Equity, marital satisfaction, and stability

  • Utne M
  • Hatfield E
  • Traupmann J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Equity Theory, a social psychological theory concerned with fairness in interpersonal relations, has been shown to be predictivein casual encounters. Is it applicable in intimate relations as well? Newlyweds were asked a series of questions designed to measure the perceived level of equity in their relationship. Measures of their contentment/distress with the relationship and stability of the relationship were also taken. It was hypothesized that men and women who felt equitably treated would feel more content in their marriage and would perceive the marriage as more stable than would men and women in inequitable marriages. Strong evidence in support of both hypotheses was found. Also reported is a test of a post hoc hypothesis that women and men should be differentially concerned with equity. No significant sex differences were found on any of the dependent variables in the study.

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Authors

  • Mary K. Utne

  • Elaine Hatfield

  • Jane Traupmann

  • David Greenberger

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