The relationship satisfaction of heterosexual couples in one low-income, semi-rural Western Cape community

Engelbrecht, Sarah-Kate (2009-03)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Effective interventions are hindered by a lack of context-specific data on how South African men and women construct and experience intimate heterosexual relationships. Most studies exploring committed heterosexual relationships have been conducted with White populations living in developed countries. As relationship satisfaction is seen as a requirement for a good quality relationship, this study examined the relationship satisfaction of committed heterosexual couples in one low-income, semi-rural Western Cape community. A cross-sectional survey approach was used to examine relationship satisfaction among heterosexual married and unmarried couples. A random sample of 100 couples was drawn from the community, 93 of which were included in the final analyses, on the criterion that both partners were interviewed. Trained fieldworkers administered a demographic and relationship questionnaire, as well as three relationship satisfaction measures namely the Dyadic Satisfaction subscale of the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, the Index of Marital Satisfaction and the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale. Analyses were conducted using the statistical programme Statistica 7.0 and both descriptive and inferential statistics were computed separately for men and women. Inferential statistics included Spearman correlations, repeated measures ANOVA, and reliability analyses. Results show that although, on average, neither men nor women were clinically dissatisfied with their relationships, women reported significantly lower relationship satisfaction than men. Significant relationships were found between relationship satisfaction and a number of demographic variables, including the male partner’s educational attainment (with the female partner’s relationship satisfaction); female partner’s perception of her male partner’s religiosity (with both her own and her male partner’s relationship satisfaction); own church attendance (with own relationship satisfaction), female partner’s church attendance (with her male partner’s relationship satisfaction), and joint church attendance (with both female and male relationship satisfaction); sharing a bedroom at night with children, sharing a bed at night with children, and sharing a bed at night with partner. Demographic variables found to have a non-significant relationship with relationship satisfaction included: age; church affiliation; employment; and couple monthly income. Although there were several trends that tended towards significance, the only relationship variables found to be significantly related to relationship satisfaction were previous marriages and, for cohabiting couples, the age at commencement of cohabitation. Relationship variables found to have a nonsignificant relationship with relationship satisfaction included: relationship status; relationship duration; age at marriage for married couples; reason for marriage (for married couples) or for marriage in the future (for unmarried couples); number of significant relationships; and a number of childrenrelated variables. Results are discussed and recommendations are made for future research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Effektiewe intervensies oor hoe Suid-Afrikaanse mans en vroue intieme heteroseksuele verhoudings konstrueer en ervaar, word deur 'n tekort aan konteks-spesifieke data verhinder. Die meeste studies wat toegewyde heteroseksuele verhoudings bestudeer, is in wit populasies in ontwikkelde lande uigevoer. Aangesien verhoudingsatisfaksie as n voorvereiste vir ‘n goeie kwaliteit verhouding gesien word, het hierdie studie die verhoudingsatisfaksie van toegewyde, heteroseksuele paartjies in n lae-inkomste, semi-plattelandse Wes-Kaapse gemeenskap ondersoek. 'n Kruis-snit opname benadering is gebruik om die verhoudingsatisfaksie onder heteroseksuele getroude en ongetroude paartjies te ondersoek. 'n Ewekansige steekproef van 100 paartjies is uit die gemeenskap getrek, waarvan 93 in die finale analise ingesluit is, op grond van die vereiste dat beide maats ondervra is. Opgeleide veldwerkers het n demografiese- en verhoudingsvraelys toegepas, sowel as drie verhoudingsatisfaksie maatstawe, naamlik die Dyadic Satisfaction subscale van die Dyadic Adjustment Scale, die Index of Marital Satisfaction en die Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale. Analises is met die statistiese program Statistica 7.0 uitgevoer en beide beskrywende en inferensiële statistieke is afsonderlik vir beide mans en vroue uitgewerk. Inferensiële statistieke het Spearman korrelasies, herhaalde-metings-ANOVA, en betroubaarheidsanalises ingesluit. Resultate toon dat, ondanks die feit dat nie mans of vroue klinies ontevrede met hul verhoudings was nie, vroue tog beduidend laer verhoudingsatisfaksie as mans gerapporteer het. Beduidende verwantskappe tussen verhoudingsatisfaksie en verskeie demografiese veranderlikes is gevind, insluitend die manlike verhoudingsmaat se vlak van opleiding (met die vroulike verhoudingsmaat se verhoudingsatisfaksie); vroulike verhoudingsmaat se siening van haar manlike verhoudingsmaat se godsdienstigheid (met beide haar eie en haar manlike verhoudingsmaat se verhoudingsatisfaksie); eie kerkbywoning (met eie verhoudingsatisfaksie), vroulike verhoudingsmaat se kerkbywoning (met beide vroulike en manlike verhoudingsatisfaksie), en gesamentlike kerkbywoning (met beide vroulike en manlike verhoudingsatisfaksie); deel van ‘n slaapkamer, snags, met kinders, deel van ‘n bed, snags, met kinders, en deel van ‘n bed, snags, met ‘n verhoudingsmaat. Demografiese veranderlikes wat ‘n onbeduidende verwantskap met verhoudingsatisfaksie toon, sluit in: ouderdom; kerkaffiliasie; aanstelling; en gesamentlike maandelikse inkomste. Ondanks verskeie beduidende tendense, is die enigste verhoudingsveranderlikes wat beduidende verwantskappe met verhoudingsatisfaksie getoon het vorige huwelike en, vir samewonende paartjies, die ouderdom by aanvang van saamwoning. Verhoudingsveranderlikes wat geen beduidende verwantskap met verhoudingsatisfaksie getoon het nie, sluit in: verhoudingstatus; verhoudingsduur; trou-ouderdom vir getroude paartjies; rede vir huwelik of huwelik in die toekoms; hoeveelheid beduidende verhoudings; en hoeveelheid kind-verwante veranderlikes. Resultate word bespreek en aanbevelings vir toekomstige navorsing word gemaak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4027
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