Complexities in Assessing Marital Beliefs: Illustrations Across College and Non-College Emerging Adults


college; emerging adulthood; marital beliefs; marriage; measurement


Although research on marital beliefs has been increasing in recent years due to cultural and behavioral shifts regarding marital transitions, scholarly work dedicated to the measurement of marital beliefs has been limited. Using a sample of 571 college students, the Criteria for Marriage Readiness Scale (CMRS) was assessed to see if results from a previous validation study could be replicated. Results largely replicated previous findings but suggested a shorter and slightly revised version of the CMRS. A sample of 102 individuals with no college experience were then also administered the CMRS to see if measurement remained valid across a noncollege population. Results suggested that the CMRS may not be a valid measurement in this population, and further tests revealed that the college and noncollege samples were not invariant in regards to the factor structure of the CMRS. Implications for the assessment of marital beliefs given the lack of research on noncollege samples is discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Willoughby, B. J., & Egbert, J.* (2016). Complexities in assessing marital beliefs: Illustrations across college and non-college emerging adults. Marriage & Family Review, 52, 722-741.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Marriage & Family Review




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor