Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2009


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

William J. Casile

Committee Member

Nicholas J. Hanna

Committee Member

Jocelyn Gregoire


marital satisfaction, Perceptions of marital Satisfaction, Factors Influencing Marital satisfaction, Christian Marriage, Coptic Orthodox Christian marriage, marriage and Divorce


According to Christianity, marriage was founded by God the Creator as a sacred relationship between a man, a husband, and a woman,a wife.Marriage in the Coptic Orthodox Church is a sacrament.Coptic Orthodox Christians are allowed to marry one spouse. Coptic Orthodox Christian husbands and wives have the right to divorce only in the case of evidenced adultery or apostasy. This qualitative study is the first of its kind to consider marital satisfaction among Coptic Orthodox Christian Egyptian-Americans.

The study analyzed the relevant constructed meanings that emerged from all interviews and clustered them into five main themes in an attempt to reach an in-depth understanding of the lived marital experiences of Coptic Orthodox Christian Egyptian-American husbands and wives. These themes included their perception of what marital satisfaction is, the general factors that contributed to it, the effects of daily marital experiences, how they managed these factors, and what they would change to improve their marital satisfaction.

The analysis of the collected data in this study provided a rich description of the Coptic Orthodox Christian Egyptian-Americans' lived marital experiences and an identification of factors that influence their level of marital satisfaction. The conclusions of the study indicate that there is a conflict between the Coptic Orthodox Church's view of marriage and that of the American society. Many Coptic Orthodox Christian Egyptian-American wives appear to question and reject their subordinate position in the family. They are beginning to seek more autonomy and equal power in marital relationships. Many Coptic Orthodox Christian Egyptian-American husbands also appear to reject their identity and role as a husband, and are more open to the life style and values of the American society. An analysis of the data collected provided the basis for future research on this phenomenon as well as some implications for couples, Coptic Orthodox Church leaders, and marriage counselors working with this population.