The objective of this study is to examine the types of problems faced by Brazilian couples in the sample, the gender differences in the perception of marital problems, and the associations between marital problems and marital satisfaction. The sample used in this study was part of the third wave of data collection of a longitudinal study of 126 families living in Porto Alegre, a city in southern Brazil. The RDAS was the instrument used to assess marital satisfaction. Marital problems were identified by asking participants to check the problems they perceive in their marriage from a list of common marital problems (money, children, sex, jealousy, mother's family of origin, father's family of origin, drugs, alcohol, other). Data analysis consisted of the study of frequencies, Pearson's correlations between the number of problems identified by husbands and wives and their RDAS scores and test comparisons between groups of husbands and wives. A total of 16 regression analyses were performed to identify the impact of each marital problem on marriage satisfaction of both husbands and wives. Husbands' and wives' RDAS scores were the dependent variable in all regressions and each problem, age, race, number of children, and income were the independent variables. Results showed that money, children, jealousy, sex, and family of origin were common problems faced by Brazilian couples in the sample. There were few gender differences, with the only differences being that wives were more likely to report sex as a problem and husbands were more likely to report that their wife's family of origin was a problem. The number of problems had a negative effect on marital satisfaction of husbands and wives. Results also show that sex had a significant impact on marital satisfaction of both wives and husbands and alcohol had a significant impact on marital satisfaction of wives in the sample.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy



Date Submitted


Document Type





marital satisfaction, marital problems, couples, Brazilian, casamento, problemas conjugais