Dimensions of Marital Quality: Toward Methodological and Conceptual Refinement

David R. Johnson, Lynn K. White, Alan Booth, John N. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


The dimensionality of five conceptually distinct components of marital quality was evaluated in a representative national sample of 1845 married people. Confirmatory factor analysis found two dimensions, one consisting of scales of marital happiness and interaction; the other, of marital disagreements, problems, and instability. Further examination of the two dimensions showed that they operate in distinctly different ways over forms of marital structure including wife's employment, marital duration, sex, and presence of children. It was concluded that scales of marital quality that combine measures from these two dimensions are likely to yield ambiguous findings and contribute little to an understanding of marital process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-49
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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