The contextual model of marriage revisited

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Brian L. Cutler

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Richard Lennox

Third Advisor's Name

Paul Foos



Date of Defense



The present study has extended the contextual model of marriage (Bradbury & Fincham 1987, 1988). A proximal context was established under laboratory conditions using positive and negative false-feedback to induce mood, and proximal attributions were elicited. Mood and proximal attributions, as proximal context variables, were then tested along with distal context individual difference measures consisting of attribution styles, dysfunctional relationship beliefs, and functional flexibility, for their relative contributions to the prediction of marital satisfaction. It is hypothesized that proximal variables mediate the relations between distal variables and marital satisfaction. Fifty-two married couples completed distal variable questionnaires and engaged in a laboratory task involving the prediction of each other's risk-taking behavior. The role of proximal and distal contexts in the prediction of marital satisfaction differed as a function of sex of subject and feedback condition. Proximal context mediated the relation between distal context and marital satisfaction only for women in the positive feedback condition.




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