Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2004


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Mary F. Antolini

Committee Member

Joseph D. Yenerall


causes of divorce, income, job satisfaction, marital happiness, policy implications, unhappiness in marriage


This study examines the variable happiness with marriage within the context of 14 independent variables. The 14 independent variables are sex, number of years of education, income, church attendance, job satisfaction, importance of having a fulfilling job, work hours, age, television hours watched per day, number of children, class identification, divorce, race and religious denomination. The purpose of this study is to help expose factors that affect marital happiness and to then suggest policy ideas that are directed at alleviating these problems. Using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), more specifically the General Social Survey (GSS), I was able to accomplish the appropriate tests to determine if any of the above variables are significantly related to marital happiness. Due to the nature of this study, the survey data has already been collected by the researchers who make the SPSS and GSS. This allowed me to use pre-existing data from reputable sources so I did not have to survey others. Of the independent variables, income and job satisfaction are the only two variables that show significant relationships with the dependent variable, happiness with marriage. The results show that people who make higher incomes are more likely to be very happy with their marriages and that people who are very satisfied with their job are more likely to be very happy with their marriages. Recommendations that result from these findings include marital counseling being made available to people in lower income brackets at a low charge or no charge and the need for programs that promote job satisfaction among workers. It is the hope that these recommendations will help decrease unhappiness in a marriage.