While there has been a relatively large number of studies conducted to investigate associations between financial problems and marital outcomes, little research has been done to examine possible relationships between materialistic attitudes, perceived financial problems, and marital outcomes. This study has been designed to examine a conceptual model linking materialism, perceived financial problems, and relationship satisfaction among married couples. Data obtained from 600 married heterosexual couples who took the RELATE test fit the model well. Findings indicate that wives' materialism is negatively related to husbands' marital satisfaction. Husbands' and wives' materialism is positively related with increased perception of financial problems which is in turn negatively associated with marital satisfaction. As expected, income was positively related to marital satisfaction, however, income had no relation to perception of financial problems. Materialism had a stronger impact on perception of financial problems than income. Distinct gender findings indicate that although husbands' variables had no significant relation with wives' outcomes, wives' variables were significantly related to husbands' outcomes. Specifically, wives' materialism is positively related with husbands' increased perception of financial problems, and wives' perceived financial problems is negatively associated with husbands' marital satisfaction. These findings support the notion that materialism is indirectly related to marital satisfaction, and in some ways directly related to marital satisfaction.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development



Date Submitted


Document Type





materialism, perceived financial problems, marital satisfaction, RELATE Test, money, marriage