The poor marriage material hypothesis explains the high divorce rate in remarriages as a function of the qualities of people who have previously been divorced. This study sought to test whether conflict in the family of origin and in the present marriage could substantiate the poor marriage material hypothesis by discriminating between couples in their first marriage versus those in a marriage with a history of divorce. A sample of 66 newlywed married couples, half in first marriages and half in remarriages, were recruited through marriage licenses and student referrals. Family of origin conflict discriminated between first and remarried couples. Namely, wives' exposure to interparental conflict significantly increased the odds that they were presently married to a husband who had previously been divorced. Differences between first and remarried couples' own conflict patterns were largely unremarkable with the exception of remarried couples seeing their partners as being more compliant and unassertive relative to those in first marriages.
- Family of origin
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