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- Selected correlates of divorce and postmarital attachment
- Vernick, Sheila K ( Sheila Kunian ), 1939-
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Analysis of variance ( jstor )
Demographic analysis ( jstor )
Demography ( jstor )
Divorce ( jstor )
Divorced status ( jstor )
Marriage ( jstor )
Marriage counseling ( jstor )
Spouses ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Divorce -- Psychological aspects ( lcsh )
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- Thesis--University of Florida.
- Includes bibliographical references (leaves 102-106).
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SELECTED CORRELATES OF DIVORCE
AND POSTMARITAL ATTACHMENT
SHEILA K. VERNICK
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Sheila K. Vernick
To David and Robyn, my precious chi dren,
whose lives were affected by the ebb
and flow of the graduate school tide .
Many people have contributed positively toward my graduate school
experience. Without the reassurance of my family and friends, it would
have been extraordinarily difficult to complete my Ph.D. A special
message of thanks is extended to the following:
Dr. Paul Fitzgerald, chairman of my doctoral committee and my first
supervisor at the University of Florida, who stood by me with warmth and
patience through the good times and the bad times; Paul embodies the
concept of "unconditional positive regard."
Dr. Robert Ziller, unofficial co-chairman of my committee, without
whom this dissertation could not have been written; he provided the
impetus for the topic, nurturance for the process, and inspiration for
Dr. Janet Larsen, committee member, who shared with me not only the
creation of this dissertation, but also numerous supervisory experiences
which were stimulating, enhancing, and enriching to my life.
Dr. E. L. Tolbert, committee member, from whom I learned that ignorance
and folly are not synonymous; he provided encouragement when it was most
Other professors in the department have had an inspiring effect on
my experience: Dr. Joe Wittmer, with his justice; Dr. Robert Stripling,
with his wisdom; Dr. David Lane and Dr. Ted Landsman, with their friend-
ships and kindness.
Special thanks go to those who assisted in the preparation of this
dissertation: Sue Rimmer, for her research skills; Janse Hogan, a typist
who is artistic; Barbara Rucker, for some consultation; and Marilyn Burt,
who often came through with some needed "materials."
There are others I wish to acknowledge who in some way contributed
toward my experience. Dr. Barry Guinagh has demonstrated support and
counseling expertise both as supervisor and out of the school setting.
Dr. Robert E. Jester is a decent and encouraging person, to whom I con-
stantly refer as "a real human being."
Appreciation goes to certain people for their friendship: Judy
Phelps-Reid and Pam Palmer, both special close friends; Trish Biggers,
Ed Reilly, Jim Hiett, and Dick Johnson, all enthusiastic and supportive
people. And to the Counselor Education Department headquarters in
Room 100, a special thanks is expressed to the corps of secretaries
(especially Cindy) and faculty who made it all possible.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . iv
ABSTRACT . viii
I INTRODUCTION . 1
Rationale . 3
Purpose of the Study . 6
Definition of Terms . 7
II A REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE 9
Attachment . 9
Marital Disruption . 14
Self-Spouse Relationships 15
Cognitive Factors . 16
Demographic Factors . 19
Economic . 20
Education . 22
Age at Marriage and Homogamy 25
Additional Demographic Factors 27
III METHODOLOGY . 29
Hypotheses . 29
Subjects . 31
Instrumentation . 31
Marital Research Questionnaire .. 32
Man-Woman Images 33
Depression Adjective Check List (DACL), Form A 35
Index of Attachment .. 37
The Postmarital Relationship Inventory (PRI) 37
Procedures . 38
Collection of Data 38
Analysis of Data . 39
Limitations of the Study 40
IV THE FINDINGS . 42
Description of the Method 43
Findings Related to Instruments 44
Index of Attachment and PRI 44
Man-Woman Images .. 46
The Depression Adjective Check List (DACL) 46
Description of the Sample .
Statistical Findings Related to Hypotheses
Additional Findings .
V DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS .
Summary of the Findings .
Statistical Data .
Interview Data .
Conclusions and Implications .
Theory Implications .
Implications for Practice. .
Suggestions for Further Research
LETTERS SEEKING SUBJECTS. .
INFORMED CONSENT FORM .
ITEM VARIANCES FOR CLUB MEMBERS/NON-MEMBERS
FACTOR ANALYSIS FOR CRITERION INSTRUMENT .
DEMOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF THE SAMPLE .
FINDINGS RELATED TO CAUSATION FOR DIVORCE .
ADDITIONAL INTERVIEW DATA .
SKETCH . .
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the
University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
SELECTED CORRELATES OF DIVORCE
AND POSTMARITAL ATTACHMENT
Sheila K. Vernick
Chairman: Paul W. Fitzgerald
Major Department: Counselor Education
The stability of the institution of marriage has become increasingly
compromised through the years, particularly within the past decade. A
spiraling divorce rate has resulted in marital disruption becoming a
reality for an increasingly wide range of married people. Whereas at one
time certain elements impelled a marriage to cohere-particularly cogni-
zance of social status and economic considerations, divorce has now become
a viable option for all of these seeking to extricate themselves from
turbulent or otherwise ineffectual marriages.
When a couple elects to dissolve their marriage, what is the nature
of the ensuing (divorced) relationship? Weiss postulates that after
divorce, there persists a sense of bonding to the former spouse, which he
designates as "postmarital attachment." This issue has been only
minimally researched, based upon a generally held presumption that termina-
tion of the marriage implies a severance of former ties or mutual commit-
Research has shown that there are a number of variables causatively
associated with divorce proneness. The purpose of this study was to
ascertain whether there is a relationship between some of these variables
in the marriage and divorce, as perceived by divorced people, and the
degree of attachment to the former spouse. The study sought, additionally,
to determine whether there are factors inherent in the process of divorcing
which affect the degree of postmarital attachment.
The sample consisted of 135 divorced individuals between the ages
of 21 and 69, from the eastern half of the United States. Of these,
66.7% were females, and 33.3% were males; 44.4% were from Florida. Sub-
jects volunteered to respond to paper and pencil instruments by mail.
The Marital Research Questionnaire, designed by the researcher, was
used to assess demographic data as well as ex post facto perceived factors;
Man-Woman Images, a projective device, was also utilized as a perceptual
referent. The Depression Adjective Check List (DACL) assessed depression
as a component of attachment, and the Index of Attachment and Postmarital
Relationship Inventory (PRI) constituted the criterion instrument.
Analyses of variance were conducted to test the hypotheses, and
yielded the following results:
1. There is a relationship between sharing leisure activities in
the marriage and attachment to the former mate.
2. There is a relationship between perceived positive sexual satis-
faction in the marriage and attachment to the former mate.
3. There is a relationship between a complement of religion factors
in the marriage and attachment to the former mate.
4. Remarried people demonstrate less attachment to their former
Findings of the study suggest that interactional factors (i.e.
relationship) perceived as positive in a marriage contribute toward
a higher level of attachment to the former spouse than do demographic
factors. Certain cognitive variables, such as perceived cause of the
divorce,were found to contribute significantly to a high degree of
Implications for divorce counseling, theory, practice, and research
follow from the results of this study.
Life is a cycle of complex and often interwoven entanglements. Man
proceeds from birth to death universally, but not unilaterally. Within
the respective life stages may lie unforeseen complex phenomena .
often hypothetical outcomes of elective events. The spiraling rate of
divorce is one such outcome; individuals who decide to marry are finding
it increasingly possible to experience sufficient disruption of their
marriages and, ultimately, to dissolve the marriage. The phenomenon of
divorce holds considerable interest for social science and human rela-
tions, for it provides perspectives and information into a process which
begins with an erosion of an intimate relationship, proceeds through a
purported de-intimatizing agenda, and results in a reorganization of
relationships. Divorce is a process which is not only multifaceted in
terms of its physical (i.e., distancing) logistics, but also so in the
light of accompanying emotions and attitudes experienced by the parties
involved and their families. Societal values have been generated toward
it from without. These include those which are culturally imposed by
society at large as well as those emanating from closer sources, as
family, friends, and associates.
With such manifold interior and exterior impingements, what becomes
of the original-probably productive and mutually enhancing-relationship
after a marital disruption? Weiss (1976) postulates that whether a marriage
has been happy or unhappy, after the end of it there persists a sense
of bonding to the former spouse (p. 138). It is this relationship-
unique to a formerly married couple-that Weiss specifies as "postmarital
A number of models have been set forth for use in counseling
divorced people experiencing difficulty in adjusting to their new life
style (Froiland & Hozman, 1977; Kessler, 1975). However, the nature of
the postmarital relationship itself between formerly married individuals
has not been studied in detail by many people. It has been explored at
length by Weiss (1975, 1976) who has set forth depression alternating
with euphoria as emotions peculiar to marital separation (1976). As
a result of Weiss's study, it follows that there is, in fact, a relation-
ship existing between couples who have divorced.
Brown (1976) states that the purpose of divorce counseling is to
decrease the function of the marriage. A frequent assumption is that
a marriage which has terminated is no longer functioning. Brown indi-
cates, however, that this is in fact not so in the perceptions of
divorcing people and that counseling must involve further processing
regarding causation for the divorce. Working through an individual's
attributions for the divorce is one of the steps involved in reducing
the individual's perceptions of the functional quality of the marriage.
It therefore follows, in considering Brown's theory, that attributed
causes for the divorce may have an effect on the extent to which a
person perceived a continued partnering or affiliative need in terms
of the former spouse.
Weiss (1975) postulates that although the element of love has eroded
from a marriage, the formerly married couple nevertheless perceives a
need to keep in touch with each other. He further explains that although
this need may be more blatant (and consequently more obvious) earlier in
the separation process-whether in overt hostility or acceptance-the bond,
or attachment, continues indefinitely to some degree. At the same time,
divorce serves a utilitarian purpose. Bernard (1964) mentions that
changes may occur in a marriage, such as disparity in male and female
sexuality or role tasks. She calls these functional, the result of
growth and maturation (p. 683). Some changes must come about from the
adjustment process of two people living together and the mutual accomo-
dations required, such as changes in habits (neatness, bedtime). Patterns
of living may change sufficiently to cause mates to function in different
Divorce may be an outcome-the result of little in common between
spouses (lack of homogamy). It may be a strategy--one of available
alternatives for escaping. It may be the result of a process of
escalated emotions (Bernard, 1964).
Because, however, some bond remains, the former spouses are forced
to confront it in some way. The nature of the ensuing relationship may
be one means of dealing with this tie; the nature of the relationship
could also depend upon the extent to which this adhering tendency has
been lessened by causative factors in disruption of the marriage itself.
Certain observable designs have been evolved by society to keep
divorce occurring at a lower rate. These are noted by Goode (1964) as
(1) the tendency of families to encourage marriage to a person of
similar social background in an effort to eliminate conflict resulting
from dissimilar tastes and habits; (2) the tendency of society to label
certain kinds of disagreements and difficulties as unimportant (i.e.,
a woman's lack of puntuality, ability to handle finances); and (3) the
tendency to lower expectations of marital satisfactions (p. 93). These
mechanisms have not found success-the divorce rate has spiraled. Multi-
ple marriages occur in a lifetime. It is not longer a question of what
should be; divorce has emerged as one means by which individuals seek
growth, enhancement, and satisfaction goals toward which counselors
Gaining understanding of attributed causes of divorce and of post-
marital relating has been virtually mandated to the counseling profession.
Weiss (1975, 1976) postulates that former mates maintain emotional ties
to each other, regardless of the presence or absence of overt signs
of this. It is when attachment indicators become inordinate, or cause
post-separation behavior to be maladaptive, that counseling intervention
is indicated. Because divorce counseling models have dealt mainly with
general tendencies, such as stages of divorce (Froiland & Hozman, 1977;
Kessler, 1975) and facilitating overall adjustment (Brown, 1976), it is
necessary to begin to reduce some of these elements into specific forms.
Weiss (1975) ascertained, through his Seminars for the Separated, that a
pervasive element problematic to separation adjustment is the difficulty of
former mates in relinquishing the emotional ties to each other, in spite of
the nonfunctioning quality of the marriage. This study was undertaken to
assess the extent to which postmarital attachment is, in fact, a problem.
It is a step toward concretizing divorce counseling theory and toward
expanding understanding of the factors related to this phenomenon.
Because counseling approaches arise from well founded theory, an under-
standing of factors causative in divorce and contributing to attachment
serves to assist a counselor and client by providing an awareness of
what to explore in the therapeutic situation.
The second implication of this study for the counseling profession
lies in legal innovations in the past decade. The law is an expression
of public opinion. It results from basic life factors, such as changing
attitudes toward marriage and divorces. These revised mores affect
legislation and, in turn, determine prevailing social attitudes (Burgess &
Locke, 1960). To assist with personal clarification of marital retention
or dissolution issues, the Conciliation Court of the Superior Court of
Los Angeles County was developed in the past decade and is serving as a
model for similar programs throughout the United States. This is a pro-
gram in which the legal profession and the behavioral sciences cooperate
in serving families on the verge of divorce.
Elkin (1973) calls attention to the purpose of the Conciliation
Court. This is
to protect the rights of children and to promote the
public welfare by preserving, promoting, and protecting
family life and the institution of matrimony, and to
provide means for the reconciliation of spouses and the
amicable settlement of domestic and family controversies.
Counseling by trained marriage counselors is provided by the program for
both reconciliation and postdivorce adjustment. It is short term (1 6
sessions), directive, and confrontive. The focus is on the relationship
in question; there is a crisis orientation. The goal is a contribution
to strengthening family life; the legal aspects of divorce become secondary
to psychological factors in family disruption.
Levinger (1976) refers to divorce as an event that "seems to be the
end product of a process of estrangement" (p. 21). One main purpose of
this study is to show that while a divorce decree may in theory place
the stamp of finality on a marriage, it does not, in fact, signify the
end of the marital relationship.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to ascertain if there is a relationship
between factors in the marriage and divorce process as perceived by
divorced individuals, and the degree of attachment to the former spouse.
The study also sought to determine whether there are factors in the process
of divorcing which have an effect on the degree of postmarital attachment.
The following questions were examined:
1. Do self-spouse relationships perceived by divorced individuals
affect the degree of their postmarital attachment?
2. Do certain cognitive factors perceived by the individuals as
causes of the divorce bear a relationship to the degree of his/her post-
3. Does the length of premarital acquaintance bear any relationship
to the degree of postmarital attachment?
4. Does length of marriage have an effect on the degree of post-
5. Does education or income level have an effect on the degree of
6. Do religion factors pertaining to the marriage have any effect
on the degree of postmarital attachment?
7. Does the degree of sexual satisfaction attained in the marriage
bear a relationship to the degree of postmarital attachment?
8. Does the length of the period between the divorce and the present
have a relationship on the degree of postmarital attachment?
9. Does the presence of children in a marriage bear a relationship
to the degree of postmarital attachment?
10. Are there factors in the legal process of separation and divorce
which affect the degree of postmarital attachment?
Definition of Terms
In order to afford clarification to the study, the following terms
Attachment-a positive emotion of one person toward another (as a
child toward a parent, one spouse toward the other) as long as the other
is "adequately accessible and attentive" (Weiss, 1975, p. 44).
Postmarital attachment-a persistent tendency to keep in touch with
the former spouse (Weiss, 1976, p. 143); a sense of continued "bonding
to the spouse" (1976, p. 138), regardless of whether or not he wants
a continued relationship.
Marital disruption-". living together when affection is diminished
makes any further wound increasingly hard to bear. If the
individual cannot obtain comfort from his spouse, there is no other place
to go, unless eventually he leaves the marriage. (Goode, 1961, p. 507).
Cognitive factors-an individual's own "account" (Weiss, 1975, p. 14)
of causes for the divorce.
Demographic factors-social and individual trends-past, present, and
projected, which are established as facilitating divorce in the United
States (Bernard in Bohannan, 1971; Norton & Glick, 1976). In this study,
these factors will be considered: courtship, length of marriage, education,
income level, religion, sexual satisfaction, length of the period between
the divorce and the present, and the presence of children in a marriage.
Self-spouse relationships-(1) the degree or type of differences
between the two people involved; (2) the degree or nature of communication
between the parties; and (3) the quality of the relationship between them
A REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE
The review of the literature relating to this study is divided
into the following broad areas: (a) attachment, (b) marital disruption,
(c) personality factors, (d) cognitive factors, and (e) demographic
factors. It should be mentioned that the literature related to the
aforementioned variables has been selectively reviewed for this study,
and deals basically with the background of those variables which are
examined in this investigation.
The phenomenon of attachment-marital and postmarital--has its
basis in studies of attachment in infancy and childhood. Bowlby (1969)
describes attachment behavior as having two basic features: maintaining
proximity to another, and specificity of the other. These behaviors are
instinctive to animals and evident in the ties of children to their
mothers. Man departs from animal behavior in his ability to establish
subordinate attachment figures with increasing age (1969, p. 205). Human
maturation has shown that bonds toward parents weaken at adolescence with
the advent of sexual attraction to peers of the opposite sex. In old
age, parental attachment figures no longer remain; thus attachment behavior
may be directed toward members of a younger generation. This behavior,
then,is a direct continuation of childhood attachment behavior. Inevitably,
marriage must be included within this continuum.
Cohen (1974) has derived from research on infants certain factors
which are generalizable to intimate adult relationships. He claims that
attachment includes happiness when the attachment object is near; sadness
upon separation; a component of security; and a perception of the attach-
ment object as a facilitator for exploration. Pineo (1961) postulates
that there are certain processes evident in marital deterioration. These
are (1) the process of disenchantment-a drop in marital satisfaction, and
(2) a loss of intimacy-less frequent physical and psychological sharing,
resulting in loneliness. As a result, the nature of marital interactions
Sheresky and Mannes (1972) assert their views on the nature of post-
marital relationships, saying that
Children and money, in fact, are the only two binding
agents that force the newly divorced husband and wife
to see each other, for varying periods of time after
the divorce. These confrontations are the most
delicate, difficult, and painful of all human con-
tacts the connective tissues of intimacy
die hard. (p. 191)
Goode (1956) refers to the sense of loss experienced by former spouses
as trauma. He sets forth an analysis of the degree of trauma, concluding
that positive involvement after divorce constitutes high trauma; relative
indifference signifies medium trauma; and the absence of real stress shows
that there is little trauma (p. 292). He concludes that a return to
"normalcy" is possible only when the ex-spouse can be regarded with
Goode (1956)discusses the rationale for marital separation which
ends in divorce. During separation, contact with the spouse means
discussion of issues impinging upon the marriage. If cumbersome con-
flicts exceed rediscovery possibilities, the decision is likely to be
termination of the marriage. Divorce is thus an alternative to ambiguity
(p. 174). Burgess and Locke (1960) assert that whether or not divorce
is a crisis depends on the degree of emotional involvement present (p. 581).
Weak emotional involvement may be present when the partners are separated
either spatially or psychologically. It may also exist in a forced
marriage, or in a casual second marriage of people who had a high degree
of emotional involvement with a deceased spouse. A crisis can exist when
there is strong community opposition to divorce, combined with some emo-
tional involvement and interdependence of activities between the couple
and the community. Burgess and Locke (1970) state the parameters of
unsatisfactory divorce adjustment as: (1) talking about one's divorce,
(2) a continuing association of the husband and wife, (3) a second
marriage, (4) an attempt to control the life of the former mate,
(5) idealization of the early relationship with the ex-mate, and
(6) moving to a new location. There is no doubt that these parameters
Goode (1956) claims that there are different patterns of separation.
Separation may be a substitute divorce. Different degrees of happiness
between spouses may bring about disagreement as to the facts of the rela-
tionship; this can result in a"one-sided divorce" (p. 178), where one
spouse makes this final decision without the other having thought of it.
Other separation conditions include the "drifting separation" (p. 178),
where divorce is not necessarily in the offing, and the delayed separa-
tion, where the marriage has been an empty shell for a lengthy period of
Robert Weiss (1973) has crystallized a great deal of the emotional
aspects of marital separation in his concept of attachment. Marital
attachment, according to Weiss, has three significant components. First,
there is emotional security which is unique in the sense that it is not
provided by children (although the parent is the attachment figure for
the child). Without the attachment figure, there is a sense of emotional
isolation. Second, there exists a "searching" when no attachment figure
is present. This need to search is relieved when an attachment is
formed (p. 139-140). The final component of (marital) attachment is
the mutual sexual accessibility associated with it, if this is not
prevented by another attachment coincidentally existing. In a later
work (1975), Weiss again refers to attachment which may appear in the
form of a reluctance to separate (p. 34). In an exploration of post-
marital attachment, he isolates the following factors: desolation,
self-questioning, disappointment in the belief that marriage ensures
the accessibility of the attachment figure, separation distress, and
anger toward attachment object for causing the separation (p. 41-43).
Weiss (1975) sums up his view of attachment by saying,
Attachment seems to have an imprinted quality;
once a certain other has been accepted as an attach-
ment figure, that person can again elicit attachment
feelings, at least until he or she is understood as
having become intrinsically different. At that point
the individual may be able to say "I loved him
once, but he was a different person then." (p. 46)
Bohannon (1971) extends the concept of postmarital attachment by
stating that although the relationship between ex-husbands and ex-wives
is poorly charted in American culture (p. 133), "pseudokinship groups"
are often formed: remarriage creates new affinal relationships.
Bohannon seems to arrive at an accurate summation of the concept of
postmarital attachment by saying,
Although it may not involve seeing her or doing
anything to maintain a relationship, nevertheless
the basis for a relationship and the history of a
relationship are still there in some atten-
uated sense or other, no matter how completely
you have accomplished the psychic divorce, you
choose autonomously to take a new kind of respon-
sibility. (p. 284)
It would seem, pragmatically, that the notion of a postmarital
attachment would be applicable in proportion to the length of marriage.
That is, that the longer the marriage, the greater the bonding of spouses.
Weiss (1975) reports that on the basis of data obtained from his Seminars
for the Separated (p. 62), this appears to be true only when comparing
people who separated after a marriage of less than two years with those
married longer than two years. However, it appears that when partners
separate any time after the first two years, those who have been married
much longer than others do not evidence greater distress than people
coming from shorter term marriages.
As for examination of the effect of the length of time a person has
been divorced on the nature of the postmarital relationship, a paucity
of information exists. Weiss (1975) suggests that generally, as each
of the former mates proceeds with the formation of his/her new life-
style and the formulation of a new identity, the other spouse's sig-
nificance becomes less blatant. However, there are cases where feelings
of hostility may persist, and an individual does not want to see the
former spouse. On the other hand, some people experience satisfaction
in being with a former spouse after a long separation (p. 123-124). Weiss
points out that
The relationship of long-separated couples, if it
becomes friendly, is nevertheless different from
other friendships: the bonds underlying it are
stronger; its roots are deeper. Yet at the same
time, each can remember being hurt by the other,
and so mutual wariness may be greater. (p. 125)
In order to begin to examine marital disruption, some brief mention
of conflict theory is necessary, as the phenomenon of divorce is rooted
in it. Brown (1957) sets forth a concept of intrapersonal conflict (or
ambivalence) by defining it as "the simultaneous arousal of incompatible
tendencies to action" (p. 136). Relating conflict to a small unit,
Deutch (1969) states that conflict occurs when incompatible activity
is present between two or more persons. It may result from differences
in information or belief, interests, desires, values, scarcity of some
resource, or rivalry.
It must be mentioned, additionally, that people may perceive a
conflict of goals or interests where none actually exists, or may not
perceive one that does exist. If a conflict is destructive, it may
involve a strategy of power, threat, coercion, and deception, thereby
increasing suspicion and lack of communication (Deutch, 1969). Des-
tructive conflict causes dysfunction.
Sprey (1969) perceives the family as a system in conflict. Ongoing
confrontations inevitably and perennially exist between its members-
individuals with conflicting interests in a common situation. Indeed,
an inquiry into the external networks affecting a married couple showed
that their lack of integration with a common "universe" (community,
society, or family) of values and norms had a direct relationship to
the degree of polarization between the couple (Scanzoni, 1965, p. 490).
Although specific personality factors have not been empirically
documented in causation studies of marital separation and divorce,
mention is made of attributes which appear to contribute to marital
adjustment. Burgess and Cottrell (1939) and Locke (1951) postulate
that conventional (conforming) people are more likely to have good
marital relationships. They also cite (1939, 1951) emotional balance
and optimism as preferred personality traits. Individual stability
has been acknowledged to be a determinant of marital instability
(Ellis & Harper, 1961; Furstenburg, 1976).
Differences between male and female, or husband-wife adjustment
have been explored in the literature. Accordingly, Barry (1970) con-
cludes that a "healthy marriage" involves the husband being secure
in his own identity, so that he can be supportive of his wife in her
new role (p. 52). In addition, he must be conciliatory and trusting
in order to elicit a positive response from his wife by satisfying her
need for sympathy and support.
Chilman (1959) depicts a marital dropout as analogous to a school
He is anxious about the "state of the world," feels
that there is a great deal of social injustice, is
confused about his own ethical values and what is
right and wrong. He may have a sense of hopeless-
ness about the "world he never made." Sex questions,
needs, ethics, and dating relationships bother him.
This general "dropout" personality type is not concerned with structure,
order, accuracy, authority, or self-control; such lack of concern leads
him to revolt and to lack trust in human relationships.
Waller (1951) concludes that "marriage in our culture is becoming
a person-centered relationship, stressing, as needs to be met, sex
satisfactions, companionship, and personality growth" (p. 512). Fluctua-
tions in the nature and components of this relationship have brought
about instability. Bernard (1971) adds that sexual adjustment is the
one which takes the longest to achieve in marriage; it follows that this
need may take longest to be met.
An interesting personality factor contributing to marital disruption
may be the gregariousness of one or both spouses. Having separate friend-
ships outside the marriage is not necessarily enhancing. Hill and Katz
(1968) and Kanter, Jaffe, and Weisberg (1975) note the importance of
third parties. The closer one or both partners are to a third or fourth
person, the more likely the outsider's presence will interfere with the
marital relationship. Levinger (1965) postulates the importance in
marriage of esteem for the spouse; desire for the spouse's companionship;
and sexual enjoyment with the spouse as opposed to preferring another sex
Cognitive variables which come into focus in marital separation and
divorce are those which are subjective but non-emotional to the individuals
involved. These factors are speculative in terms of the spouse's attri-
bution rationale and are based upon personal perceptions as well as
expectations. Of the cognitive variables, that most often cited is
roles. Roles are the conceptions of a husband and wife of their
respective responsibilities toward the home (Burgess & Locke, 1960).
As such, it is important for them to be able to define them.
Investigations by Cutright (1971) and Ort (1960) have shown that
status and roles (patterns of expected behavior) are significant indi-
cators of marital happiness. A cause of marital conflict is a disparity
in the attitudes of husband and wife toward the respective roles of
husband and wife. In such a situation, the spouses entertain different
(and probably conflicting) definitions of their mutual roles. Divorce
proneness is related to this (Goode, 1961). In view of this, Ort (1960)
reports the following consequences: (1) lack of mutual satisfaction
with roles; (2) less agreement between the role expectations of spouses;
(3) a greater disparity between the expectations of marital partners
about one's role in decision-making; and (4) a greater use of argument,
aggression, withdrawal, or avoidance as problem solving methods.
Goode (1966) reports marital instability as the failure of one
or both individuals to execute the obligations of respective role(s).
This causes domestic disorganization and an unstable environment.
Instability is a disruptive force. If this is the case, it would seem
that role definition and delineation for spouses would be optimal in
terms of providing complementary means of providing and maintaining
homeostastis in the home. However, according to Spiegel (1968), precise
complementarity of roles brings about high levels of equilibrium which
do not last very long. Disharmony eventually arises, complementarity
fails, and the role system resulting causes disequilibrium. If there
is a lack of interruption in this process, there is an eventual dis-
ruption of the system.
Additional attributed causation exists in the cognitive realm.
Harmsworth and Minnis (1955) conducted research which showed the con-
fusion of lawyers who consult with divorcing couples as to the "cause"
of their divorces. They reported that ". by the time they get to
us (attorneys) they usually have more than enough legal grounds for
it has driven them to outside activities that break up a marriage"
(p. 321). The nature of these activities is not specified. A significant
outcome of the study is that many of the lawyers consulted recommended
that non-legal counselors be available for consultation. This would result
in less personal embroilment and less need for individual (psychological)
considerations by lawyers who are not necessarily trained to deal with
such personal aspects of the situation. It must be acknowledged that
another recommendation arising from the study is that there be a modi-
fication of statutory grounds for divorce, so that they may be made
Specific attribution factors in divorce are delineated. Burgess
and Locke (1960) separate the reports of divorced men and divorced
women as to causation. Men reported as reasons the following (p. 519):
unsatisfying sex relations; an unsatisfied desire to have children;
the interference of in-laws; constant bickering; and a lack of mutual
friends. The women interviewed seemed to have given causes that were
narrower and more factual, such as: general disease; nonsupport;
drunkeness; gambling; and the husband going to jail.
Blood and Wolfe (1960) offer a more global perspective. They refer to
decaying marriages as those in which spouses are drifting apart and
are no longer attracted to each other or dependent upon each other for
essential services. As a result, there is a gradual cessation of inter-
action. This particular phenomenon is seen in a marriage from which
the wife derives little satisfaction (p. 240). Divorce is especially
tempting if some other man can offer a new chance at meeting her needs.
Blood and Wolfe (1960) also attribute marital disruption as resulting
from three additional factors. The first is an incompatible philosophy
of life which is discovered belatedly. The second is new problems which
result from changing circumstances, such as the advent and developmental
stages of children, and financial deficits. And the third factor
contributing to disharmony is boredom. This is reported as a lack of
satisfaction (i.e. mutual rediscovery) in the use of leisure time
together. Lack of shared activity enjoyment is also cited by Locke
(1951) as contributing to dissatisfaction in marriage.
An interesting notation about marital dissatisfaction is made by
Renne (1970). She observes that such unhappiness may be manifested
nonverbally, as in physical or psychological symptoms such as ailments
and disabilities. The condition of a marriage is influenced by a
general feeling of well-being; the nature and quality of this feeling
is equivalent to the health and morale of a marriage, with healthy
people less likely to be dissatisfied.
Divorce has been hailed as one of the major solutions for an
intense degree of marital disharmony; however, in reality, it is not
actually valued in any society. Two primary demographic causes have
emerged as contributing to the increase in the divorce rate. These
are the legal and economic feasibility factors of divorce. Divorce
laws have made divorces easy to obtain (Bernard, 1971; Burgess & Locke,
1960; Goode, 1962; Norton & Glick, 1976). Liberalized grounds for
divorce have facilitated it, so that divorce has become an option pro-
vided by the law, but not mandated. As a result, there has been
evidenced less commitment to maintain family boundaries, and more support
(and less stigma) for the increasing incidence of divorce.
Beyond the evidence of self reports which have been publicized at
times by the media, little actual research has been conducted regarding
the impact of the legal process of obtaining a divorce upon the equanimity
level of the former mates. Bernard (1971) states that the law has con-
tributed to the rising number of divorces, by mollifying the adversary
theory (where one party was legally guilty, and the other was proved
blameless). Framo (1977) cites what he considers an important role of
the therapist, saying
I try to keep lawyers out of the situation as
long as possible, because as soon as they come in
the hostilities escalate-even for those couples who
are determined to have a "friendly divorce." (p. 79)
He claims that when legal negotiations are worked out in therapy, the
divorce process goes more smoothly.
There is a broad spectrum of economic issues underlying divorce.
Goode (1963, 1964), Jacobson (1959), and Norton and Glick (1976) call
attention to the fact that divorces are economically available to people
of all socioeconomic strata, where formerly high legal costs prohibited
marital dissolution to all but the very wealthy. Jacobson (1959) notes
that incidence of divorce follows the trend of the economy-it is low
in periods of depression and high during prosperity.
Inadequate income has been cited unequivocally as a cause of
divorce, if not an actual determinant (Carter & Glick, 1970; Cutright,
1971; Levinger, 1976; Norton & Glick, 1976). Interestingly, much
of the reason for this economic focus stems from the rising interest
in women's rights and changesin women's roles that developed before
the last decade. Where women were formerly needed for specific survival-
related services in the home (as food and clothing), a change has taken
place in that such services can now be purchased (Goode, 1961). The
more recent nationwide emphasis upon opportunities for women to develop
skills, and therefore "equality," has put some strain into the lives
of many women and men.
Women want more economic opportunities in many cases (Goode, 1964).
Conflict can result in a marriage from different ideas about spending,
and actually from different notions of what constitutes economic success.
In many instances, such disparity brings about sufficient dissention
to cause a wife to believe that if she can support herself, she does not
need a marriage (Bernard, 1971; Goode, 1963; Norton & Glick, 1976).
Goode acknowledges that economic conflicts may indeed represent under-
lying emotional issues. This conflict, based upon love as a presumable
initial motivating factor, has led Levinger (1965) to conclude that
"attractions that act to secure a marriage derive from love and money"
(p. 21). Conversely, it may be assumed that one of these factors out
of balance might result in marital turmoil. Levinger goes on to say
(1976) that the better the economic alternative is outside of marriage,
compared to that inside, the greater the financial incentive to dissolve
The second demographic factor which has been established as
causally related to divorce is education level of spouses. Goode (1961),
Monahan (1967), and Norton and Glick (1976) have established that low
education level is, in fact, significantly related to divorce proneness.
According to Goode (1961, p. 494), low education has bearing on a
husband's earning potential, and thus is a contributor to degree of
Contrary evidence, however, is offered by Landis (1963) who
states that people with college and graduate school education are
more likely to terminate unhappy marriages. Bumpass and Sweet (1972)
provide a different slant to the question of educational level.
Results of their study indicate that amount of education at the age
when a person marries is a possible indicator of marital success.
This means that educational level per se is not as much a consuming
factor in disruption as educational potential and mobility. Glick
(1957), in an earlier investigation, ascertained that the highest
divorce rates are for those marriages involving a female high school
or college dropout. This is possibly due to certain predisposing
factors in their social and psychological backgrounds which affect
their degree of persistence in education and in marriage.
An important offshoot of the educational level consideration is
that of values or philosophy of life (Blood and Wolfe, 1960). Goode
(1965) delineates conflicting values as different views of
what was right, good, beautiful, etc. style of life, education,
manners, entertainment, the arts, religion, etc. lack of harmony"
(p. 121). Significant differences in individual values of spouses have
been shown to have an impact on the degree of marital happiness. Blood
(1960) and Locke (1951) highlight the importance of this by stressing
the need for shared activities of the spouses, thereby affecting a mutual
rediscovery. Levinger (1965) adds the importance of joint commitments,
and sets forth home ownership by both spouses as a reflection of the
marital value system and mutual dedication to an undertaking.
Educational level also makes a contribution to the way in which
one or both spouses view the need for a marriage. Bernard (1971) and
Goode (1963) cite the erosive effect upon marriage of public attitude
changes which have lessened the emphasis upon the necessity for marital
stability. In many respects, not only formal education, but also exper-
ience has an impact upon an individual's perception of marriage in
serving as a basis for acquiring a viewpoint.
Experiences in the family of origin and in the procreative family
have focused attention upon these arenas and in their relationship to
divorce. Christensen and Meissner (1953), Monahan (1952), and Pope and
Mueller (1976, 1977) claim that the probability of divorce is greater
when either spouse has experienced divorce in a previous marriage; such
a person is more prone to considering divorce as a solution to conflict
or a resolution for frustration. Origin family serves as a locus for
potential divorce in proportion to the degree of happiness of the parents.
The experience of marital conflict, separation, or divorce while growing
up has an impact upon the tendency of an individual toward divorce
(Bumpass & Sweet, 1972; Goode, 1961; Locke, 1951; Terman et al., 1938).
Whether this is due to parental role in modeling or to an individual's
ability to tolerate further conflict is unclear (Levinger, 1976). Indeed,
childhood unhappiness itself is postulated as causing divorce proneness
(Locke, 1951; Terman, 1938; Waller, 1951).
Another source of stress upon a marriage lies outside of the marital
unit. It consists of the degree of support for the marriage from the
family and community. The greater the amount of disapproval of the
marriage by friends and kin of one or both spouses, the greater likelihood
there is of divorce (Bernard, 1964; Goode, 1961; Locke, 1951). Zimmerman
(1956) enlarges upon this by postulating a concept of heterogeneity, or
affiliation in different membership groups. This signifies less agreement
on basic norms and values, and affects the stability of the marriage. Hill
and Katz (1968) and Locke (1951) are explicit, however, that a certain
degree of popularity-both marital and premarital is vital to a marriage.
The effect of satisfactory sexual adjustment upon marital disruption
is moot in the literature, although there is general agreement that such
adjustment is learned. Locke (1951) and Stokes (1968) cite unsatisfying
sexual relationship as an existing factor in marriages which terminate.
Goode (1964) and Terman et al (1938) cite sexual difficulty as a result of
underlying conflicts and tensions of the marriage, and not a cause of
them. Sprey (1966) regards marital disorganization as "a state of
disorder within the institutionalized pattern of human reproduction"
(p. 401) and claims that the role of sex within marriage is for the
purpose of producing offspring, and providing them with a set of legiti-
Age at Marriage and Homogamy
The third variable of the three primary demographic determinants of
divorce is age at marriage. Young age at marriage has been ascertained
beyond question to be a contributing factor, ultimately, to divorce
(Christensen & Meissner, 1953; Goode,1956, 1951; Lee, 1977; Locke, 1951;
Monahan, 1967; Norton & Glick, 1976). The younger one or both spouses
are at the time of first marriage, the more likelihood of the marriage
terminating, indisputably. Bumpass and Sweet (1972) claim that there
is a low rate of marital disruption when women marry at age 30 and
above. They thus concur that ascending age differential decreases the
likelihood of unstable marriage.
Curtailment of the courtship period has been found to interfere
with successful marriage. A primary cause of short engagement period
is its interruption due to premarital pregnancy, and is a significant
factor which increases the probability of eventual marital dissolution
(Bumpass & Sweet, 1972; Christensen & Meissner, 1953; Lowrie, 1965).
Furstenburg (1976) cites reasons for this: (1) an unexpected pregnancy
causes personal instability; (2) there is accelerated family building;
(3) it cuts short the process of preparing for married life; and (4)
marrying under this circumstance can interfere with wage-earning capa-
cities of one or both spouses.
One factor which has been found to relate to successful courtship,
and which eventually extends into success in marriage, is homogamy, or
similarity of the spouses in certain respects. A lack of homogamy between
spouses has been documented as a contributing factor to divorce in the
following areas-cultural background and religion. Similarity of cultural
background is cited by Burgess and Cottrell (1939) as a predictor of
successful marriage. Zimmerman (1956) further explicates the concept
of homogamy: the more alike spouses are in antecedent factors such as
socioeconomic status, ethnicity, area of origin, education, and religion,
the less likelihood there is of divorce because of the contribution of
these elements to homogeneity of the couple, and to their close friends
(p. 111). Increasing heterogeneity, or affiliation in different member-
ship groups, means less agreement on basic norms and values. In the
face of such impingement, marital stability is affected. Further attention
to lack of cultural homogamy between spouses is evinced by Burgess and
Locke (1960) and Goode (1961, 1964).
Lack of similarity in religious preference has been heavily sup-
ported as contributing to divorce proneness (Goode, 1961; 1964; Landis,
1963; Udry, Helson, & Nelson, 1963; Zimmerman, 1956). Landis further
postulates that marriages of mixed faith are less durable than those of
the same religious preference; however, there appears to be a lesser effect
on marital stability when the wife adopts her husband's religion. For
one reason, there results an overall agreement in that area, and there
is less conflict over the religious training of the children. A natural
(possible) outcome of shared religion is the tendency to attend church.
Although it is not necessarily a fact that "those who pray together
stay together," lack of interest in religious observance and church
attendance is asserted as causative in divorce (Burgess & Cottrell, 1939;
Goode, 1961, 1964; Locke, 1951). Mutual commitment to a belief enhances
There is no doubt that changing attitudes in the institution of
religion have affected the divorce rate. A more relaxed stance on the
part of the church with respect to divorce has contributed to an increase
in divorce (Burgess & Locke, 1960). Landis (1963) confirms that there is
a rising indifference toward religion, and that people indifferent to
religion tend to end an unhappy marriage. Christensen and Meissner (1953)
add that a nonreligious wedding itself is a disposing factor toward.
divorce. Indeed, Goode (1961) states that those marriages in which
religion has the highest effect in contributing to divorce are those
where there is no religion; in other words, mixed religious preferences
serve to secure a marriage more than none at all. However, partners of
the same religious faith will tend to be less divorce prone.
Homogamy in religious commitment is part of the value systems of
spouses. Goode (1956), in speaking of the impact of individual values
on a marriage, specifies religion as being significant (p. 121). It
follows that disparities in this area may cause a lack of harmony which,
if it becomes severe, can give rise to conflict.
Additional Demographic Factors
There is additional causation, offered in the literature, to those
factors mentioned. One of the primary causative factors is the core of
incentives for divorce. Not the least of these is the availability of
high welfare payments, particularly to mothers and children (Moles, 1976;
Norton & Glick, (1976). Another is the alternatives to marriage which are
available (Goode, 1961, 1964). Change in what was formerly societal pres-
sure for commitment in marriage has resulted in termination of the philos-
ophy of bearing the burden one has undertaken. Goode (1963) and Locke
(1960) mention the greater availability of remarriage partners because
of a higher divorce rate.
Farber (1964) states that divorce is functional in a society where
a person is free to choose a mate. If the personal reasons for origin-
ally selecting a mate are not fulfilled, divorce is a vehicle enabling
one to escape the incompatible situation. It is thus a useful mechanism
for attaining personal staisfaction. Bernard (1971) likewise calls
attention to the fact that "social and behavioral scientists tend to
find important functional values in divorce and in this sense their
thinking constitutes an 'apologia' for it" (p. 12).
War seems to influence somewhat the trend for divorce (Carter &
Plateris, 1963). Jacobson (1959) posits reasons for this, saying that
wartime marriages may be contracted after short engagements. In the
cases of people already married, prolonged separation tends to weaken
marital ties. Jacobson (1959) and Norton and Glick (1976) cite postwar
economic and social adjustment of veterans as divorce inducing.
Other factors which have been less globally researched include
location of residence. Burgess and Locke (1960) and Christensen and
Meissner (1953) have shown that people residing in rural areas are less
likely to divorce; divorce rates are higher in instances of urban
residence. The legal accusations factor type of attribution has also
been minimally researched. Locke (1951) specifies adultery as a leading
cause. Goode (1956) concurs, adding as causative drinking, desertion,
conflict with relatives, gambling, and nonsupport.
The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relation-
ship between factors in the marriage and divorce process perceived by
divorced individuals and the degree of postmarital attachment to the
former spouse. The study also sought to determine whether there are
factors in the divorce process which affect the degree of postmarital
attachment. Subjects for the study were divorced, or divorced and
The design of the research is a correlational study. The history
of the research on attachment is such that while attachment is posited
as a fact, the variables comprising it have not been fully established.
In order to ascertain these variables, a correlational study was indi-
cated, relating certain variables suggested in the literature to the
criterion variable, postmarital attachment. All subjects were adminis-
tered a Marital Research Questionnaire; Man-Woman Images; Depression
Adjective Check List; and the Index of Attachment and Postmarital Rela-
tionship Inventory (combined).
This chapter specifies the hypotheses to be tested; subjects who
participated; instrumentation for the study; procedures for collection
and analysis of the data; and the limitations of the study.
The following hypotheses arose from the research questions:
Hypothesis 1. There will be a relationship between self-spouse
relationships perceived by divorced individuals, and the degree of attach-
ment to the former spouse.
Hypothesis 2. There will be a relationship between certain cognitive
factors (attributed causes) for divorce and the degree of attachment to
the former spouse.
Hypothesis 3. There will be a relationship between the length of
premarital acquaintance and the degree of attachment to the former spouse.
Hypothesis 4. There will be a relationship between the length of
marriage and the degree of postmarital attachment.
Hypothesis 5. There will be a relationship between education/income
level of the couple and the degree of postmarital attachment.
Hypothesis 6. There will be a relationship between the religious
nature of the marital partners and the degree of postmarital attachment.
Hypothesis 7. There will be a relationship between the degree of
sexual satisfaction attained in the marriage and the degree of postmarital
Hypothesis 8. There will be a relationship between the length of
the period between the divorce and the present, and the degree of post-
Hypothesis 9. There will be a relationship between the presence of
children in a marriage and the degree of postmarital attachment.
Hypothesis 10. There will be variables inherent in the legal process
of separation and divorce which affect the degree of postmarital attach-
All subjects participating in this study were men and women either
currently divorced, or remarried after a divorce. A total of 135 sub-
Subjects were selected in the following ways: (1) individuals on
membership rosters of local singles' organizations were asked to volun-
teer to participate; (2) participants in an American Personnel and
Guidance divorce counseling workshop (Washington, D. C., 1978), who had
already indicated their willingness to participate were approached
either to volunteer or to obtain subjects from their clientele; (3)
personal acquaintances of the researcher were approached; and (4) thera-
pists in the eastern half of the United States were contacted and requested
to obtain subjects from their clientele. This group of therapists was
selected from the yellow pages of telephone directories of major eastern
United States cities, according to the following criteria: (1) listing
under "Marriage and Family Counselors," (2) specific mention of divorce
or postmarital counseling in their description of services, or (3) member-
ship at some level in the American Association of Marriage and Family
Counselors. Persons contacted indicated by return postcard their ability
to participate and/or obtain subjects. They were then mailed the number
of packets that they specified. It was anticipated that 100 subjects
would participate in this study,
The instruments used in this research were the Marital Research
Questionnaire; Man-Woman Images; the Depression Adjective Check List;
and the Index of Attachment and the Postmarital Relationship Inventory,
Marital Research Questionnaire
A "Marital Research Survey" was originally developed by William
Goode in order to execute a study of postdivorce adjustment in 1948.
Goode's original schedule (Goode, 1956, p. 357-366) consists of 121
items and directions for personally administering the instrument to
the respondent. It is divided into eight sections, with each section
treating specific categories of data as, for example, demographic (age
at marriage; current age; duration of residence; occupation, etc.);
social (activities before and after separation); emotional adjustment;
attitudes toward former spouse; children; religion; and remarriage (if
applicable). Designed for a study involving divorced women, the phrase-
ology is applicable, and utilizes such terms as "former husband." The
questions contain multiple choice items, items requiring a negative or
affirmative response, and some items which permit a subjective response.
No validation data have been established for this original instru-
ment. The data for Goode's study obtained from the Marital Research
Survey were based on information obtained from 425 female respondents
over three years. They were reported descriptively, in terms of cate-
gories, frequencies, and relative frequencies of response items.
Goode's Marital Research Survey has served as the basis for one
of the instruments-used in this study-the Marital Research Questionnaire
designed by the researcher. The Marital Research Questionnaire consists
of three sections. Section I contains nine short answer questions.
Sections II and III consist of Likert summated responses. Section II
contains 17 items; the respondent is asked to rate these individually
on a five point scale based upon agreement, with responses ranging in
categories from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree." Section III
consists of 12 items; the subject is asked to rate each of these on a
five point scale based upon frequency of occurrence, with responses
ranging from "very seldom" to "very often."
The categories of data treated in the Marital Research Question-
naire are, as in Goode's instrument, demographic, social, and emotional
(attitudinal). The purpose of this instrument is to obtain input
information by tapping those factors most often causative of divorce,
as evidenced in the literature.
Scoring for this instrument is accomplished as follows: open-ended
questions in Section I are categorized into five groups for each item,
with each assigned a score of 1 to 5. Remaining responses for Sections
II and III of the instrument have been scored individually by the subject.
Responses are utilized as predictor variables in this study. Both the
open-ended and Likert summated sections are categorized from low to high
divorce proneness based upon divorce research; thus a high score obtained
by an individual would indicate his/her perception of the marriage as one
likely to end in divorce.
Man-Woman Images is an instrument developed by Robert Ziller of the
University of Florida. Originally entitled "Self-Other Orientation Tasks,"
(Ziller, 1970) this is a projective device which provides a phenomenological
and nonverbal index of the self-spouse orientation of the subject, and
therefore identifies the nature of the former marriage structure from
the point of view of the subject. For use in this study, this instrument
assessed the perceived marriage orientation of the subject and former
spouse. The test is based upon the assumption that the operational
social structure of a social unit may be ascertained by analysis of a
member's self-perceptions with regard to other members (Ziller, Yockey,
Leach). An example of the items is that designed to tap the person's
self-spouse orientation (Ziller, Yockey, Leach). It consists of 10
circles arranged horizontally and a list of ten significant people,
including the self and former spouse. The subject is asked to assign
each person to a circle. According to Ziller (1965, 1970) individuals
generally use a left to right hierarchical orientation in ordering the
persons on the list. This occurs, for example, in issues regarding
socioeconomic status or success. Thus the placement of the spouse with
respect to the self is significant in ascertaining how one spouse per-
ceives the other.
The original instrument consists of five figures, each utilizing
circles in which the respondent places him/herself. For the purpose of
this study, three of these are used, and represent the following cir-
cumstances: Self-Spouse Orientation, Social Unity, and Identification.
In all figures, additional circles are included which stand for other
people. The subject is asked to respond according to the particular
directions on each figure.
Scoring for this instrument is accomplished according to a separate
assessment procedure for each item. For example, two scores are derived
from the Self-Spouse Orientation Item: an index of self-esteem is
obtained by counting the number of circles to the left of Y (yourself);
an index of attachment is the second score for this figure, and consists
of the number or circles between Y and S (former spouse). For the
Social Unity Item, two scores are also obtained. One score for the
number of lines from Y to other circles is an indicator of depression,
with more lines indicating less depression. The other score consists
of the number of overlapping lines and is a measure of attachment. The
Identification Item also yields a measure of attachment by counting the
number of millimeters between Y and S: the less distance, the greater
Validity for this instrument, while not specifically ascertained
for self and former spouse, was derived from a series of earlier studies
(Ziller, 1970) on the Self-Other Orientation Tasks. Normed on Asian
Indian children, the following correlation coefficients of validity
were obtained (Ziller, Smith, and Long, 1965, p. 111): identification
with mother: =.44; p .05, identification with friend: r=.37,
p<.05, identification with father: r=.31, p<.05, identification with
teacher: r=.20, p<.05. Split-half reliability was obtained at .64
(Ziller, 1973, p. 115). In utilizing this instrument, an assumption of
generalizability to self and former spouse is made.
Depression Adjective Check List (DACL), Form A
This scale was developed by Bernard Lubin of the University of
Missouri (1967) and published by the Educational and Industrial Testing
Service. The DACL is an instrument designed to assess symptoms of
depression; its relevance to this study lies in Weiss's (1976) postulate
of depression, alternating with euphoria, as the most common symptom of
the post-separation period. It would follow that because depression is
most evident in the initial period of the divorce process, and because
attachment appears to be highest at this time, measurement of depression
is important as an indicator of postmarital attachment.
The DACL consists of 32 adjectives which are moods and feelings
associated with or not associated with depression. They consist of
such words as wilted, safe, miserable, gloomy, and dull. The subject
is asked to check all of the words which describe his/her feelings.
A list typically takes 3-5 minutes to complete, and is scored with a
stencil marked "+" or "0" for each word. The Score for each list
consists of total number of plus (+) adjectives checked and minus (0)
adjectives not checked. The higher the score, the more likely an
individual is to be experiencing depression.
Lubin (1967) reports normative data collected on 125 normals and
302 patients. Internal consistency was computed from a two-way analy-
sis of variance, resulting in a coefficient of .92 for normals and .91
Validity data were obtained through cross validation of all forms
(A through G) of the test. Two by three analyses of variance were com-
puted for sex by group, and resulted in significant F tests. T-tests
were also shown to be significant at p<.05. Significant correlations
with the Clinical Scales of the MMPI (except for Ma and Pa), the Beck
Inventory of Depression, and the Zung Depression Scale have also been
Index of Attachment
This scale was developed by Gay C. Kitson of Case Western Reserve
University, Cleveland, Ohio, and Marvin B. Sussman of the Bowman Gray
School of Medicine. This instrument is designed to assess attachment,
which is defined as "preoccupation with or pining for the spouse ."
(Kitson & Sussman, 1976; see also Weiss, 1975). There are four items
on this original scale of eight items, which yielded factor score
coefficients sufficiently high (.10) as to indicate significance for
the items. These items are used in this study.
Each item is a statement which indicates the respondent's feeling
about the divorce, such as "I find myself wondering what my husband/wife
is doing." The subject is asked to rate the statement by selecting a
response ranging from 1 "not at all my feelings," to 5 "very much my
feelings." Scoring for this instrument is Likert summated, with a high
score indicating a high degree of attachment to the former spouse.
Validity for this instrument was obtained by correlation with the
Psychiatric Status Schedule and the Bradburn Affect Balance. Cronbach
Alphas of reliability were reported to be .65. The coefficient of
internal consistency for the Index of Attachment itself is .91. Indices
of internal consistency based upon the Psychiatric Status Schedule yielded
the following coefficients: .89 for the Subjective Distress Scale; .80
for the Behavior Disturbance Scale; and .86 for the Impulse Control Scale.
The Postmarital Relationship Inventory (PRI)
The Postmarital Relationship Inventory was developed by the author
for use in conjunction with the Index of Attachment. It consists of
eleven items which have been added to the Index of Attachment by per-
mission of Gay C. Kitson. As a part of this index, the PRI is scored
in the same manner: the subject rates each statement by selecting a
response ranging from 1 "not at all my feelings," to 5 "very much my
feelings." Scores for a subject on the Index of Attachment and PRI
are added together.
Whereas the Index of Attachment assesses present feelings toward
the former spouse, and the Depression Adjective Check List assesses
present negative attitudes, the Postmarital Relationship Inventory is
designed to evaluate the ongoing positive and workable component of
postmarital attachment. This is identified as specificity and proximity
of the attachment object (Bowlby, 1969), and a feeling of friendship.
Due to copyrighting procedures, the instruments used in this study
are not appendicized. These instruments may be obtained from their
respective authors or publishers.
Collection of Data
All subjects participating in this study received a packet of
materials to which was attached an instruction sheet and Informed Consent
Form (see Appendix B), which the subject was asked to fill out before
beginning the instruments. A separate envelope was included for return
of this form. The four aforementioned instruments were completed and
returned in a manila envelope provided.
The subjects required approximately 25 minutes to complete all of
the instruments in the packet. Initial completion of the Informed Consent
Form clarified the fact that participation was entirely voluntary, and
that a packet could be returned without being completed.
After the data were collected and analyzed, subjects were ranked
on a continuum indicating low to high on the DACL, and on the Index of
Attachment and PRI. In order to arrive at a broader explication of the
significance of this study, ten subjects were selected from the Gaines-
ville, Florida area. These consisted of five ranking high and five
ranking low on both criterion instruments. These people were personally
interviewed by the researcher. The interview took approximately 45
minutes and was initiated by the researcher's open-ended question:
" _, could you tell me about the relationship now existing between
you and your former (husband/wife)?" Such interviews were undertaken to
enhance the meaning of the data already collected by either elucidating
variables common to each group, or by failing to do so (thus suggesting
a purely individual basis for postmarital attachment). The information
obtained is presented in Chapter V.
Analysis of Data
In order to ascertain whether there were any significant differences
in the response patterns between the samples drawn from the two parent
populations (i.e. members of singles' organizations and non-members), a
series of factorial analyses of variance was conducted. This procedure
was undertaken for each hypothesis, and was used to assess differences
in the responses to the predictor variables and to the two criterion
variables (depression and postmarital attachment). A series of one-way
analyses of variance was then undertaken to test the significance of
the respective hypotheses. F scores were obtained to determine the
degree of significance for each analysis; eta-square coefficients were
ascertained for each correlation set forth in the hypotheses.
Pearson correlation coefficients were obtained to derive a measure
of relationship between: (1) the two items in Man-Woman Images which
measure depression and the DACL; and (2) the two items in Man-Woman
Images which measure attachment and the Index of Attachment and PRI.
An additional Pearson correlation was executed relating DACL scores to
attachment scores, in order to ascertain a coefficient which would con-
firm that depression is (or is not) a component of attachment.
Limitations of the Study
Because the subjects in this study comprise one sample of the divorced
population of the eastern half of the United States, the following limita-
tions are applicable to the research:
(1) Data obtainedare limited to only this sample (i.e. divorced).
There are no control groups, and the data are hence not generalizable
outside of the divorced population.
(2) It is a fact that divorce laws vary among states in terms of
the amount of time needed to obtain a divorce and the time needed for
the decree to become final; there is also variation among states in the
area of agreement between parties as to divorce itself, as well as the
terms of settlement. Participants being examined, therefore, were not
subject to uniformity of legalities, and for this reason do not really
represent one population.
(3) It was possible for subjects to respond according to a sub-
jective notion of propriety, rather than in a truly representative manner.
Within this context, it must be noted that this study did not establish
any distinction between subjects who at any time participated in "divorce
counseling" and those who did not.
(4) The issue of randomization might well arise from this study.
While as many participants as possible from the Eastern half of the
United States were sought, it was not feasible to examine the dockets
of all divorced individuals which are available in each county of the
country. As a result, the procedure of utilizing contact persons in
major cities to obtain divorced (or remarried) research subjects pre-
cluded a random sample. While a random selection of subjects is
acknowledged to be a preferable means of obtaining thesedata, the sub-
stitute contact person method was employed instead. This was done in
order to arrive at a wider range of generalizability for results of
the study than would be possible in examining a sample obtained from
one (or more) counties in Florida, or in any one state.
This study was an examination of the relationship between certain
factors in the marriage/divorce process (as perceived by divorced
individuals), and the degree of attachment to the former spouse. The
variable of postmarital attachment-the degree of bonding of one former
spouse to another-has not been studied extensively in literature con-
cerning marriage and divorce. Ten factors causatively associated with
divorce in the literature were isolated for examination in this study.
No evidence could be found that there exists a relationship between
these factors associated with divorce and the nature of the relation-
ship existing between a couple after they have divorced.
The ten factors investigated as independent variables were:
(1) perceived self-spouse relationships
(2) attributed causes for the divorce
(3) length of premarital acquaintance
(4) length of the marriage
(5) education/income level
(6) religious preferences and patterns
(7) level of sexual satisfaction in the marriage
(8) length of time divorced
(9) presence of children in the marriage
(10) the legal process of separation and divorce.
The study consisted of distributing packets of instruments designed
to assess the aforementioned variables and the criterion variable, post-
marital attachment to the former spouse. Participants were divorced men
and women; most were residents of Florida, and there were additional
volunteers from other areas of the Eastern half of the United States.
The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used
to conduct analyses of variance, Pearson correlations, and chi-square
tests. Analysis of the data was accomplished through the use of the
Northeast Regional Data Center computer located at the University of
Florida. This chapter encompasses a description of the method; a report
of instrumentation; a description of the sample; and the statistical
findings related to each hypothesis.
Description of the Method
Data were obtained to correlate the ten factors mentioned and the
degree of postmarital attachment of the subjects by having subjects
respond anonymously to paper and pencil instruments, which were then
mailed to the researcher. A total of 287 instrument packets was sent
to subjects who had agreed to participate in the study as well as to
contact persons in major Eastern cities who had agreed to distribute
these packets. Responses were received from 135 subjects at the time
of the data analysis. Each packet contained the Marital Research
Questionnaire, a survey instrument; Man-Woman Images, a projective
device assessing the perceived existing spouse relationship; the
Depression Adjective Check List (DACL); and the Index of Attachment
combined with the Postmarital Relationship Inventory.
Since most local participants were respondents from membership
lists of singles' clubs, and because it was projected that subjects
obtained by contacts out of state may or may not be members of such
organizations, a means of comparison between the two populations was
needed. Of participating subjects, 62 were members, 70 were not, and
3 failed to respond to that item. A series of two-way factorial analyses
of variance was conducted to ascertain if there was any significant dif-
ference between the response patterns between the two populations on
each item. No significant differences were revealed by this procedure.
A table showing the amounts of shared variances is presented in Appen-
Findings Related to Instruments
Index of Attachment and PRI
Although the central focus of this study involved the gathering
of data relative to the dependent variable (postmarital attachment to
the former spouse), initiation of validation procedures for the cri-
terion instrument was undertaken at the time of the data analysis. The
four items constituting the Index of Attachment were used for this study
(by special permission from the authors) because it was the only instru-
ment measuring attachment at this time, for which some (incipient)
validation data were available.
The four items selected from the original Index of Attachment (and
which constitute the first four items on the criterion instrument for
this study) were chosen from the original nine items designed by Kitson
and Sussman because they were found to yield significant factor score
coefficents (greater then .10, in this case). Permission given to the
researcher for use of any items was provisional, based upon a commitment
to temporarily defer publication specifically related to these items.
An option available to the researcher was to supplement the four items.
The researcher developed eleven additional items, entitled the Postmarital
Relationship Inventory (PRI). The fifteen items consituting the resulting
instrument were factor analyzed, based upon 135 responses. The factor
analysis was performed using a varimax rotation in an orthogonal
Results of factor analysis for the Index of Attachment and PRI are
presented in Appendix D. Factor score coefficients are also presented.
Computation for these scores is obtained by multiplying an individual's
response to each item (raw score) by the z score for the response. Within
the rotated matrix, three factors (or underlying constructs) are represented
for this instrument.
Ten items load highly on factor I, which is best represented by
the construct of preoccupation, or pining for the former spouse. This
is the original construct for the entire instrument set forth by Kitson
and Sussman, 1976. To this, the present researcher adds a component
of depression. Ten items load highly on factor II; the researcher
has identified as this factor the construct of specificity and/or proximity
of the object (of attachment). A difference can be observed between
factors I and II: people who load highly on one will not necessarily
do so on the other. The researcher has identified factor III as an
indication of positive perceptions of the marital relationship which
would be evidenced in a desire to perpetuate it as a friendship. Three
items represent this factor significantly.
Man-Woman Images is a projective device which assesses degree of
interpersonal attachment in terms of proximics: the distance between
two people (one of whom is the self) represented on paper by the subject
is an indicator of perceived extent of separation, and thus represents
the level of attachment the subject is experiencing toward the other.
Results of a Pearson correlation between the items in this instru-
ment and total attachment scores on the criterion instrument indicated
significant relationships for two of the items: the Self-Spouse Orienta-
tion Item and Identification Correlations obtained for these were r=-.40,
and r=-.27 (p=.001). Results of these zero order correlations lend sup-
port to the use of the criterion instrument in this study.
The Depression Adjective Check List (DACL)
Depression has been postulated (Weiss, 1975) as a component of
attachment. Accordingly, an assessment of this variable was conducted
in this study using the Depression Adjective Check List (DACL). To
determine the relationship of depression to (postmarital) attachment,
a Pearson correlation was conducted between depression scores and
attachment scores. Results of this test yield a correlation coefficient
of r=.173, p<.10.
Description of the Sample
Persons participating in the study were men and women who were
divorced, or remarried after a divorce. Demographic data describing
the sample are presented in Appendix E. This information was acquired
through responses to Section I of the Marital Research Questionnaire
which were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square pro-
The total sample (N=135) comprised 90 females and 45 males from
13 Eastern states and the District of Columbia. The mean age of all
respondents was 39.8 years, with an age range of 21 to 69 years. Of
these, 24 were remarried, 110 were still divorced, and one respondent
failed to provide this information. The mean age at marriage for the
entire sample was 23.62; the mean age at divorce was 35.60. The average
length of marriage for the sample was 11.96 years.
The mean number of years divorced for the sample was 3.93. The
mean education level of the sample was 15.34 years of schooling. The
mean number of children born of these marriages was 1.96. The average
length of premarital acquaintance, including the engagement period, was
29.06 months or 2.42 years.
Occupations for the sample were broken down into the following
categories: professional, business, clerical, unskilled, and trade.
Of the respondents, 71 were professionals; 19 were involved in business;
30 in clerical work; 3 in trades; and 12 were unskilled. Results of
a chi-square test showed no significant differences in occupation
level among the states represented in the sample.
Statistical Findings Related to Hypotheses
Results of statistical tests of the hypotheses in this study follow.
They are reported in individual tables following a statement of a hypothe-
sis. Each table contains data related to (1) depression scores obtained
for subjects (on the DACL), and (2) the total attachment scored obtained
for subjects (on the Index of Attachment and PRI). Items contributing
to the analysis of each hypothesis are therefore presented twice in
each table, and are preceded by a (1) indicating relationship of an
item to depression scores, and a (2) indicating relationship of an
item to total attachment scores.
The items used to test each hypothesis were taken from the Marital
Research Questionnaire, which is the survey instrument contained in
each packet, and completed by each respondent. This instrument was
designed by the researcher as a means of assessing the predictor
variables used in the study. Each item is represented in its original
form after the tables presented for each hypothesis.
The central focus of this study is postmarital attachment. Because
depression has been postulated as a component of attachment, analyses
of hypotheses by depression scores have been provided.
H1 There will be a relationship between self-spouse relationships
perceived by divorced individuals and the degree of attachment
to the former spouse.
TABLE 1 A
ANALYSIS OF SELF-SPOUSE RELATIONSHIPS BY
(1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance of Items N=135, df=4, 125 (5 cases missing)
Source SS M2 Eta2 F Significance of F
+(1) Item #4, II 6113.285 48.906 .049 1.575 .105
(2) Item #4, II 21422.820 171.383 .076 2.472 .048*
+(1) Item #5, II 6113.004 49.298 .046 1.453 .221
(2) Item #5, II 21416.207 172.711 .019 .576 .681
+(1) Item #3, III 5459.047 51.991 .051 1.348 .257
(2) Item #3, III 16999.871 161.904 .126 3.655 .008*
+(1) Item #4, I 5937.422 49.479 .111 2.376 .034*
(2) Item #4, I 21084.582 175.705 .119 2.572 .023*
Items listed as (1) show analysis by depression scores
Items listed as (2) show analysis by attachment scores
+Item #4, Section II = "My spouse and I were able to communicate about
the divorce details."
Section II = "My spouse and I could agree upon the divorce
Section III = "When I and my former mate went out, we were in
agreement as to where to go."
Section I = "What activities, if any, did you and your spouse
sharing during marriage?"
PEARSON CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS FOR MAN-WOMAN IMAGES
Self-spouse by attachment
Self-spouse by depression
Social unity by attachment
Social unity by depression
Identification by attachment
Self-Spouse Orientation Item (Separation)
Self-Spouse Orientation Item (Dependence)
Tables 1 and 1A show a relationship between three of the factors
assessing perceived self-spouse relationships and degree of postmarital
attachment. They also indicate a relationship between one of the
assessed factors and present level of depression. Since these items
offer evidence of some support for this hypothesis, Hl is partially
H There will be a relationship between certain cognitive factors
2 (attributed causes) for divorce and the degree of attachment to
the former spouse.
ANALYSIS OF COGNITIVE FACTORS BY (1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of V
+(1) Item #9, I
(2) Item #9, I
+(1) Item #10,
(2) Item #10,
+(1) Item #6, I
(2) Item #6, I
ariance of Items
(10 cases missing)
F Significance of F
Items listed as (1) show analysis by depression scores
Items listed as (2) show analysis by attachment scores
+Item #9, Section II = "My ex-spouse fulfilled the functions I expected
+Item #10, Section II = "I think I functioned according to my ex-spouses's
+Item #6, Section I = "What do you think caused your divorce?"
Table 2 indicates the relationship between cognitive factors attributed
to divorce and the degree of postmarital attachment to the former spouse.
A significant relationship exists between perception of the former mate
as fulfilling his/her role functions and degree of postmarital attachment.
A significant relationship is also evident between perceived causation for
the divorce and the degree of postmarital attachment. H2 is partially
H3 There will be a relationship between the length of premarital
acquaintance and the degree of attachment to the former spouse.
ANALYSIS OF LENGTH OF PREMARITAL ACQUAINTANCE BY
(1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance of Items N=135, df=3,119 (12 cases missing)
Significance of F
Items listed as (1) show analysis by depression scores
Items listed as (2) show analysis by attachment scores
+Item 1, Section I = "How long did you know your former spouse before
+Item 2, Section I = "How long were you engaged?"
+Item 1, Section II = "Our engagement period was smooth and satisfying."
Table 3 shows a relationship between a positive perception of the
engagement period and the degree of depression currently experienced.
It must be noted that in approximately 88% of cases, an association is
noted between perception of a satisfying courtship and attachment to
the former spouse. H3 is therefore partially accepted.
H4 There will be a relationship between the length of marriage and
the degree of postmarital attachment.
ANALYSIS OF LENGTH OF MARRIAGE BY
(1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance N=135, df=25,95 (14 cases missing)
Source SS M2 Eta2 F Significance of F
+(1) demographic 5656.609 49.188 .223 1.036 .432
(2) demographic 18822.004 163.670 .113 .458 .986
Item listed as (1) shows analysis by depression score
Item listed as (2) shows analysis by attachment score
+This item = the difference between "Age at Marriage" and "Age at Divorce."
Table 4 shows the relationship between the length of
the degree of postmarital attachment to be significant at
fore, H4 is not accepted.
p .05. There-
H5 There will be a relationship between education/income level
of the couple and the degree of postmarital attachment.
ANALYSIS OF EDUCATION/INCOME LEVEL BY
(1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance of Items N=135, df=12, 113 (9 cases missing)
Source SS M2 Eta2 F Significance of F
+(1) demographic #5 6113.285 48.906 .090 .929 .521
(2) demographic #5 21422.820 171.383 .082 .844 .605
+(1) demographic #6 6070.285 48.954 .057 .616 .812
(2) demographic #6 21313.020 171.879 .079 .885 .557
+(1) demographic #8 6113.285 48.906 .047 1.503 .205
(2) demographic #8 21422.820 171.383 .020 .619 .650
+(1) demographic #9 6016.402 49.722 .032 .778 .568
(2) demographic #9 20154.266 166.564 .020 .474 .795
+(1) Item #2, II 6113.285 48.906 .008 .254 .907
(2) Item #2, II 21422.820 171.383 .027 .844 .500
Items listed as (1) show analysis by depression scores.
Items listed as (2) show analysis by attachment scores.
+demographic #5 = "Last grade completed in school."
+demographic #6 = "Former spouse's last grade in school."
+demographic #8 = "Your occupation."
+demographic #9 = "Former spouse's usual occupation."
+Item 2, section II = "The wife's most available income was during the
Table 5 shows that the relationship between the items used to
assess education and incomelevel and the degree of postmarital attach-
ment was p 7.10. Therefore, H5 is not accepted.
H6 There will be a relationship between the religious nature of the
marital partners and the degree of postmarital attachment.
ANALYSIS OF RELIGION FACTORS IN MARRIAGE BY
(1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance of Items N=135, df=2, 122 (10 cases missing)
Source SS M2 Eta2 F Significance of F
+(1) Item #3, I 6070.285 48.954 .001 .059 .943
(2) Item #3, I 21080.188 170.002 .032 1.999 .140
+(1) Item #12, II 6113.285 48.906 .112 3.821 .006*
(2) Item #12, II 21422.820 171.383 .056 1.795 .134
+(1) Item #11, II 6113.285 48.906 .032 1.012 .404
(2) Item #11, II 21422,820 171.383 .026 .800 .528
+(1) Item #13, II 6113.285 48.906 .051 1.625 .172
(2) Item #13, II 21422.820 171.383 .033 1.021 .399
+(1) Item #4, III 6113.285 48.906 .049 1.561 .189
(2) Item #4, III 21422.820 171.383 .096 3.208 .015*
+(1) Item #5, III 6113.004 49.298 .046 1.453 .221
(2) Item #5, III 21416.207 172.711 .019 .576 .681
+(1) Item #6, III 6113.004 49.298 .016 .486 .746
(2) Item #6, III 21416.207 172.711 .049 2.354 .059*
Items listed as (1) show analysis by depression scores
Items listed as (2) show analysis by attachment scores
+Item 3, Section I = "What type (i.e. civil, religious, etc.) wedding
ceremony did you have?"
+Item 12, Section II = "I am a religious person."
+Item 11, Section II = "My former spouse was a religious person."
+Item 13, Section II = "The religious perspectives of me and my former
spouse are similar."
+Item 4, Section III = "During our marriage, my spouse attended church."
+Item 5, Section III = "During the marriage, I attended church."
+Item 6, Section III = "During the marriage, we attended church together."
Table 6 shows the relationship between the items used to assess the
couple's religious quality and the degree of postmarital attachment. Three
of these items emerge as significant at p:5.05, offering evidence of some
support for this hypothesis. Therefore, H6 is partially accepted.
H7 There will be a relationship between the degree of sexual satisfaction
attained in the marriage and the degree of postmarital attachment.
ANALYSIS OF SEXUAL ASPECTS PERCEIVED IN THE MARRIAGE
BY (1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance of Items N=135, df=4, 120 (9 cases missing)
+(1) Item #14, II
(2) Item #14, II
+(1) Item #15, II
(2) Item #15, II
+(1) Item #16, II
(2) Item #16, II
+ 1) Item #7, III
(2) Item #7, III
Items listed as (1)
Items listed as (2)
+Item 14, Section II
+Item 15, Section II
+Item 16, Section II
+Item 7, Section III
Significance of F
show analysis by depression scores.
show analysis by attachment scores.
= "My sexual experience in marriage was satisfying."
= "A sexual relationship is paramount in a marriage."
= "It is the obligation of a spouse to sexually
accommodate the other in terms of frequency and
quality of experience."
= "I avoided sexual experiences outside of marriage."
Table 7 indicates items showing no significant relationship between
the degree of sexual satisfaction attained in the marriage and the degree
of attachment to the former spouse. However, results of one item indicate
that there is a relationship between finding the marital sexual relation-
ship satisfying and postmarital attachment. Since this item offers evi-
dence of some support for this hypothesis, H7 is partially accepted.
H8 There will be a relationship between the length of the period
between the divorce and the present, and the degree of post-
ANALYSIS OF LENGTH OF TIME DIVORCED BY
(1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance of Item N=135, df=15,96 (24 cases missing)
Source SS M2 Eta2 F Significance of F
+(1) demographic 4066.690 36.970 .109 .772 .705
(2) demographic 19162.406 174.204 .226 1.852 .038*
Item listed as (1) shows analysis by depression score
Item listed as (2) shows analysis by attachment score
+this item = "The difference between "Age at divorce" and "Age (now)."
Table 8 indicates a relationship between the length of time divorced
and the degree of postmarital attachment: the longer an individual is
divorced, the less attached he/she is. H8 is therefore accepted.
H9 There will be a relationship between the presence of children in
a marriage and the degree of postmarital attachment.
ANALYSIS OF PRESENCE OF CHILDREN BY
(1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance of Items N=135, df=4, 130
Source SS M2 Eta2 F Significance of F
+(1) demographic 5909.532 52.237 .006 .162 .957
(2) demographic 19720.324 177.661 .048 1.357 .254
Item listed as (1) shows analysis by depression score
Item listed as (2) shows analysis by attachment score
+this item = Number of children
Table 9 indicates the relationship between the number of children
in the marriage and the degree of postmarital attachment at p;'.05.
Thus H9 is not accepted.
H10 There will be variables inherent in the legal process of separa-
tion and divorce which affect the degree of postmarital attachment.
ANALYSIS OF LEGAL PROCESS BY
(1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Item #6, II
Item #6, II
Item #7, II
Item #7, II
Item #8, II
Item #8, II
of Variance of
Items N=135, df=4,120 (10 cases missing)
M2 Eta2 F Significance of F
49.249 .041 1.297 .275
172.021 .086 2.821 .028*
49.650 .017 .919 .722
167.057 .020 .617 .652
49.298 .139 4.843 .001*
169.694 .018 .535 .711
Items listed as (1) show analysis by depression scores
Items listed as (2) show analysis by attachment scores
+Item 6, Section II = "My former spouse and I used the same (or no) lawyer."
+Item 7, Section II = "I do not think that there are emotional benefits in
the use of a divorce lawyer."
+Item 8. Section II = "The process of getting a divorce was easy."
Table 10 indicates items showing some significant differences between
the individual's perceptions of the legal process and the degree of attach-
ment to the former spouse. Results of one analysis indicate a relationship
between using the same (or no) lawyer and attachment to the former spouse.
Another analysis indicates a relationship between the ease of obtaining
a divorce and the degree of depression. These items offer evidence of
some support for this hypothesis; thus H10 is partially accepted.
Several additional one-way analyses of variance were performed on
the data gathered. Although these did not specifically pertain to the
hypotheses being tested in this study, they are relevant and noteworthy.
As with the items comprising the hypotheses, one-way interactional
correlations were conducted with the DACL and the Index of Attachment
ANALYSIS OF SEX OF RESPONDENTS BY
(1) DEPRESSION SCORE AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance N=135, df=1,123 (9 cases missing)
Source SS M2 Eta2 F Significance of F
(1) Respondent gender 6113.285 48.906 .000 .000 .984
(2) Respondent gender 21422.820 171.383 .010 1.255 .265
(1) indicates analysis by depression score
(2) indicates analysis by attachment score
Table 11 illustrates that, based upon DACL scores (none of the
variance in common), there is relationship between six of the respondents
and his/her level of depression. This table also indicates that based
upon total attachment scores (1% of variance in common), there is no
significant relationship between sex of the respondent and degree of
attachment to the former spouse.
ANALYSIS OF REMARRIAGE OF RESPONDENTS
BY (1) DEPRESSION SCORES AND (2) ATTACHMENT SCORE
Analysis of Variance N=135, df=1,123 (19 cases missing)
2 2 Significance
Source SS M2 Eta F of F
(1) Remarried/not remarried 6022.936 48.572 .030 3.808 .053*
(1) Remarried/not remarried 21310.336 171.858 .023 2.850 .094*
(1) indicates analysis by depression score
(2) indicates analysis by attachment score
Table 12 illustrates that based upon DACL scores and total attach-
ment scores (with 6.4% and 4.1% of the variance in common, respectively),
there is unquestionably a relationship between whether or not a divorced
person has remarried and his/her level of depression as well as attach-
ment to the former spouse. Conclusive evidence supports the fact that
remarried people are less depressed and less attached to their former
DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS
Postmarital attachment has been in existence as a phenomenon, dating
historically to the origin of divorce as an institution legally accommo-
dating the dissolution of marriage. While it was not within the scope
of this study to examine other types of postmarital attachment (such as
that encountered in widowhood), criteria may indeed be postulated as
precursory expectations for the presence of and the assessment of this
variable in any case. Such criteria are essentially categorical assump-
tions: (1) a relationship between two persons which was incipiently
positive; and (2) a relationship having a quantifiable history.
Discussion of this study ensues with not only the aforementioned
consideration, but also with certain limitations which are relevant to
the project. First, the study necessarily involved the independent
variable of divorce, thereby precluding consideration of other terminative
elements relative to relationships. Secondly, the only means of assessing
factorial components of the independent variable was partly an ex post
facto approach, so that many of the predictor data obtained were either
of a demographic nature or emanated from the perceptions of the respondent.
Implications of this are discussed in this chapter.
The purpose of this study was to ascertain if there is a relationship
between factors in the marriage and in separation and divorce as perceived
by divorced individuals, and the degree of attachment to the former
spouse. The study also sought to ascertain whether there are factors
in the process of divorcing which have an effect on the degree of post-
marital attachment. The scarcity of research in this topic area accords
a pioneering quality to this study; therefore, data gathered by the
research instruments were discrete and demonstrated characteristic
incipience in terms of contributing to knowledge in this area. This
chapter will include: a) summary of the findings; b) discussion;
c) conclusions; and d) implications.
Summary of the Findings
A total of 135 divorced people participated in the study. Eligibility
for participation was based upon being divorced at some time; however,
subjects could be remarried, of any age group, and male or female.
Although 44% of the subjects came from Florida, there were participants
from 12 other states, and from the District of Columbia. Each subject
completed a packet containing 9 pages of instrumentation, 8 of which were
considered for the data analysis. These instruments were the Marital
Research Questionnaire, the survey instrument; Man-Woman Images, a pro-
jective device; the Depression Adjective Check List (DACL); and the Index
of Attachment and Postmarital Relationship Inventroy (PRI) designed to
assess degree of attachment to the former spouse.
Analyses of variance were computed to test the hypotheses set forth
in this correlational study. All of these examined the relationships
of designated predictor variables to the criterion variable: attachment
to the former spouse. Findings derived from hypothesis test follow.
The first hypothesis concerned the subject's perception of his/her
relationship to the former spouse and the degree to which he/she was
attached to the spouse. A significant positive relationship was found
between sharing activities during the marriage and degree of depression
currently experienced by the respondent. A significant positive rela-
tionship was also found between being in agreement as to where to go
out socially during the marriage and the degree of postmarital attach-
The second hypothesis concerned the relationship between causative
factors attributed to the divorce and the degree of postmarital attach-
ment. A significant relationship was found between perception of the
former spouse as fulfilling his/her role functions and degree of post-
marital attachment. A significant relationship was also found between
perceived cause of the divorce and degree of attachment to the former
spouse. Explication of causation assessment may be found in Appendix F.
The third hypothesis concerned the relationship between the length
of premarital acquaintance and the degree of postmarital attachment.
A significant positive relationship was found between the degree of
satisfaction perceived during the engagement period and the degree of
depression currently experienced.
The fourth hypothesis concerned the relationship between the length
of marriage and the degree of postmarital attachment. No significant
relationship was found between the two variables. Hypothesis 4 was
therefore not accepted.
The fifth hypothesis concerned the relationship between education
and/or income level of the couple and the degree of postmarital attachment.
No significant relationship was found between the items comprising the
predictor variables and the criterion. Hypothesis 5 was therefore not
The sixth hypothesis concerned the relationship between the religious
nature of the marital partners and the degree of postmarital attachment.
A significant positive relationship was found between the degree of
personal religiosity of the subject, and the level of depression currently
experienced. Significant positive relationship were also found between:
1) the degree to which the spouse attended church; and 2) the degree to
which the couple attended church together, and the degree of attachment
to the former spouse.
The seventh hypothesis concerned the relationship between the degree
of sexual satisfaction in the marriage and the degree of postmarital
attachment. A significant positive relationship was found between:
1) the subject's perceived degree of marital sexual satisfaction; and
2) avoidance of extramarital sexual relationships, and his/her degree
of attachment to the former spouse.
The eighth hypothesis concerned the relationship between the length
of the period between the divorce and the present, and the degree of
postmarital attachment. A significant relationship was found between the
two variables; hypothesis 8 was therefore accepted.
The ninth hypothesis concerned the relationship between the presence
of children in a marriage and the degree of postmarital attachment. No
significant relationship was found between the two variables; hypothesis
9 was therefore not accepted.
The tenth hypothesis concerned certain variables inherent in the
legal process of separation and divorce which may affect the degree of
postmarital attachment. A significant positive relationship was found
between (perceived) ease of obtaining a divorce and the degree of
attachment to the former spouse.
Additional results of the study which were not hypothesized, but
which appeared in the findings were: 1) no significant relationship
between sex of the respondent and his/her level of postmarital attach-
ment; and 2) a significant positive relationship (p <.05) between whether
or not a person has remarried and his/her attachment to the former spouse.
Discussion of the results of this study is related to consideration
of those findings derived from responses of 135 persons to the four
instruments. The main focus of the study is postmarital attachment to
the former spouse. It is acknowledged that data analyses were also
conducted to ascertain a relationship between the predictor variables
tested in the hypotheses and the component of depression. Depression
was ascertained to play a role in postmarital attachment in 90% of cases
where high attachment was present as a significant variable.
A relationship was found between sharing activities in the marriage
(for example, agreeing on where to go socially) and attachment to the
former mate. Evidence is provided in the literature showing that shared
activities in a marriage renders the couple less divorce prone. The
reason postulated for this is that such sharing offers opportunities
for mutual rediscovery and renewal. It is possible, then, that this
relationship between sharing activities in marriage and being attached
to the former mate may be predicated upon a sense of "unfinished business"-
a combination of nostalgic remembrance, and a fantasy of perpetuation of
that which was positive and enhancing in the marriage.
A similar rationale may be used to account for the relationship
between perceived positive sexual satisfaction in the marriage and
attachment to the former spouse. Added to the aforementioned interpre-
tations in this case are not only a complement of need satisfaction, but
also that which is often traditionally regarded as effecting a total
union of two people, or truly a sense of "belonging" to another person.
For individuals perceiving this to be the case in their marriages,
divorce has caused an interruption in the process of achieving and main-
taining a desired (or sought) affiliation. Thus, while a particular
mode of relating (i.e. sexual) may be terminated-often with difficulty
where the level of satisfaction was great, the particular object toward
whom attention is directed, and from whom satisfaction is derived, has
not lost his/her attraction. The result is the ensuing feeling of
Religion factors in the marriage seem to play a role in determining
the degree of postmartial attachment to a former mate. Attachment level
was high when 1) the spouse attended church, and/or 2) the couple attended
church together during the marriage. One possible interpretation for
this appears in the literature: mutual commitment to a particular belief
enhances the stability of a relationship. This seems to combine to a
great extent with the proposed interpretation for postmarital attachment
postulated above for cases where activities were shared during the marriage.
Religious experiences may be included in the domain of that which was
shared by the couple and which is, post hoc, perceived as positive and
A second interpretation is offered by the researcher for the rela-
tionship between spouse and/or couple church attendance and attachment
to the former mate. Church attendance, whether regular or limited to
particular occasions, can represent an element of stability and pre-
dictability in an environment which may possess other unstable and unpre-
dictable components. The entire sequential event of church attendance,
including preparation, factors inherent in the religious ritual, and
possibly post-church sequence(s), are ascertainable in advance. When
a person is able to count on a sequence and to assign to it a positive
connotation, an aspect of security is thereby represented. Divorce
constitutes an interruption in a stable and predictable event, and poses
a threat to that degree of security represented by and vested in the
event; postmarital attachment, then, may indeed be a longing for that
previous expectation which contributed to security.
The final factor to be discussed seems to offer some measure of
resolution and interpretation to the variable of postmarital attachment.
Whether or not a person has remarried significantly affects his/her
degree of attachment to the former spouse, with those remarried being
less attached. Marriage, like religion, signifies an institution repre-
senting stability and affiliation. Remarriage seems to evidence that
a replacement object is present in whom a person may reinvest aspirations
for mutual enhancement, rediscovery, predictability, and communion.
The ten follow-up interviews conducted by the researcher were designed
to 1) afford supplementation to the statistical information, and 2) to obtain
subjective reactions to open-ended cue questions in a free and relaxed
atmosphere. Interviewees were five subjects who had ranked high on
attachment scores, and five who had ranked low. Selection for inter-
view was based upon the willingness of subjects to be interviewed, and
upon their availability.
Interviews began with an inquiry as to how the subject perceives
his/her present relationship with the former spouse. It is interesting
to note that in each case-whether high- or low-attached, and regardless
of the length of time divorced, the subject was keenly aware of the
location of the former spouse, and whether or not he/she had remarried.
Indeed, one woman scoring low on attachment, who had been divorced for
15 years after a 19 year marriage, responded when asked if her former
husband plays any role at all in her life,
Not really. He's in Tennessee and I'm here. But I
want to tell you, though, we have not lost complete
touch with each other. One thing we still share are
grandchildren I have sent him pictures, I have
sent him tapes. I took the oldest one up to visit .
and left her for a week. So I have actually visited
in their home; he's married to a very nice person.
Antithetic affect is expressed by a woman scoring low on attachment
and divorced for three years after a 13 year marriage:
I would not cause his funeral, but I would drop all
social engagements to attend it. I would be happier
if he died. He never has gotten over the divorce:
I have, but he hasn't, and he uses the children as
pawns. The lack of maturity on his part is
incredible. I just-I'd be happier if he died. My
child support is guaranteed if he dies. (Woman,
A more intermediate response is given by a man scoring low on
attachment and divorced eight years after a two year marriage:
There is none (relationship). Total and complete
severence. As far as I know, last I heard she was
in Miami. About 3 years ago, I guess. Since
the very early months of 1970, I haven't seen or
heard from her at all. (Man, early 30's, remarried)
The beginning portions reproduced here from three of the interviews of
(supposedly) low attached divorced individuals are selected because
they 1) represent three distinct attitudes, and 2) all three interviewees
had requested to be interviewed, thereby establishing a commonality among
Diverse frames of reference were represented among those interviewees
ranking high on postmarital attachment. For example, one woman who had
been divorced for one year, after a 34 year marriage, responded to the
question, using the legal procedure as a referent:
This is the first legal experience I've ever had in
my life, first need for a lawyer. But I am really
turned off by the legal profession, from the experi-
ence I've had. This man was urged on me by some
friends who have known him since his youth .
a marvelously successful person, and he absolutely
must have my case because he is so good. I had his
greatest attention at first, and since then I felt
that he didn't give a hoot about me. (Woman, late
Another woman who scored high on attachment, and who had been
divorced for six years after an 18 year marriage, commented,
The relationship is nonexistent except for the
support check he sends once a month I have 500
percent disappointment in his humanity, his worth as
a person in terms of what I consider important attributes
for any human being He cannot show, or will
not show, love. He is a very strange person .
I don't have any sentimentality-just a sense of
disgust for him as a human being I have com-
passion for him I felt it was a good marriage,
for the very most part I was basically happy.
I never thought divorce to be a solution to anyone's
problems. (Woman, mid-40's)
These immediate responses from both high and low scoring persons
on the criterion instrument demonstrate the presence of differential
affect as well as some degree of vigilance, with the exception on the
part of the subject who has remarried. Each of them represents not
only a tendency to expend energy in terms of the former relationship,
but also a tendency to either channel this energy directed toward the
object (former mate), or to divert it toward a substitute object (i.e.
lawyer). It must be noted that the lowest level of affect is demonstrated
by the remarried person, thus supporting the data indicating that remarried
persons are less attached to their former spouses.
Conclusions and Implications
The primary conclusion evinced by this study resides in the area of
relationship development. The study showed that a relationship based
upon a shared history does exist between two spouses after the termination
of a marriage. This relationship, designated as "postmarital attachment"
varies in degree of intensity from person to person (i.e. may appear
virtually nonexistent in some and inordinate in others); is measureable,
and is predicated upon certain factors in the process of marriage and
divorce. All of these factors were not tapped in this study. However,
certain variables may be obviated as not relevant to the presence and/or
significance of postmarital attachment. These include subjective cognitive
attribution, such as fulfilling one's own role function; education and/or
income level of the couple; sex of a person; and the length of time
married. Length of the marriage and length of time divorced were confirmed
as not relevant in the other study of postmarital attachment to date
(Kitson & Sussman, 1976). However, length of time divorced did appear to
significantly affect the degree of postmarital attachment, according to
It is further concluded that certain factors in a marriage do affect
the degree of a divorced person's attachment to the former mate. These
include agreeing upon and sharing activities; sexual satisfaction; extent
of religious commitment; and remarriage. It is interesting to note that
there is a thread of similarity among these variables in that they all
exist outside of the purely demographic domain. While, with the
possible exception of sexual satisfaction, there is not necessarily
inherent in them an interactional element, there is nevertheless a
common quality which is distinctly social in nature.
The notion of attachment in theoretical form has been explored in
Chapter II. In addition, expressions of "divorce counseling theory"
have been posited, in varying degrees of development. These have
essentially constituted a range of models based upon notions of
bereavement, socialization, and support systems.
In order to contribute further toward the crystallization of a
theory, it is necessary to take into account material which is gained
from the present study and to examine its application to currently
existing theory. Whereas social factors have emerged as contributory
toward the postdivorce relationship, it is well to examine a theoretical
basis for them in the hope of enhancing understanding of the phenomenon
being studied. One such theory is that of "object-relations" (Guntrip,
1971). Essentially, this consists of that aspect of psychoanalytic
theory which is social psychological in nature; it seeks to examine the
interactions of an individual and his environment, and thus affords a
study of the relationship of an individual to his objects. According
to Guntrip, personal objects are relationships sought for interest,
understanding, supporting encouragement, self-expression, and proof of
being valued and wanted for oneself (1961, p. 286).
Since psychodynamic theory perceives human development as con-
stantly in a state of flux, it may be concluded that the course of
emotional development affects the choice of an individual's objects
(of satisfaction) in the environment. It is therefore realistic to
conclude that an object which was gratifying at one moment in time may
not in fact be so perennially. The focus, then, of a postmarital
attachment syndrome is realistically rooted in the past. It is applic-
able to the present only in terms of the particular (social) needs
seeking fulfillment postmaritally.
As evidenced by the significantly lower level of postmarital
attachment in remarried people, it can be concluded that what is
evidently sought by divorced people is object replacement, rather
than the specific object of the former spouse. This is not to say
that remarriage is a panacea, but that interpersonal relationship
development is, and should be, incorporated into a theoretical model
for divorce counseling. Kessler (1975) demonstrates awareness of
this in positing a group counseling model for separation and divorce
There is additional need for divorce counseling theory to attend
to the principles of causation for divorce already established in the
literature, in order not to violate them. The findings of this study
signify that causative factors do exist, as indicated in research
literature; they also signify that in spite of causation, certain
residual positive forces will endure after the termination of a
marital relationship. It appears crucial for divorce counselors
to be aware of this.
Implications for Practice
The major implications of this study for counseling practice are
twofold: first, there is the contribution of the study in delineating
social variables as contributory to postmarital attachment after
divorce; second, there is interest for counseling practice in terms
of assessment. The first implication of social variables is directly
related to an understanding of a client's needs at the post-separation
(or postdivorce) stage. Divorce counseling can be improved in the
sense that there is now a clearer focus: interpersonal relationship
development. Therapy can therefore be undertaken bearing in mind some
directionality (either immediately or as a longer term goal).
The second implication (assessment) is directly related to the
remediation program. Factor analysis of the criterion instrument has
demonstrated the beginnings of construct validity and interitem
reliability so that it may be used to augment more subjective perceptions
on the part of the therapist. Combined use of the projective device and
the criterion instrument affords baseline information of the extent of
postmarital attachment experienced by the client at that time.
Suggestions for Further Research
This study served to carry the observations of Weiss (1973, 1975,
1976) one step further. Some of the data which Weiss reported descrip-
tively have been confirmed (or refuted) statistically. However, this
study does not purport to have considered all of the variables which
may be used as predictors of postmarital attachment in divorced persons.
Thus a primary possibility for further research is a continued investi-
gation of this problem, utilizing different predictors, thereby enlarging
the small (though significant) body of knowledge in this topic area.
A second suggestion lies in the area of instrumentation. Whereas
the beginnings of construct validation for the criterion instrument
(Index of Attachment and PRI) have been undertaken, further work on
norming and validation procedures is indicated. It must be acknowledged,
additionally, that in the construction of this instrument in its present
form, all possible constructs were not utilized. Thus, some relevant
items might be utilized to assess attachment to the former spouse in
terms of some of its other manifestations, such as anger, surveillance,
or exploitation of children, to name a few.
Another area of interest for research is based upon the results
of hypothesis 10: those subjects who found it easy to obtain a divorce
were more attached to the former spouse. It is not feasible to discuss
this finding without attention to the nature and variability of divorce
laws from state to state, as well as an examination of the perceived
roles) and functions of divorce lawyers, by different states of residence.
At the present time, although this information is carefully documented
in archives of different states, its availability and applicability to
social sciences may provide a profound impact for facilitating both
the process of divorce and ultimate adjustment.
LETTERS SEEKING SUBJECTS
LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS
Sheila K. Vernick
3207 NW 46th Place
Gainesville, Florida 32605
May 4, 1978
I am a doctoral student at the University of Florida, Department
of Counselor Education. I am currently undertaking a research project
on the topic of divorce and the postmarital relationship. I am in the
process of contacting people whose names are on the membership rosters
of singles organizations, with the hope of reaching as many divorced
individuals as possible.
If you are divorced, I would like to request your assistance in
participating in this project. Participation would involve spending
about 40 minutes in completing research questionnaires for the study.
This procedure will be accomplished by mail (postage paid by me) and
completely anonymously on your part. Responses to these instruments
will be utilized for statistical purposes only, thus preserving your
If you would be willing to volunteer your time to complete the
research instruments, it would be a greatly appreciated and valuable
contribution toward our increased understanding of this area of
knowledge. I also am divorced, and so I share this interest with you.
I am asking that you return the enclosed postcard to me, indicating
your willingness to cooperate in the study. If you volunteer, I shall
forward to you the information packet for completion. All participants
will receive a one page summary of the findings of the project when it
My sincere thanks to you.
Sheila K. Vernick
LETTER TO APGA WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS
Sheila K. Vernick
3207 NW 46th Place
Gainesville, Florida 32605
May 4, 1978
During our attendance at the APGA pre-convention divorce workshop
in Washington, D. C., you indicated your interest in participating in
a research project on divorce and postmarital attachment. I am now
ready to conduct the research for this study.
I am hoping that you will spend approximately 40 minutes in com-
pleting the instruments for this study. I am also requesting that if
you have friends or clients who are eligible (i.e., are presently or
previously divorced), you ask their cooperation in participating in
the research. Please be assured that anonymity and confidentiality
of volunteers is guaranteed. Information obtained will be utilized for
statistical purposes only.
The enclosed postcard is for you to return, indicating the number
of instrument packets you will need. All packets contain directions
and postage paid return envelopes. When I receive your postcard, I
will forward to you the packets that you request. As a contact person,
you will recieve a summary of the results of the study.
My genuine appreciation to you for your assistance in my dissertation.
Sheila K. Vernick
University of Florida
LETTER TO CONTACT PERSONS
Sheila K. Vernick
3207 NW 46th Place
Gainesville, Florida 32605
May 4, 1978
I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida, in the
department of Counselor Education. I am currently engaged in a
research project on the topic of divorce and postmarital attachment.
In order to complete this study, it is necessary for me to obtain a
number of divorced, or divorced and remarried individuals who are
willing to provide me with information anonymously.
I would like to request your assistance in obtaining participants
in your state of residence for this research. If you have clients (or
acquaintances) who are willing to volunteer approximately 40 minutes
to complete the instruments being used for the study, it would provide
a valuable contribution to this crucial area of knowledge in which you
and I are involved. Participants need not be in therapy; any person
who has been divorced is eligible and welcome.
Please be assured that anonymity and confidentiality of partici-
pants is completely guaranteed. Any information which the subjects
provide will be utilized for statistical purposes only.
Please return the enclosed postcard to me with your instructions
as to research packets. I will then forward these materials to you to
distribute. All packets will contain directions for completing the
instruments and postage paid return envelopes.
As a contact person, upon completion of the study you will receive
a summary of the results.
My sincere gratitude to you for your assistance.
Sheila K. Vernick
University of Florida
INFORMED CONSENT FORM
I am a student in counselor education, and am collecting information
for a study about divorce. Having been divorced enables you to assist
me by supplying information about your pre- and post-divorce situation.
I would like to request your cooperation in completing the attached
instruments. These will be kept entirely anonymous and confidential.
For this reason, I am asking that you return your completed instruments
in the large manila envelope, and the bottom of this form in the separate
smaller envelope. Both are postpaid.
Participation is completely voluntary. If for any reason you would
rather not participate in this study, please return the entire packet
unopened; if you have begun, you may return the materials (completed
and/or not completed) in the large envelope.
I greatly appreciate your cooperation in this project and thank
you for your time and prompt response.
Sheila K. Vernick
PLEASE RETURN THIS PORTION
I understand that I am participating in a study in which I am to
supply information about my divorce. My information will be used for
the purpose of research in divorce counseling, and will be treated
I am willing to complete the enclosed packet, and understand
that my information is confidential.
Researcher: Sheila K. Vernick, M.Ed.
3207 NW 46th Place
Gainesville, Florida 32605
ITEM VARIANCES FOR MEMBERS/NON-MEMBERS
ETA2 COEFFICIENTS DERIVED FROM 2-WAY FACTORIAL
ANALYSES OF VARIANCE
N = 135
Item DACL Score Total Attachment Score
Age .0016 .0121
Age at marriage .0016 .0169
Age at divorce .0016 .0144
Length of marriage .0025 .0100
Length of time divorced .0081 .0025
Length of premarital
acquaintance .0009 .0169
Length of engagement .0025 .0049
Sex .0016 .0144
Last grade completed .0016 .0144
Last grade of spouse .0025 .0169
State of residence .0016 .0144
Occupation .0016 .0144
Spouse's occupation .0016 .0100
Number of children .0036 .0100
Remarried .0009 .0121
Type of ceremony .0009 .0121
Shared activities .0001 .0144
Cause of divorce .0001 .0144
Smooth engagement .0016 .0196
Wife's income .0121 .0081
TABLE 13 continued
Item DACL Score Total Attachment Score
Time divorce considered .0100 .0144
Communicate about divorce .0016 .0144
Agreement .0121 .0121
Used same lawyer .0016 .0144
Benefits of lawyer .0016 .0100
Divorce process easy .0016 .0100
Spouse met expectations .0016 .0144
I met spouse's expectations .0016 .0144
Spouse was religious .0016 .0144
I am religious .0016 .0144
similar .0016 .0144
Satisfying sexual experience .0016 .0144
Sexual relationship paramount .0016 .0100
Sexual obligation of spouse .0016 .0144
Needed separations .0016 .0144
Both worked .0016 .0144
Went out socially .0016 .0144
Agreement re where to go .0016 .0144
Spouse attended church .0016 .0144
I attended church .0016 .0144
Attended church together .0016 .0144
Extramarital sexual experience .0009 .0100
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INGEST IEID ER4M0PM6O_V2H0HD INGEST_TIME 2017-07-13T21:38:23Z PACKAGE AA00003900_00001
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