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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Edward Pohlman

First Committee Member

Fred Muskal

Second Committee Member

Jack Mason

Third Committee Member

Joseph L. Anastasio

Fourth Committee Member

Walter Nyberg


Purpose: Children of divorced parents seem to have more divorces when they themselves marry. I f an "intergenerational transmission" effect exists, differences in attitude should exist even before marriage. What differences in attitude exist, if any, between the offspring of divorced parents and of intact-happy parents? Procedure: The Anacleto Marital Attitude Inve ntory (AMAI) was developed with 92 Likert- scaled items . Internal consist e ncy (.88), Reliability (.81), and Concurrent Validity (.65) for the total test as well as for 8 subscales we r e judged satisfac t o ry. Higher scores show more healthy attitudes. The AMAI was administered to 353 single adults drawn from a community college, a unive rsity, and trade schools in the Central Valley of California. They were adult single offspring of (1) divorced, (2) "intact-happy", (3) "intact-unhappy" parents, classified from questionnaire answers. It was hypothesized that Group 2 would have healthier attitudes than Group 1, Group 2 healthier attitudes than Group 3 and Group 1 healthie r attitudes than Group 3. Findings: Contrary to predictions, Group 1 had s ignificantly healthie r attitudes than Group 2 on the total AMAI and the Sex attitudes subscale. The se diffe r e nces were not str o ng, though s ignificant at the .001 level because of the large N's. Still this contrast to the hypotheses and previous literature invites further study. Explanations for these findings include: parents having custody teaching appropriate and healthy attitudes toward marriage; interest and self-sought education about marr iage by the children, to avoid the dissolutions suffered by their parents; more rational, cognitive understanding of marriage shown on the AMAI which may or may not translate into improved relationships. Hope for a better r elationship may prompt this population to seek divorce more readily. Stronger diffe r e nces, also true at the .001 l evel, were found by sex for the AMAI as a whole, on 6 of the 8 scale comparisons. Females were found to have healthier attitudes than males . Sex differences such as these may s uggest socialization variations . Marital relationships potentially could suffe r from such differences. No int eraction effects for Group status by sex were found.



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