Communication Behavior and Marital Satisfaction Among Newlywed Couples

Date of Graduation

Summer 1990


Master of Arts in Communication



Committee Chair

Richard Stovall


This study examined the relationship between communication behavior and marital satisfaction among couples married less than one year. A survey was completed by 30 newlywed couples to determine if marital satisfaction was related to a couple's communication behavior. Fitzpatrick (1989) developed a communication couple typology which compiles individuals into one of three specific types: traditional, independent or separate. The typology is the basis from which communication behavior is defined. An individual is then compared to his/her spouse's type and a couple type is formed. Marital Satisfaction is measured by using the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale and combining the mean scores of both spouses to form a couple score. The typology and marital satisfaction are conceptually defined and indicators of each concept operationalized. Once a measure for couple type and satisfaction were obtained statistical procedures were performed to determine if a relationship exists between these two variables. Results of the research show no significant relationship between marital satisfaction and couple type in the first year of marriage. Support for the validity of Fitzpatrick's typology was achieved through a qualitative analysis of open-ended questions.

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© Rebecca Sue Anderson