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Familism and Marital Satisfaction among Mexican Americans: The Effects of Family Size, Wife's Labor Force Participation, and Conjugal Power

Frank D. Bean, Russell L. Curtis, Jr. and John P. Marcum
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Nov., 1977), pp. 759-767
DOI: 10.2307/350480
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/350480
Page Count: 9
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Familism and Marital Satisfaction among Mexican Americans: The Effects of Family Size, Wife's Labor Force Participation, and Conjugal Power
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Abstract

The idea that familism is an important aspect of Mexican American family life is indirectly evaluated among Mexican American husbands and wives by examining the effects on marital satisfaction of three variables—family size, wife's labor force participation, and conjugal power—that have been found important in previous studies, but whose effects might be thought to differ within groups that emphasize familistic norms and values. In general, the results are similar to those of earlier studies. Husbands and wives in this sample are found to be more satisfied with the affective side of their marriage when there are fewer children present and when the conjugal power structure is more egalitarian. Husbands are less satisfied when the wife works, and wives are less satisfied when they work voluntarily. When the sample is split according to occupation, however, this pattern of labor force participation effects is found to hold only among lower class couples, suggesting that class rather than ethnicity is the more important factor conditioning the relationship. The findings would seem to indicate that levels of marital satisfaction are a product of marital conditions per se more than of culturally based values about familism.

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