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IN-LAW RELATIONSHIPS: A ROLE THEORY PERSPECTIVE

JULIANNE M. SEROVICH and SHARON J. PRICE
International Journal of Sociology of the Family
Vol. 24, No. 1 (Spring 1994), pp. 127-146
Published by: International Journals
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23029804
Page Count: 20
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IN-LAW RELATIONSHIPS: A ROLE THEORY PERSPECTIVE
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Abstract

This article reports of an investigation of the quality of in-law relationships from a role theory perspective. Perceived satisfaction with in-law relationships and the amount of disagreement couples experience was examined by roles the parent-in-law occupied, gender, and proximity. In-law roles studied consisted of parent, grandparent, and dependent family member. Participants for this study (N=30q) were drawn from the National Survey of Families and Households (Sweet, et. al., 1988) No significant differences by role or proximity were found Husbands, however, perceived a better relationship with in-laws than wives and relationships with fathers-in-law were more satisfactory than mothers-in-law. Wives reported equally satisfying relationships with mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law. The participants in this study, overall, reported high satisfaction and low amounts of open disagreement with their in-laws. Therefore, in-law relationships may not be as problematic as once believed.

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