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Cultural and evolutionary components of marital satisfaction - A multidimensional assessment of measurement invariance

2008-01-01
Lucas, Todd
Parkhill, Michele R.
Wendorf, Craig A.
İmamoğlu, Emine Olcay
Weisfeld, Carol C.
Weisfeld, Glenn E.
Shen, Jiliang
Couples assess their satisfaction with one another according to numerous culturally determined criteria. However, evolutionary perspectives on marriage emphasize that husbands and wives are also concerned with their adaptive fitness, and this suggests that some aspects of marital satisfaction may be cross-culturally homogenous. We examined whether marital satisfaction reflects both 'culturally unique' and 'adaptively universal' concerns of husbands and wives. Approximately 2000 couples from Britain, Turkey, China and the United States completed a multidimensional measure of marital satisfaction that we assessed for measurement invariance. Measures of romantic love and spousal support functioned similarly for couples within all four cultures, indicating the possibility of a ubiquitous pair-bonding component of marital satisfaction. However, invariant measurement structure was less robust across these samples, suggesting a culturally derived component of marital satisfaction. In general, results suggest that invariance analyses may be used to elucidate cultural and evolutionary perspectives on marriage.