An interesting paradox in the literature about marriage is that despite the substantial changes to marriage over the last half century, young adults remain committed to the ideal of marriage. While changes to marriage as a social institution have been well documented, research concerning the contemporary attitudes of young adults about marriage has been limited. Even less research has focused on how these contemporary attitudes may cluster young adults into groups that have different perceptions of marriage. This study explores young single adult attitudes about marriage, and group differences in these attitudes. A quota sample (n=700) of 18-35 year-old young adults was studied to understand young adults' perceptions of marriage today. Cluster analysis was then performed to analyze group differences. The young adults in this sample formed into 4 distinctive marital attitude groups: the Religious Ready, Religious Realists, Loving the Single Life/Marital Pessimists, and Secular Romantics. The formation of these attitude groups illustrates the broad variation within young adults in beliefs about marriage, especially in the dimensions of religious views of marriage, and readiness for marriage. Implications of these marital attitude groups and recommendations for further research of a marital typology for contemporary attitudes about marriage are discussed.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Kay, Nicole Margaret, "The Changing Meaning of Marriage: An Analysis of Contemporary Marital Attitudes of Young Adults" (2012). All Theses and Dissertations. 2969.
marriage, attitudes, social change, young adults, contemporary, typology