Perceiving shared power in marriage has been linked to higher marital quality and lower attachment insecurity. Yet limited research has examined whether perception of power has a longitudinal influence on how both spouses' perceptions play a role in both spouses' outcomes. To address previous limitations, I utilized 319 couples (94.7% retention from Wave 1) from the Flourishing Families Project to estimate bi-yearly (Waves 1, 3, and 5) and yearly (Waves 3-5) longitudinal actor-partner interdependence models. Reporting shared power in marriage was linked to the actors' higher marital quality and lower attachment insecurity over time (though less consistently for attachment insecurity). Longitudinal partner effects and indirect effects were also found from reports of shared marital power to both marital quality and attachment insecurity over time. Little evidence was found for bidirectionality. The combined evidence suggests that power dynamics in a marriage are an important predictor of couples' overall relational well-being, and not simply a byproduct of other well-being indicators. Husbands and wives should mutually seek to help each other feel empowered in a relationship to reap the benefits of marital quality and secure attachment.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Leonhardt, Nathan D., "Relational Empowerment: The Longitudinal Influence of Perceived Marital Power on Marital Quality and Attachment Security over Five Years of Marriage" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7448.
marital power, marital quality, attachment security, marriage