The Role of Marital Beliefs as a Component of Positive Relationship Functioning


Marital belief Relationship satisfaction Attitude Commitment Relational effort Relationship stability Paradigm


The present study utilized a sample of 962 individuals in dating, cohabiting, and marital relationships to examine how beliefs about marriage salience and permanence were associated with individual relationship functioning. While previous studies have suggested that marital beliefs are associated with individual decision making, few studies have examined how such beliefs might be associated with differing individual relational behavior and perceptions. The present study explored how marital beliefs may be associated with perceptions of relationship satisfaction and stability through the indirect pathways of individual commitment and relational effort. Results suggested that marital beliefs were significantly associated with perceptions of relational well-being in which more positive beliefs about marriage were indirectly associated with perceptions of more satisfaction and more stability. Multigroup comparisons suggested that these associations held for those in all types of relationships. Results also suggested that marital permanence may be particularly important to perceptions of well-being in marital relationships.

Original Publication Citation

Willoughby, B. J. (2015). The role of marital beliefs as a component of positive relationship functioning. Journal of Adult Development, 22, 76-89

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Adult Development




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor