Date of Award

5-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Priscilla Blanton

Committee Members

Julia A. Malia, Michael Lane Morris

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to (a) explore what single undergraduate university students who never have been married believe about romantic relationships and marriage myths; (b) determine if there were any gender differences, age differences, or differences between students from divorced and intact families of origin in beliefs in myths about marriage, as well as dysfunctional relationship beliefs; and (c) investigate the possibility of influence by sociodemographic variables on students’ beliefs about marriage. The sample for this study included 164 university students who were classified as undergraduates and who had never been married. Sociodemographic data indicated that 33% of the participants in the sample were male and 67% were female; those students between the ages of 17 and 20 comprised 69% of the sample, whereas the remaining 31% were aged 21 to 24 years old; and the majority of the sample (88%) were classified as White American. Sixty-five percent of the undergraduates indicated that that their biological parents still were married to each other, and 35% had parents who either were separated or divorced. Data analyses using SPSS revealed significant gender differences for subscription to marriage myths and the dysfunctional relationship belief of

sexual perfectionism. There was also a significant difference in beliefs about the sexes are different between the participants from intact families and those from separated or divorced homes. Finally, Whites and non-Whites had significant differences in their beliefs regarding ideas that partners cannot change.

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