Sanctification of Marriage and General Religiousness as Buffers of the Effects of Marital Inequity

  • DeMaris A
  • Mahoney A
  • Pargament K
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Theory suggests that relationship inequity will be associated with less marital and personal distress among the more religious, and that this interaction effect will be stronger for women than men. Data are from 178 married couples experiencing the third trimester of pregnancy of their first biological child. Five outcome variables were assessed for each spouse: marital satisfaction, love, marital conflict, depression, and anxiety. Consistent with equity theory, perceived relative advantage was related in a non-monotonic fashion to all outcomes, with increasing advantage predicting better outcomes up to the equity point, but worse outcomes afterwards. Sanctification of marriage appeared to be a more important moderator of inequity effects than general religiousness. In particular, relative advantage had weaker effects among higher sanctifiers. The influence of relative advantage was also conditioned by gender. Wives' psychological well-being appeared to be more adversely affected than men's due to considering oneself overbenefited in the relationship. Moreover, the interaction between sanctification and relative advantage was somewhat stronger for wives.

Author-supplied keywords

  • depression
  • equity theory
  • love
  • marital satisfaction
  • religiousness
  • sanctification

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  • Alfred DeMaris

  • Annette Mahoney

  • Kenneth I. Pargament

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