

84 percent of the criterion measures used were based on











participants' self-reports, with self-reports being the

primary or sole change measure in 66 percent of those.

In addition, about 20 percent of these studies were done

without control group measures. Although behavioral

objective measures have been used in some marital

enrichment evaluation studies (with 75 percent of those

demonstrating change), self-report measure designs still

outnumbered objective measure designs five to one.

Gurman and Kniskern (1977) conclude that available

information on marital enrichment outcomes should be

studied cautiously. They recommended six specific issues

which needed to be addressed: 1) durability of

enrichment-induced change, 2) generalizability of

enrichment-induced change, 3) range of potential

participants, 4) placement of enrichment programs within a

developmental framework, 5) demonstration of change

through nonparticipant rating sources, and 6) clarification

and delineation of salient change-inducing components

within the problems.

Evaluating premarital counseling programs, Schumn

(1983) cites many of the same research/evaluation

deficiencies. He notes that the most well-designed

evaluations yield mixed results with some aspects of

communication improving while others do not (Miller,

Nunnally,& Wackman, 1975; Schlien, 1971). Even among well-

designed studies, heterogeneity of outcome measures often










prevents a fair measure of differential effectiveness

(Schumn, 1983).

Schumn (1983) goes on to stress the need to base the

evaluation design on the goals of the program. If a

program has goals of enhancing communication, awareness,

and/or perceptual accuracy and decision-making, then an

evaluation should have objective pretest to posttest change

measures fitted to each program component. It has also

been suggested that outcome variables could be better

measured by utilizing ratings trom independent observers in

addition to using client self-reports (Gurman & Kniskern,

1977).

Regrettably, there appears to be no evidence in the

literature which substantiates that marital skill training

and enrichment programs have long-term effects.

Though most couples show significant gains on criterion

measures immediately following such programs (Joanning,

1982; Schumn, 1983), most measures return to pretest

levels by five to six weeks following program

participation. Perhaps the most pervasive criticism of

the research evaluating marriage enrichment program

outcomes has been that there is no evidence for durability

of effects (L'Abate, 1981). Consequently, research in

this area should be designed to address this issue.

The need to compare alternative intervention programs

and to delineate the most significant change-inducing










components within each model are also recommended directions

for research. Another recommendation is the need to more

accurately match the individuals' style and need to

program content, process mode of instruction, and

orientation to change (Schumn, 1983; Ulrici, L'Abate, &

Wagner, 1981).

Schumn (1983) underlines the need for better

integration of theory and measurement in the design and

evaluation of marital communication skills programs. He

notes that the rationale for intervening to change

couples' patterns of communication has seldom been

expressed in formal theoretical terms. Garland's (1981)

formulation of the relationship of perceptual accuracy to

marital adjustment is critiqued to demonstrate the many

complications involved in accommodating theory,

intervention,and research considerations. Schumn (1983)

further notes that present evaluation techniques add

little to our knowledge of couple/family dynamics. Such

failure to account for reasons why couples change clearly

hinders the improvement of such programs.

Smith, Shoffner, and Scott (1979), in a review of

marriage and family enrichment movement, expressed some

major concerns about it as a new professional area: 1) it

is touted as a cure-all, 2) there is questionable training

of leaders, 3) expectations of participants are higher

than what the program can deliver, 4) a major assumption










is that enrichment may become one of life's peak

experiences, 5) it cannot prevent major social ills, and

6) no direct and/or hard evidence is as yet available to

substantiate any preventative benefit.


The Coupling and Careers Program


Amatea and Clark (1984) have reported some initial

findings on studies of a dual career couples education

program, the Coupling and Careers program. This

research project was a beginning effort to determine if a

specific set of workshop activities had an impact on

certain attitudinal and behavioral variables. The

workshops were conducted at the University of Florida

throughout the fall of 1981 with married dual career

couples. Evaluation of these groups was considered

formative. The program has been further refined and

developed on the basis of results from these pilot

studies.

The initial workshop was designed to 1) increase

participants' awareness of predictable career and family

role stresses inherent to the dual career lifestyle,

2) train participants in the use of personal value

clarification and prioritizing strategies useful in

managing role conflict, 3) increase participants' skills

in the use of effective communication and joint problem-

solving strategies necessary for the constructive










management of interpersonal conflict, and 4) provide a

group milieu in which couples could normalize their own

experiences in this lifestyle through contact with others

in similar lifestyle situations.

The workshop consisted of a variety of activities

focused on building an awareness of each person's

individual role expectations and role coping style and on

how mates functioned together in joint planning and problem-

solving. The format consisted of 1) individual and group

exercises and discussions of role prioritizing,

self-assessment of conflict resolution,and communication

styles; 2) simulated tasks of problem situations

experienced by dual career couples and approaches to

resolving these situations; and 3) participation in

couple skill rehearsal exercises to enhance communication

and conflict resolution capabilities.

In the pilot evaluation of the program, data were

collected by means of three instruments--the

Relationship Issues Checklist (RIC), the Couple

Satisfaction Scale (CSS), and the Life Role Salience

Scales (LRSS). The instruments were first administered to

program participants during the initial hour of the

workshop and then readministered by mail three weeks

following participation in the program. In addition,

during the final half hour of the program, participants

were requested to complete a workshop evaluation form in










which they commented as to the portions of the workshop

they found most and least valuable and the ways in which

they felt the workshop content or format might be

improved.

Analyses of the pretest and posttest data both by sex

and for the group as a whole using related sample t tests

revealed a significant difference from pretest to posttest at the

p < .025 level in Couple Satisfaction Scale scores in the

direction of greater reported satisfaction at the time of

posttesting. Comparison of male and female subgroups

revealed no significant differences between the two groups

in terms of this change. Analysis of the Relationship

Issues Checklist revealed that among the 30 issues

rated, participants rated career launching and personal

independence issues as of greatest primacy. Issues

involving childrearing, home maintenance, and finances

were of lesser concern to both male and female

participants. Participants' ability to accurately predict

their mate's rating of the importance of these issues was

not found to differ significantly from protesting to

posttesting, but their ability to predict their mate's rating

of comfort in dealing with these issues did change

significantly. For the group as a whole, these protesting

to posttesting differences were significant at the p < .012

level, indicating that perceptual accuracy had improved at

posttesting. When analyzed by sex, this improvement was










maintained for the male group only (p < .13). The career

role salience of the LRSS decreased from protesting to

posttesting at a moderately significant level (p < .090).

Amatea and Clark (1984) stated that while their

results clearly suggested that relationship attitudes,

personal expectations, and to a lesser extent, relationship

skills could be affected by participation in the program,

further research was needed to examine more rigorously,

by the use of control groups,the impact of this intervention.

Utilizing results from this pilot study, a refined

version of the Coupling and Careers program was

formulated (Amatea & Cross, 1983). The stated goals of

this program were 1) to increase participants' awareness

of predictable career and family role stresses inherent to

the dual career lifestyle, 2) to develop a more

collaborative set between mates whereby couples could

experience themselves as working together versus

competitively in managing stresses and choices of the dual

career lifestyle, 3) to introduce participants to common

styles of coping with dual career pressures, 4) to

acquaint participants with relevant personal value

clarification and prioritizing strategies useful in

managing competing personal expectations and dictates,

5) to train participants in the use of effective

communication and joint problem-solving skills necessary

in the constructive management of interpersonal conflict,













and 6) to foster a sense of mutual support and commonality

among dual career couples through the sharing of common

concerns and issues (Amatea & Cross, 1983).


Summary

The dual career couple and family form has developed

through diverse social changes in work and family values and

particularly, in response to evolving work roles for women

(Johnson & Johnson, 1977; Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971, 1976;

Shaevitz & Shaevitz, 1979). There is little question that this

lifestyle will continue to become more prevalent (Hershman &

Levenson, 1979; Ladewig & White, 1984). Dual career spouses

need to adapt to major changes in traditional sex-role alloca-

tions of work and family responsibilities (Lein, 1979; Price-

Bonham Murphy, 1980).

The existing literature on dual career couples is largely

anecdotal in nature. It concentrates on descriptions of

characteristics, conflicts,and stresses inherent to this life-

style, as well as suggestions of various coping strategies and

management skills for dual careerists (Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat

1981). Frameworks for understanding the intervention needs of

dual career couples are also available (Amatea & Cross, 1983;

Hall & Hall, 1979; Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981; Rapoport &

Rapoport, 1971, 1976). The general need for programs to

assist dual career couples in preparing to adapt to the











careerists (Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981). Frameworks

for understanding the intervention needs of dual

careerists are also available (Amatea & Cross, 1983; Hall

& Hall, 1979; Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981; Rapaport &

Rapoport, 1971, 1976). The general need for programs to

assist dual career couples in preparing to adapt to the

demands of this lifestyle is acknowledged (Parker, Peltier,

& Wolleat, 1981). Such programs have begun to develop

from a limited number of sources; yet, currently, none of

these have been evaluated in any systematic fashion.

Dual careerists guidance/education programs are

related to marital enrichment and skill building

interventions. Therefore, any effort to evaluate a dual

careerist guidance/education program will need to be

sensitive to previous criticism and comment on research in

the marital enrichment field. Previous research on the

Coupling and Careers program (Amatea & Clark, 1984) was

reviewed.
















CHAPTER III
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY



Introduction


The purpose of this study was to evaluate a short-term

intervention program for dual career couples. The program,

which was informational and skill based in nature, was

designed to expand awareness of the predicaments typically

experienced by couples involved in this lifestyle, to help

them clarify their work and family role values and

commitments, and to develop their couples' communication and

decision-making skills. The impact of this 10-hour program,

entitled the Coupling and Careers program, was assessed

using a randomized group pretest-posttest design with the

control group receiving delayed treatment. The impact of

the program was examined by comparing the results of a

pretest and posttest of control and experimental group sub-

jects on three variables: 1) salience of work and family

roles; 2) attitudes regarding their marital communication

patterns; and 3) the degree of perceived changes in the

equality of their relationship. The differential impact of

the program on these three variables by sex of participant

was also examined.











The remainder of this chapter is devoted to

describing the methods and procedures used in this study.

This chapter is organized into the following sections of

information: 1) research design, 2) population and sample,

3) procedures--sampling, treatment and data collection,

4) criterion instruments, 5) hypotheses, and 6) data

analysis.


Research Design


The effects of the Coupling and Careers program

were investigated utilizing the design depicted in

Table 3-1. Hypotheses were tested using data derived from

a randomized pretest-posttest design (Campbell & Stanley,

1963).



TABLE 3-1
RANDOMIZED PRETEST-POSTTEST DESIGN


Treatment 4-week Delayed
Group Pretest Variable Interval Posttest Treatment


(R) E Y X --- Y
1 2
(R) C Y1 -2 X













Following an initial screening to determine whether they

met the established sampling criteria, couples were randomly

assigned to either a control or treatment group. The

experimental and control group subjects were assessed on the

criterion measures on two occasions. Both groups were first

administered a pretest; the experimental group then received

the 10-hour treatment. The intervention was delivered as an

intensive weekend experience with participants spending 3

hours Friday and 62 hours Saturday completing the program.

Time spent completing criterion instruments and demographic

information was in addition to program participation time.

The decision to utilize a delayed posttest was prompted

by a number of considerations. A primary concern was to

assess durability of effects since previous research on

marital enrichment programs had been criticized for

measuring change only immediately following the intervention

with little evidence of any lasting effects available (Gurman &

Kniskern, 1977; L'Abate, 1981). The option of doing two

posttestings, one immediately following the workshop and one

four weeks later, was rejected because of concerns about

developing testing sensitivity with three administrations of

the same instruments (equivalent forms were not available).










Although the randomized pretest-posttest control

group design has many advantages and is frequently used in

research, it also has some limitations. Internal validity

may be affected by intra-session history (i.e., something

else happening within the duration of the intervention

which produces changes in subjects or effects which occur

in subjects simply due to the time and energy they invest

in participation rather than to the content of the

intervention). Subject mortality presents another problem

with some self-selecting processes likely to occur.

External validity may be affected through

sensitization by protesting of the experimental group;

that is, it may be that the experimental treatment

produces significant effects, but only because a pretest

was administered. It is also possible that protesting may

shape participants' expectations regarding the nature or

content of the treatment.


Population and Sample


The population for this study consisted of all dual

career couples in the Gainesville area who were in the

preparation, launching, establishment, or maintaining phases

of their careers. Since much of the research on dual

career couples indicates that the most stressful times are

the launching and establishment phases of their career











development (Hall & Hall, 1979; Rice, 1979), it was

intended that this portion of the population would be over-

represented in the sample.

A dual career couple was defined as two persons engaged

in a lifestyle in which each individual pursues a separate

career role along with a committed interpersonal relationship

(Parker, Peltier, & Wolleat, 1981). The term career

designates a job sequence that requires a high degree of

commitment (time, energy, training); is highly salient

personally (substantial ego involvement); and has a continual

developmental quality (advances in responsibility, power, pay,

and status) (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1976). Both spouses in all

couples in the sample were presently employed full-time or

participating in graduate level studies which required a

minimum of 30 hours per week of their time. Some of the

individuals sampled (12) were combining their schooling with

part-time jobs that might not be considered professional

level work. All subjects had completed bachelor's

degrees. All but 8 couples had at least one child.



Sampling Procedures

Interested parties learned of the workshops through

flyers, posters, newspaper articles, or introductory talks

given by the researcher to various civic, and religious groups










and campus organizations. Informative talks included

introductory and summary information on

1) payoffs and predicaments of the dual career

lifestyle,

2) the goals and objectives of the workshop,

3) the nature of the commitment involved in

participating in this project, and

4) specific requirements for the population

able to participate in the project.

It was stressed that this program was intended to be

educational and preventative in nature, being in no way a

substitute for remedial individual or marital counseling.

It was expected that most of the sample would already

have some "real life" experience with a dual career

lifestyle or some expectations regarding the possible

benefits and liabilities involved in this lifestyle. All

subjects were involved in this research on a voluntary

basis and as a couple. Requirements for participation

were that

1) all couples participating had been

married a minimum of six months,

2) the couple had not participated in

marital counseling or any other related

marital enrichment workshops in the

past six months,











3) both members of the couple were employed

and/or participating in graduate level

studies at least 30 hours per week, and

4) both members of the couple had completed

a bachelor's degree.

All potential subjects were screened by the researcher to

determine whether the program was suitable to their needs

and to assure that they met established criteria. The

decisions about who was to be considered a dual career

couple were made by the researcher following the definition

presented above. Subjects' levels of education, current

involvement with work and/or graduate level training, and

the commitment of both husband and wife to career roles (where

work was considered a highly salient, continuous,and

progressive activity) functioned as selection criteria.

A total sample size of 40 couples (n = 80 individuals)

was considered a minimum for this study. Couples who met screen

ing criteria were then randomly assigned to treatment and contr<

groups. Control group subjects were offered the treatment

(i.e., the Coupling and Careers program) on a delayed basis,

following their completion of posttesting.



Treatment Procedures

This study began during the spring of 1985. All groups

were completed by the end of the spring of 1986. Treatment.









groups received a total of 10 horus of involvement in the

Counseling and Careers program. The program consisted of a

3 hour session on Friday evening and a 6 hour session on

Saturday. Groups were led by a professional counselor who

was licensed as a marriage and family therapist. Couples

were required to attend the workshop in its entirety and to

take all criterion instruments at designated times.

The Coupling and Careers program consists of five

phases. The first phase focuses on examining demands of the

dual career lifestyle while building a supportive group

atmosphere and identifying common concerns of participants.

Phase two introduces person-centered methods of managing

role conflict (such as competing role expectations and

demands) through examination of individual wants and

priorities. Using the typology of role-coping strategies

emerging from this second phase, the third phase of the

program emphasizes the development of participants' skills

in examining and prioritizing personal role expectations.

The two remaining phases of the program focus on

exploring each couple's style of making decisions and

resolving differences. Potential blocks to communication

and problem-solving between couples are identified and

specific strategies for improving communication and

decision making are presented. The workshop ends with










each couple identifying a relevant next step in implementing

the joint problem-solving process around an issue they

discussed in the workshop. A more detailed description of

the Coupling and Careers program is available in Amatea &

Cross (1983).

Because the Coupling and Careers program is designed to

be delivered in a small group format (i.e., 4-5 couples per

group), it was necessary to have multiple treatment and

control groups which followed the same training curriculum

and treatment procedures. Since all couples who

participated in this study volunteered to do so on the

assumption that they would receive the Coupling and Careers

program, subjects in the control groups received treatment

on a delayed basis. Control groups were scheduled for their

posttesting at the time they were scheduled for delayed

treatment groups; that is, 4 weeks following protesting.

Approximately 3/4 of control group couples received the

delayed treatment.



Data Collection Procedures

All criterion instruments were administered as part of

a complete test packet. The test packet included

1) the Life Roles Salience Scales (Amatea & Cross, 1983);

2) the Marital Communication Inventory (Bienvenu, 1979);









and 3) the Relationship Change Scale (Schlien, 1971).

Additionally, a demographic data sheet was used, requesting

basic information on 1) sex and age; 2) years of education;

and 3) work, marital, and family background.

Participants were asked not to share test results with

their spouse or any other participants. Participants were

not informed by the researcher on how they, their spouses,

or anyone else scored on the criterion instruments. The

instrument battery took 40 minutes to complete. This time

was supplementary to time involved in participation in the

intervention.

Treatment group subjects were tested at the beginning

of their initial session, and four weeks following. Posttesting

for the treatment groups was usually done at a follow-up

meeting. However, was necessary for the researcher to

deliver or mail questionnaires in some cases. Control group

subjects received protesting at an initial orientation

meeting that served to administer instruments and to

acquaint the subjects briefly, with the program. As with

the control group subjects, it was necessary to mail or

deliver posttesting to some couples, but a large majority of

clients filled out their questionnaires at follow-up sessions.











Instrumentation


All data collection instruments were formatted

into a test packet. This packet included a demographic

questionnaire, the Life Role Salience Scales (Amatea, Cross,

Clark, & Bobby, in press), the Marital Communication

Inventory (Bienvenu, 1979), and the Relationship Change

Scale (Schlien, 1971).

Demographic Data Sheet

A complete copy of the data sheet can be found in

Appendix B. It asked participants to provide informa-

tion on age, sex, occupation, education, marital history,

and family situation.

The Life Role Salience Scales

The Life Role Salience Scales were initially

developed and reported by Amatea and Cross in 1983, as

the Life Roles Expectation Scales. Originally, six

different sets of items were developed to tap attitudes

toward the reward value of and style of commitment to

occupational, marital,and parental roles. More recently,

Amatea, Cross, Clark,and Bobby (in press) have reported on

the refinement of these original scales into 8 scales

which they now call the Life Role Salience Scales.

The Life Role Salience Scales (LRSS) are designed to

assess men's and women's personal expectations concerning

occupational, marital,and parental roles. Design









objectives were to develop an instrument applicable to

both men and women and to those people anticipating

as well as currently engaged in various roles, and to

provide items that reflect attitudinal changes as a

result of role-status change. Thus the instrument is

designed to reflect both a point-in-time assessment of the

relative importance of life roles for men and women as

well as reflecting changes in role salience over time.

Items are worded as personal beliefs or expectations in

order to elicit personal plans and attitudes.

The Life Role Salience Scales were broken down into six

subscales: 1) (OV) Occupational Value, 2) (OC) Occupational

Commitment, 3) (PV) Parental Value, 4) (PC) Parental

Commitment, 5) (MV) Marital Value, and 6) (MC) Marital

Commitment. The three major life roles were assessed in

terms of two dimensions. The role reward value dimension is

indexed in the Life Role Salience Scales by means of

statements in which the individual agrees that the role is

an important means of self-definition and/or personal

satisfaction. The role commitment level dimension is

assessed by statements describing the extent to which the

person demonstrates a willingness to commit personal

resources to develop the role. Further explanation is

provided by Amatea, Cross, Clark, and Bobby (in press).

The Life Role Salience Scales consist of 36 items.

A Likert-type attitude scale format is utilized, with five










possible choices: 1) disagree, 2) somewhat disagree,

3) neither agree nor disagree, 4) somewhat agree, 5) agree.

According to Amatea, Cross, Clark and Bobby (in press),

three studies have been undertaken to establish the

validity and reliability of this instrument with a total

of 916 subjects. The responses of three diverse groups,

undergraduate men and women, academic career women, and

employed couples who were parents, were each analyzed

separately to determine whether a common set of dimensions

existed in the instrument for each group.

The researchers report that the results of these

factorial studies indicate that the different role

dimensions defined and measured in the Life Role Salience

Scales appear to be a common set for both undergraduate

student males and females and for employed men and women,

and that the six different scale dimensions were supported

across the three different sampling populations., The scales

have shown an average internal consistency (coefficient alpha)

of .79 to .94. The scales appeared only moderately

intercorrelated (the median r = .29).

As for stability, the scales show correlations of

.71 or higher over two administrations separated by a

two-week period. The scales have shown, over various

administrations, an average intercorrelation among the

related role value and commitment scales (e.g., career

role value and career role commitment) of approximately










.40 while unrelated scales are only moderately

intercorrelated at a median value of .21 (Amatea, Cross,

Clark, & Bobby, In Press). Only a small part of the variance

associated with any two particular scales appears to be

shared,indicating that each scale represents relatively

independent dimensions of work and family role salience in

the final version of the instrument.

The Marital Communication Inventory

The Marital Communication Inventory (Bienvenu, 1979)

is perhaps the most widely recognized and researched

self-report measure of marital communication. It is based

on the recognition that a positive relationship exists

between marital adjustment and a couple's capacity to

communicate (Narvan, 1967; Satir, 1964). Communication is

defined by the test developer as the way people exchange

feelings and meanings as they try to understand one

another and come to see problems and differences from the

other person's point of view. It is recognized that

communication occurs both verbally and nonverbally through

listening, silence, and other body language symbols and

clues used by persons in giving and receiving meanings

(Bienvenu, 1979).

This 46-item scale was developed to measure the

process of communication as a product of marital

interaction and to give spouses a better insight into the










degree and patterns of communication in their marriage.

It is not intended to measure content of communication but

concerns itself more with patterns, characteristics, and

styles of communication. Among other things, the couple's

ability to listen, to understand one another, and to express

themselves and their manner of saying things is assessed

(Bienvenu, 1979).

The Marital Communication Inventory is a self-

report instrument. Subjects are instructed to respond

by checking one of four possible choices: "usually,"

"sometimes," "seldom," or "never." Higher scores indicate

better communication. There are equivalent forms for

husbands and wives. Using the Spearman-Brown correlation

formula with 60 subjects, Bienvenu (1979) reported a

split-half correlation coefficient of .93. Rapoport and

Rapoport (1976) found a Pearson Product-Moment Test-Retest

correlation of .94 (N = 40) between pre-wait scores and

post-wait scores two months later.

Validity data have also been reported. Collins (1971)

contends that the Marital Communication Inventory

discriminates between couples without apparent marital

difficulties and couples receiving counseling for marital

problems. Collins (1971) correlated the Marital

Communication Inventory with measures of communication,

adjustment, and harmony in married life. With 90 married

subjects, there were significant Pearson Product-Moment











correlations between the Marital Communication Inventory and

the Primary Communication Inventory, the Marital Adjustment

Test (Locke & Wallace, 1959), and the Family Life

Questionnaire (Ely, Guerney, & Stover, 1973).

Relationship Change Scale

The Relationship Change Scale (RCS) was developed by

Schlein (1971, in collaboration with Guerney, to evaluate

client reaction to a premarital counseling program. It is

designed to be a measure that is sensitive to perceived

changes in the quality of a relationship. Questions deal

with a variety of areas of positive relationship change such

as extent of change in satisfaction, communication,

intimacy, sensitivity, openness, and understanding.

The Relationship Change Scale consists of 25 items,

scored on a five-point, Likert-type Scale from "much less"

to "much greater" (e.g., within the last three months our

relationship with each other has become a) much less, b)

less, c) unchanged, d) greater, e) much greater). Higher

scores indicated more positive change (i.e., a = 1, e = 5).

The time interval in the Relationship Change Scale can be

altered to suit the needs of the investigator.

When used to evaluate a treatment program, this measure

can be used simply as a postmeasure or it can be

administered pretreatment and posttreatment. In the latter

instance, one compares a retrospective view of change over











the course of intervention with a retrospective view of

change over a comparable period of time before treatment

began.

Reliability studies have not been conducted with this

instrument because the test-retest intervals of the studies

utilizing this instrument were relatively longer than the

very brief (i.e., days or a week at most) interval required

to provide a meaningful test-retest reliability estimate for

a measure designed to be sensitive to short-term change.

However, evidence for the construct validity of this

instrument has been inferred from the fact that both Schlien

(1971) and Rapoport (1976) confirmed experimental hypotheses

using it. Further evidence of concurrent validity is

afforded by the study by Schlien (1971). The Relationship

Change Scale correlated with two measures designed to assess

specific components of relationship change. With 96 dating

couples, there were significant correlations of the

Relationship Change Scale with the Handling Problems Change

Scale (.29, p < .01) and with the Satisfaction Change Scale

(.40, p < .001), as referenced by Guerney (1977).

It should be emphasized, that the Relationship Change Scale

was originally designed to be utilized in a premarital

counseling program. However, it did seem that the content of

this instrument and the variable time frame options it utilized,

were particularly well adapted to the needs of this study.










Hypotheses

The hypotheses tested in this study were

Ho 1): There are no significant differences in subjects'

work or family role salience, as measured by the

Life Role Salience Scales, on the bases of group,

gender, or the interaction of group and gender.

Ho 2): There are no significant differences in subjects'

attitudes about their marital communications

process as measured by the Marital Communications

Inventory, on the basis of group, gender, or

the interaction of group and gender.

Ho 3): There are no significant differences in subjects'

expressed satisfaction with the quality of their

relationship as measured by the Relationship Change

Scale on the basis of group, gender, or the

interaction of group and gender.


Analyses of Data

The data from this study were analyzed using two-way

analysis of covariance procedures (Roscoe, 1975), with the

pretest being used as the covariate. Two-way ANCOVA is a

combination of regression and analysis of variance

procedures which permits statistical control of the

variables. The advantages of using two-way ANCOVA over a

simple analysis of variance were that that it made






67



adjustments for differences within groups, increased the

power of the results, and aided in looking for possible

interactions between treatment and sex.














CHAPTER IV
ANALYSES OF DATA


Introduction


This study was undertaken to assess the impact of a

short-term guidance on dual career couples. Criterion

instruments were utilized to assess treatment and control group

subjects' attitudes regarding 1) their work and family role

salience, 2) the quality of their marital communication

patterns, and 3) perceptions of change in their satisfaction

with their interpersonal relationship.

A total of 40 couples participated in the study. Twenty

couples comprised the experimental group and 20 the control

group. The study compared the results of a pretest and

posttest of the Life Role Salience Scales (LRSS), the Marital

Communication Inventory (MCI), and the Relationship Change

Scale (RCS). Comparisons by treatment group and by sex were

conducted utilizing two-way analysis of covariance procedures.

To test each hypothesis it was first necessary to determine

if there was a relationship between the covariate and the

dependent variable. Only after this was determined for each

hypothesis was the hypothesis tested using two-way analysis of

covariance procedures.











In this chapter these analyses will be reported in

terms of the study's three hypotheses. Prior to reporting

these results a description of the couples comprising the

sample will presented. The final portion of the chapter

will outline the results of a post hoc analysis of

Relationship Change Scale item responses.



Description of the Sample

A summary of the sample utilized in this study is

presented in Table 4-1. Descriptive data indicate that the

groups were roughly equivalent. The need to establish an

equivalence of groups is thus addressed.

A demographic data sheet was included as part of the

pretest packet. This questionnaire obtained information

about participants' age and sex, as well as some limited

background information on their educational,

occupational, marital, and familial statuses. Subjects

completed the questionnaire prior to participating in the

Coupling and Careers program, as part of their pretest packet.

A copy of this questionnaire is available in Appendix B.

Both members of all couples utilized in the analyses were

presently employed full-time or participating in graduate level

studies which required a minimum of 30 hours per week of their

time. Some of the individuals sampled (n = 12) were combining

their graduate schooling with part-time jobs (including graduate





















TABLE 4-1
DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF SAMPLE


Length of Years Post
Group Age Marriage Baccalaureate


Control
Range 23-46 1-21 1-8
Mean 33.125 7.75 4.075
S.D. 5.59 5.37 1.64

Treatment
Range 23-48 1-27 2-8
Mean 30.05 6.55 4.90
S.D. 7.41 6.83 1.34

Male
Range 23-48 1-27 1-8
Mean 32.25 7.15 4.9
S.D. 6.94 6.18 1.58

Female
Range 23-47 1-27 1-8
Mean 30.95 7.15 4.075
S.D. 6.48 6.18 1.40










assistantships) that might not be considered professional

level work. All subjects had complete bachelor's level

degrees. Three individuals were returning to school for

retraining in second careers, while their spouses functioned

as primary sources of financial support; and four were

returning for advanced training in a field where they had

already established a career.

The data presented in Table 4-1 appear somewhat skewed

by a relatively small number of couples and/or individuals

who were considerably above or below the levels of age,

education, and length of marriage characteristic to a

majority of subjects. There were, for example, only four

couples with members under 25 years of age. The same

couples had only been married one to three years. On the

other hand, five couples had both members over 43 years of

age and had been married 19-23 years. Examining educational

levels, there were four couples where both members had

advanced levels of professional training (i.e., four to five

years post-doctoral). These were physicians and university

professors in highly specialized fields. Most subjects had

finished one year of master's level study and were involved

in completing their second year. Taking into account these

extremes, the means and standard deviations for the

demographic profile reflect a representative range for

majority of the sample.









Those individuals employed full-time fell into the following

general categories: 1) approximately 20 individuals were

university professors, physicians, engineers,or researchers

in the biological sciences; 2) 27 individuals were involved

in what might be termed the helping professions, that is,

social workers, teachers, counselors, nurses, rehabilitation

and occupational therapists, church family life coordinators,

and ministers; 3) 12 subjects had backgrounds in business

related and/or management administrative positions for

service companies and agencies in both the public and

private sector; and 4) the remainder of had more diverse

backgrounds, including computer work, accounting, law

enforcement, real estate, banking, and self-employment.

Results of evaluation of the hypotheses were as

reported in the sections following



Work and Family Role Salience

Ho 1): There are no significant differences in

subjects; work or family role salience, as measured by the

Life Role Salience Scales, on the basis of group, gender, or

the interaction of group and gender.

Subjects' work and family role salience were measured

by means of the Life Role Salience Scales (LRSS). The LRSS









by means of the Life Role Salience Scales (LRSS). The LRSS

consists of six subscales: 1) occupational value, 2) occup-

tional commitment, 3) parental value, 4) parental commitment,

5) marital value, and 6) marital commitment. Each subscale

was analyzed individually by a two-way analysis of covariance.

Each LRSS subscale pretest score was found to be a

significant predictor of posttest scores. An alpha of .05

was used. The results of these analyses are now presented

in terms of each subscale dimension:

1) Occupational Value--There were no significant dif-

ferences by group or by gender and no interaction of group

and gender in occupational value as measured by the

occupational value scale of the LRSS. The computed F scores

of 0.53 by group, and 0.22 for interaction of group and

gender, were within the critical F limits of 2.00, indicating

that the null hypothesis could not be rejected. Although

the computed F score of 3.85 for gender exceeded the

critical F value, the calculated confidence interval (-0.03,

1.97) contained zero, indicating that the null hypothesis

failed to be rejected. These results, along with other LRSS

measures, are presented in Tables 4-2 and 4-3.

2) Occupational Commitment--There were no significant

differences by group or by gender and no interaction of

group and gender in occupational commitment as measured by

the occupational commitment scale of the LRSS. The computed

F scores of 0.01 by group, and 0.28 for interaction of group











RESULTS OF


TABLE 4-2
THE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE OF WORK AND FAMILY
ROLE SALIENCE BY GROUP AND BY SEX


Source of Degrees Sum of Mean
of F
Scale Variation of Squares Squares
Freedom

OV Pre 1 665.92 665.92 153.16
Occupational Treatment 1 2.30 2.30 0.53
Value Sex 1 16.72 16.72 3.85
Treatment*Sex 1 0.96 0.96 0.22
Error 75 326.10 4.35

OC Pre 1 265.99 265.99 48.87
Occupational Treatment 1 0.08 0.08 0.01
Commitment Sex 1 1.68 1.68 0.31
Treatment*Sex 1 1.55 1.55 0.28
Error 75 408.26 5.44


PV Pre 1 871.67 871.67 109.96
Parental Treatment 1 25.84 25.84 3.26
Value Sex 1 18.44 18.44 2.33
Treatment*Sex 1 2.31 2.31 0.29
Error 75 594.54 7.93


PC Pre 1 727.35 727.35 86.24
Parental Treatment 1 18.10 18.10 2.15
Commitment Sex 1 4.00 4.00 0.47
Treatment*Sex 1 22.49 22.49 2.67
Error 75 623.53 8.43


MV Pre 1 605.33 605.33 90.83
Marital Treatment 1 0.84 0.84 0.13
Value Sex 1 4.02 4.02 0.60
Treatment*Sex 1 3.52 3.52 0.53
Error 75 499.84 6.66


MC Pre 1 317.98 317.98 104.06
Marital Treatment 1 5.32 5.32 1.75
Commitment Sex 1 1.15 1.15 0.38
Treatment*Sex 1 2.75 2.75 0.90
Error 75 229.18 3.06









and gender and 0.31 by gender were within the critical F

limits of 2.00 indicating that the null hypothesis could not

be rejected.

3) Parental Value--There were no significant differences

by group or by gender and no interaction of group and gender

in parental value as measured by the parental value scale of

the LRSS. The computed F score of .29 for group by gender

interaction indicated that the null hypothesis could not be

rejected. The computed F score of 3.26 for group and

2.33 for genderboth exceeded critical F limits. However,

both calculated confidence intervals, -2.5, .18 for group and

-.3, 2.22 for sex contained zero indicating the null hypothesis

failed to be rejected.

4) Parental Commitment--There were no significant

differences by group or by gender and no interaction of group

and gender in parental commitment as measured by the parental

commitment scale of the LRSS. The computed F scores for group

by gender interaction of 2.67 and 2.15 for group both exceeded

outside critical F limits. However, the calculated confidence

interval of -3.6, 2.24 for group contained zero indicating

the null hypothesis should be rejected. The computed F score

of 0.47 for gender was within critical limits indicating that

the null hypothesis failed to be rejected.

5) Marital Value--There were no significant differences

by group or by gender and no interaction of group and gender in

marital value as measured by the marital value scale of the

LRSS. The computed F scores of 0.13 for group, 0.60 for gender,









and 0.53 for group by gender interaction were all within criti-

cal F limits indicating the null hypothesis could not be

rejected.

6) Marital Commitment--There were no significant

differences by group or by gender and no interaction of group

and gender in the marital commitment scale of the LRSS. The

computed F scores of 1.75 for group, 0.38 for gender,and 0.90

for group by gender interaction were all within critical F

limits indicating the null hypothesis could not be rejected.


Quality of Marital Communication Patterns


Ho 2): There are no significant differences in subjects'

attitudes about the quality of their marital communication

patterns, as measured by the Marital Communication Inventory,

on the basis of group, gender,or the interaction of group and

gender.

Hypothesis 2 was tested by means of analyzing subjects'

evaluation of the quality of their marital communication

patterns. Marital communication patterns were assessed

utilizing the Marital Communication Inventory (MCI). In this

self-report scale each spouse rated their ability to

listen, to understand the other, and to express themselves.

A two-way analysis of covariance using the MCI pretest

as a covariate was utilized to test this hypothesis. The

covariate (MCI pretest) was found to be a significant

predictor of the dependent variable (MCI posttest). The alpha

level was set at the .05 level of significance.
















TABLE 4-3
RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE ON WORK AND FAMILY
ROLE SALIENCE MEAN AND ADJUSTED MEAN SCORES
BY GROUP AND BY SEX


Pre Post Adjusted
Scale Condition N M SD M SD M

Experimental 40 17.18 3.25 17.22 3.26 16.70
Occupational Control 40 15.88 3.42 15.78 3.27 16.30
Value Males 40 17.70 2.90 17.93 2.63 16.98
Females 40 15.35 3.45 15.08 3.85 16.02
Experimental 40 20.93 2.48 20.70 2.40 21.04
Occupational Control 40 21.95 2.89 21.45 3.37 21.11
Commitment Males 40 22.20 2.21 21.73 2.64 21.22
Females 40 20.68 3.00 20.43 3.09 20.93
Experimental 40 18.70 3.83 19.38 3.71 19.88
Parental Control 40 19.90 4.30 19.23 5.01 18.72
Value Males 40 19.03 4.09 19.55 4.31 19.78
Females 40 19.58 4.13 19.05 4.48 18.82
Experimental 40 16.33 2.96 16.43 3.27 16.17
Parental Control 40 15.73 3.95 16.85 5.03 17.11
Commitment Males 40 14.60 2.69 15.18 3.58 16.40
Females 40 17.45 3.63 18.10 4.34 16.88
Experimental 40 17.78 4.10 18.48 3.44 19.09
Marital Control 40 19.43 3.34 19.88 3.96 19.26
Value Males 40 19.53 3.36 19.63 3.66 18.94
Females 40 17.68 4.04 18.73 3.84 19.41
Experimental 40 18.90 2.89 19.53 2.47 20.42
Marital Control 40 21.88 2.57 21.90 2.30 21.00
Commitment Males 40 20.40 3.18 20.60 2.53 20.59
Females 40 20.38 3.06 20.83 2.80 20.83









The null hypothesis that there is no significant dif-

ference in subjects' attitudes regarding the quality of their

marital communication patterns, as measured by the MCI,

failed to be rejected. The computed F scores of 1.32 by

group, 0.05 by gender,and 0.02 for group by gender interaction,

were all well within the critical F limits of 2.00. These

results are reported in Tables 4-4 and 4-5.


Perceptions of Relationship Change


Ho 3): There are no significant differences in subjects'

expressed satisfaction with their interpersonal relationship,

as measured by the Relationship Change Scale, on the basis of

group, gender,or the interaction of group and gender.

Hypothesis 3 was tested by means of utilizing subjects'

perceptions of change in and/or expressed satisfaction with

the quality of their interpersonal relationship. Perceptions

of change in relationship quality were measured by the

Relationship Change Scale (RCS). Items on the RCS assessed

subjects' attitudes regarding changes in the quality of the

couples' communication, their levels of intimacy, and

their understanding of and sensitivity to their own and their

mates' feelings. Higher scores are thought to indicate positive

changes in various aspects of the relationship.

A two-way analysis of covariance, using the RCS pretest

as the covariate, was utilized to test this hypothesis. The

RCS pretest was found to be a significant predictor of the
















TABLE 4-4
RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE ON SUBJECTS' EVALUATION
OF THE QUALITY OF THEIR MARITAL COMMUNICATION
BY GROUP AND BY SEX


Source of Degrees of Sum of Mean F
Variation Freedom Squares Squares


MCI Pre 1 14344.73 14344.73 229.97
Treatment 1 82.37 82.37 1.32
Sex 1 3.17 3.17 0.05
Treatment*Sex 1 1.44 1.44 0.02
Error 75 4378.25 62.38


TABLE 4-5
MEAN AND ADJUSTED MEAN SCORES FOR RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS
OF COVARIANCE ON SUBJECTS' EVALUATION OF THE QUALITY
OF THEIR MARITAL COMMUNICATION BY GROUP AND BY SEX


MCI Pre MCI Post Adjusted
Condition N M SD M SD M


Experimental 40 90.55 16.86 94.05 13.29 99.59
Control 40 105.98 15.92 107.40 14.90 101.87
Males 40 96.98 15.92 99.60 15.10 100.53
Females 40 99.55 18.34 101.85 16.11 100.92









dependent variable (RCS posttest). The alpha level was set

at the .05 level of significance.

The null hypothesis that there is no significant

difference between experimental and control groups' expressed

satisfaction with their interpersonal relationship was

rejected. The computed F score of 8.86 was beyond the

critical F limit of 2.00. The null hypothesis that there

is no significant difference between male and female subjects

failed to be rejected because the computed F score of 1.17 did not

exceed the critical F limit of 2.00. Also, no significant

interaction between treatment and sex was noted, as the F

score of .49 was within the critical limit. These results are

depicted in Tables 4-6 and 4-7.

The Relationship Change Scale (RCS) was the one criterion

instrument on which significant results were obtained. Speci-

fically, these differences were between experimental and control

group subjects. Since the RCS measures several different

dimensions of interpersonal interaction, a post hoc item

analysis was undertaken to determine more specifically what

areas of couple relations seemed to be significantly affected.

To analyze these results further, a series of related

t tests were done on each item of the RCS. These tests

reflect differences protesting to posttesting for each of the

four groups (i.e., experimental and control; male and female)

but do not measure differences between groups. Only three

items showed significant change for control subjects, whereas














TABLE 4-6
RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE OF PERCEIVED
RELATIONSHIP CHANGE BY GROUP AND BY SEX


Source of Degrees of Sum of Mean F
Variation Freedom Squares Squares


RCS Pre 1 767.77 767.77 11.65
Treatment 1 583.60 583.60 8.86
Sex 1 77.05 77.05 1.17
Treatment*Sex 1 32.59 32.59 0.49
Error 75 4941.28 65.88




TABLE 4-7
MEAN AND ADJUSTED MEAN SCORES FOR RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS
OF COVARIANCE OF PERCEIVED RELATIONSHIP CHANGE BY GROUP AND BY SEX


RCS Pre RCS Post Adjusted
Condition N M SD M SD M


Experimental 40 84.55 9.44 90.68 8.19 90.51
Control 40 83.65 7.50 84.95 8.97 85.11
Males 40 83.28 8.49 88.50 9.80 88.80
Females 40 94.93 8.50 87.13 8.20 86.83









nine items showed significant change (in positive directions)

for experimental group subjects. Those items on which

experimental and control groups changed significantly fell

into the following general areas: 1) how the individual

feels he/she is viewed as a partner (more satisfactorily);

2) how mate views him/herself (more satisfactorily);

3) abilities to listen and communicate (better able);

4) ability to express self (better able); 5) general satis-

faction with relationship (more satisfied); 6) ability to

handle disagreement (better able); 7) understanding of the kind

of relationship I want to have in the future with my spouse

(better understanding). A complete statistical summary of

the RCS items showing significant change by group are listed

in Tables 4-8 and 4-10. A complete copy of the RCS is

available in Appendix C.

Significant differences were evident between male and

female subjects on the related t tests of items on the RCS.

Female treatment group subjects showed significant change on

only one item. It concerned a positive change in ability

to constructively express negative feelings toward their

partner. Male treatment subjects reported significant posi-

tive changes on nine items that related to improved perceptions

of how their spouse viewed them, how they viewed themselves,

and how they were able to express themselves and communicate

generally in addition to their ability to handle disagreement.

Generally male mean scores tended to come up at posttesting






83


toward pretest levels of the females (who showed considerably les

pretest to posttest change). A complete statistical summary

of the RCS items showing significant differences by sex are

listed in Tables 4-9 and 4-11. A complete copy of the RCS is

available in Appendix C.















TABLE 4-8
RELATIONSHIP CHANGE SCALE ITEM SCORES BY GROUP
RELATED SAMPLE t TEST


Item Control Group Experimental Group
Number t Scores t Scores

1 1.43 0.00
2 0.81 0.00
3 2.36* 1.92
4 1.71 0.75
5 2.82* 1.43
6 0.00 3.60*
7 -0.57 1.75
8 -0.33 1.60
9 0.00 2.88*
10 0.50 0.89
11 -0.47 1.67
12 -1.64 2.22*
13 0.00 0.89
14 0.72 3.20*
15 -0.57 1.43
16 2.68* 0.53
17 1.71 2.24*
18 0.27 5.34*
19 -1.86 1.22
20 -0.94 0.68
21 1.84 4.65
22 0.00 1.60*
23 0.83 -0.72
24 1.36 2.97*
25 -0.40 2.73V
* = t scores significant at .05 level.















TABLE 4-9
RELATIONSHIP CHANGE SCALE ITEM SCORES BY SEX
RELATED SAMPLE t TEST



Item Males Females
Number t Scores t Scores


1.42
0.52
2.48*
0.75
2.04
2.50*
2.24*
1.15
3.40*
0.77
0.60
1.84
0.00
2.32*
1.86
1.71
3.78*
3.64*
0.47
1.09
3.16
1.95*
0.00
2.48
2.56*
t scores significant at


0.16
0.21
1.67
1.71
2.05
1.15
-0.96
0.50
-0.50
0.65
0.72
-0.65
1.07
1.64
-0.77
0.77
0.60
1.95
-1.07
-1.52
3.16
0.21*
0.00
1.96
0.00
.05 level.


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
* -










TABLE 4-10
SAMPLE MEANS RELATIONSHIP CHANGE SCALE
ITEM SCORES BY GROUP


Item Pretest Posttest
Number* N Mean S.D. Mean S.D.

Control
3 40 3.075 0.616 3.325 0.656
5 40 3.200 0.564 3.525 0.679
16 40 3.075 0.572 3.300 0.608
Experimental
6 40 3.350 0.622 3.775 0.480
9 40 3.400 0.590 3.750 0.494
12 40 3.275 0.599 3.550 0.552
14 40 3.225 0.660 3.600 0.496
17 40 3.200 0.564 3.525 0.640
18 40 3.150 0.580 3.775 0.480
22 40 3.050 0.552 3.550 0.552
24 40 2.875 0.648 3.325 0.797
25 40 3.450 0.783 3.850 0.427
*Items with t scores significant at .05 level.



TABLE 4-11
SAMPLE MEANS RELATIONSHIP CHANGE SCALE
ITEM SCORES BY SEX


Item Pretest Posttest
Number* N Mean S.D. Mean S.D.

Males
3 40 3.075 0.572 3.400 0.810
6 40 3.275 0.599 3.575 0.549
7 40 3.325 0.572 3.575 0.594
9 40 3.275 0.599 3.675 0.526
14 40 3.275 0.599 3.550 0.504
17 40 3.100 0.591 3.475 0.599
18 40 3.125 0.563 3.575 0.594
22 40 3.000 0.392 3.350 0.533
25 40 3.000 0.599 3.350 0.580

Females
22 40 3.125 0.607 3.475 0.554
*Items with t scores significant at .05 level.














CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS



Summary

This study investigated the effects of a short-term

guidance program for dual career couples. Using analysis of

covariance procedures, this study compared the results of a

pretest and posttest of subjects' attitudes regarding

1) the salience of their work and family roles, 2) the

quality of their marital communication patterns, and

3) perceptions of change in their satisfaction with their

interpersonal relationship.

Experimental group subjects did not differ

significantly from control group subjects in their attitudes

regarding the salience of work and family roles, or the

perceived quality of their marital communication patterns

from protesting to posttesting. Significant differences

in the quality and the extent of their interpersonal

exchange, and their overall satisfaction with their

relationship were noted between experimental and control

groups. Analyses of these outcomes in terms of an

interaction by group and by sex revealed no significant










differences between male and female subjects on any of the

three outcome measures.


Discussion of Results


No statistically significant differences were noted

between either the experimental or control groups on the

work and family role values and/or commitments, as measured

by the Life Role Salience Scales, from protesting to

posttesting. First, in both experimental and control groups,

males and females tended to show rather traditional

expectations regarding work, marriage,and family roles.

That is, males tended to have stronger career orientations,

with this role maintaining primacy over marital and family

involvements. Females were generally career-oriented to

a lesser extent.

Following participation in the workshop, some

slight but nonsignificant changes were noted in both

male and female role expectations; for example, male

participants indicated some willingness to moderate their

career commitments to devote more time and energy to

marital roles, while some female participants indicated

a greater willingness to share family role responsibilities

in order to have time and energy for their careers.

It may be that changes did not impact substantially

the original work and family role values to affect work










and family role salience for dual career couples. Another

possibility is that the Life Role Salience Scales instrument

was not sensitive enough to record such subtle shifts in

role values and commitments. An alternative interpretation

may be that it was unrealistic to expect that such basic

attitudes regarding sex role values would change

significantly as a result of a brief intervention.

The Marital Communication Inventory also showed no

statistically significant differences between experimental

and control group subjects in terms of their

description of the quality of their marital communication

patterns. There are several possible explanations for this

result. First, the workshop included only one two-hour

segment on couple problem solving and decision making. It

may be presumptuous to think that existing communication

patterns can be altered with such a brief intervention or

over such a short period of time.

Secondly, the Marital Communication Inventory may have

been an inappropriate choice of criterion instrument to

detect significant changes in couples' communication

patterns. Since the Marital Communication Inventory was

designed to aid couples in reflecting on their marital

communication process, it may access general perceptions of

communication processes which are less subject to change over

time.










Significant differences between experimental and

control groups were noted in the extent of perceived

change in the quality of their relationships, as measured

by the Relationship Change Scale. Post hoc analyses of

the Relationship Change Scale have been reviewed in

Chapter IV and revealed that the experimental groups

changed significantly from the control groups in terms of their

more positive ratings of the following general areas:

1) how the individual feels he/she is viewed as a partner

(more satisfactorily); 2) how mate views him/her self

(more satisfactorily); 3) abilities to listen and communicate

(better able); 4) ability to express self (better able);

5) general satisfaction with relationship (more satisfied);

6) ability to handle disagreement (better able); 7) understand-

ing of the kind of relationship I want to have in the future

with my spouse (better understanding).

Although no significant differences were evident

between male and female subjects on the related t tests of

items on the Relationship Change Scale, several interesting

shifts were noted. Female treatment group subjects showed

significant change on one item concerning a positive

change in their ability to constructively express negative

feelings toward their partner. Male treatment subjects

reported significant positive changes on eight items

that related to improved perceptions of how their spouse




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