family finance, materialism, financial therapy, financial planning, marital satisfaction, marital centrality


While the negative relationship between materialism and marital satisfaction is well documented, mediators that possibly explain this association have not been widely explored. Based on the Incompatibility of Materialism and Children Model and Marital Paradigms Theory, this article explores the perception of marriage importance as a potential mediator between materialism and marital satisfaction. Using a sample of 1310 married individuals, we found evidence of partial mediation in that materialism was negatively associated with perception of marriage importance, and this association partially explained why being materialistic was associated with lower marital satisfaction. Thus, as counselors, therapists, and financial planners work with married clients, it is important that they consider how their clients’ materialistic tendencies may influence the family both financially and relationally. Suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

LeBaron, A. B.*, Kelly, H. H.*, Carroll, J. S.(2018). Money Over Marriage: Marriage Importance as a Mediator Between Materialism and Marital Satisfaction. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 39, 337-347.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Family and Economic Issues




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor