Age differences in the prioritized marital goals: Results from a newly developed marital goal scale

Tianyuan LI, Wen Chung WANG, Vivian Hiu Ling TSANG, Helene Hoi-Lam FUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

What people want from marriage varies considerably across individuals and can have great impact on marital interactions and satisfaction. The dynamic goal theory of marital satisfaction categorizes the major marital goals into personal growth goals, companionship goals, and instrumental goals and proposes that the priority of the three types of marital goals would change across life span (Li & Fung, 2011). The current study developed and validated the Marital Goal Scale in a sample of 305 married individuals of a wide age range (Mage = 46.90 years, SDage = 15.91 years; age range = 18 - 90 years). Rasch modelling was used to ensure the functioning of each item in the finalized scale. Age differences in the importance rating of the three types of marital goals were examined. Other criterion variables were also used to validate the scale. Results indicated that older age was negatively related to priority on personal growth goals and companionship goals, but was positively related to instrumental goals. No significant curvilinear relationships between age and emphasis on the three types of marital goals were observed. Moreover, the congruence between the prioritized marital goals and the satisfied marital goals significantly contributed to marital satisfaction. The development of the Marital Goal Scale provides an important tool that can support future research related to motives in the marital context. Results from the study also partially confirmed the arguments of the dynamical goal theory of marital satisfaction. The related implications were discussed. Copyright © 2018 US-HK AXT.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Citation

Li, T., Wang, W.-C., Tsang, V. H. L., & Fung, H. H.-L. (2018, May). Age differences in the prioritized marital goals: Results from a newly developed marital goal scale. Paper presented at the U.S.-Hong Kong 2018 Conference "Aging across Time and Contexts", The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

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