Relationship satisfaction and gender differences in a South African farmworker community

Lesch E. ; Engelbrecht S.-K. (2011)


This study formed part of a larger research and community development project which aimed to explore intimate heterosexual relationships as mental health resource and stressor in one low-income, coloured farm-worker community in South Africa. The specific aims of this study were to generate descriptive data of the couples in this community; investigate overall relationship satisfaction; and investigate gender differences in relationship satisfaction. A cross-sectional survey approach was used and a stratified random sample of 93 heterosexual committed couples was obtained. Results indicate that most couples in this community were married, Christian, regular church-goers, had relationships of long duration, and viewed men as the heads of households. Most of the participants had low educational and income levels, and women were disadvantaged regarding employment and income. Although both the men and the women were on average satisfied with their relationships, female partners reported significantly lower relationship satisfaction than their male partners. © South African Sociological Association.

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