The association between satisfaction and commitment differs across marital couple types

Michelle Givertz, Chris Segrin, Alesia Hanzal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Research and theory indicate that satisfaction is a key determinant of commitment. Because some marriages are defined by a traditional ideology that anchors commitment in a value system rather than inherent rewards of the relationship, the association between satisfaction and commitment was expected to vary by couple type. Participants completed self-report measures of relational ideology, autonomy, communication, satisfaction, and several types of commitment. Results indicated that separate couples reported the lowest marital satisfaction and personal commitment of all the couple types. Separate couples also reported the lowest dedication commitment of all the couple types, whereas traditional couples reported the highest. The opposite pattern emerged for constraint commitment; separate couples reported the highest and traditional couples reported the lowest. Finally, actor-partner interdependence models revealed strong and positive associations between satisfaction and commitment for separate couples, as well as for wives in independent couples, but no such association among traditional couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-584
Number of pages24
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Constraint commitment
  • Dedication commitment
  • Marital couple types
  • Personal commitment
  • Satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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