Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Peggy J. Cantrell

Committee Members

Wallace E. Dixon Jr., Jon B. Ellis


Family violence and divorce can have influential effects on marital expectations. The present study analyzes the effects of gender, family violence, and divorce on marital expectations. Participants were 293 students enrolled in an introductory psychology course at a southeastern university. The mean age of the participants was 19.67 with 62.5 % being female and 37.5% being male. Participants completed the Conflict Tactics Scale to assess the presence of violence in the participant’s family of origin. Participants were also assessed on their parent’s marital status and, if applicable, their age at the time of divorce. This information was gathered via a demographic questionnaire in order to group participants into intact and non-intact groups based on their family of origin data. Participants also completed the Marriage Expectation Scale, which assesses future marital expectations by mean scores. A participant’s score may indicate pessimistic, realistic, or idealistic marital expectations. Results did not indicate that family violence or divorce had an effect on the participant’s marital expectations. Results did indicate statistically significant findings that revealed that men and women differed on marital expectations. Critiques of the present study as well as implications for future research are discussed.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.