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Marital Satisfaction and Self-View

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In “Paternal Appraisal and Marital Satisfaction: The Role of Self-Esteem and Depression,” authors William Sacco and Vicky Phares examines if married people are more satisfied in their marital relationship when their partner sees their self-view in the same way as they see it themselves. Participants in the study graded the personality traits of their spouses. The results of the study show that married people are more satisfied in their marital relationship when their partners see them positively. The opposite is true when their partners see them negatively.

I chose this study for the assignment because I am interested in knowing more about how married individuals cope or fail to cope in depressing situations involving their partners. In knowing one of the causes as to why married people become unsatisfied in their relationship, I am able to get a clearer picture of what must be done in order for such relationships to actually work. The purpose of the study is to ascertain the validity of the claim that a person’s self-view plays a role in marital satisfaction.

The study also sought to determine if the difference’s among the self-view of married people either negatively or positively affect the satisfaction of these people. Perhaps the most interesting purpose of the study is that it sought to determine if people are “more martially satisfied when their partner’s view of them is positive regardless of how positively they view themselves” (Sacco and Phares, p. 504). Participants in the study were 99 couples who were married for approximately 18 years and have been living in west-central Florida.

The participating couples had a mean age of 42. 56 years for husbands and 39. 77 years for wives. They also had an average of 2. 7 children and their total composition was made of various racial and ethnic groups. Newspaper advertisements served as the primary means to recruit married couples in the area. Seventy-nine percent of the Respondents came from the community in west-central Florida while the remaining 21% came from local mental health facilities. Four measures were used in the study in gathering data from the respondents and in obtaining the information needed.

The results of the Adult Self-Perception Profile (ASPP) ensured a wide range of “self-relevant facets” with regard to the self-evaluations of the participating couples. The results of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) served as a measure of the extent of depressive symptoms including individual differences. The results of the Quality Marriage Index (QMI) provided data on how the participating couples agreed on different statements about their marriage as well as their overall happiness with their marriage.

Lastly, the Spouse Rating Scale (SRS) allowed the participants to rate their spouses based on their traits. In general, the researchers used these four measures in getting the relevant information needed to confirm their claims. One of the findings of the study is that “marital satisfaction was greatest in those whose spouses viewed them more positively and in those who viewed themselves more positively (Pacco and Phares, p. 508)”. The results for the depression analysis were also similar to that of the analysis on marital self-esteem.

The findings of the study were not a surprise to the study because the study hypothesized that married couples with negative self-esteem and who are under depression are less satisfied in their marriage if couples view one another in the same negative ways. In essence, the study is designed to contrast the theory that married couples are more satisfied if, for instance, wives view their husbands negatively in the same way that their husbands view them negatively.

The study concludes that the participating couples were more martially satisfied when their partner viewed them in a positive way regardless of their depression and self-esteem levels. The research can enlighten us in understanding that despite suffering from severe or light depression and regardless of how married couples view ourselves—negatively or positively—they can still be able to attain happiness in their relationship through a satisfactory feeling about their marriage.

With respect to the study of social psychology, the research can serve as basis to say that a society that is satisfied can be the result of marriages that are likewise satisfied, among others. On a personal level, the study helps foster my understanding on human relationships especially marriage. I realize that people can still be satisfied in their marriage despite suffering from severe depression and very low self-esteem as an extreme scenario.

Those experiencing light depression in their marriages and those who view their spouses with low esteem have better chances, I think, of carrying on with their marriage. The information the study provides can also serve as a personal guide for me in handling my marriage sometime in the future. On the other hand, the results of the study make me wonder why countless marriages still end in divorce in the United States. Although the results of the research do not directly apply to my family, I can say that the results can be a vital piece of information for those who are having doubts in their marriage.

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