Journal of Undergraduate Research


nonverbal communication decoding, relation to marital satisfaction


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life


Improving communication within the family can lead to more satisfying marriage and family relationships. Communication includes interaction through words, tone of voice, and our focus in the study, body language. Body language is a key form of communication, because of its honest demonstration of feelings, and it therefore has the potential to influence a couple’s relationship. Although this link has not been explicitly studied, previous literature suggests that the ability to understand body language and how satisfied an individual is in marriage are related. First, we examined if this relationship exists. Then, we studied some factors that can be used to explain the relationship between body language and an individual’s marital satisfaction. We reasoned, if a person is not particularly empathetic, then understanding those messages through body language may be of little benefit to the marriage. Likewise, an individual who feels more satisfied sexually may be more aware of the body language their partner is using. Finally, we believe if a person doesn’t have self-confidence, or is not confident about their importance in the relationship, then their effort in the relationship will be sub-par.