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Economic Pressure and Marital Quality: An Illustration of the Method Variance Problem in the Causal Modeling of Family Processes

Frederick O. Lorenz, Rand D. Conger, Ronald L. Simon, Les B. Whitbeck and Glen H. Elder, Jr.
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 53, No. 2 (May, 1991), pp. 375-388
DOI: 10.2307/352906
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352906
Page Count: 14
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Economic Pressure and Marital Quality: An Illustration of the Method Variance Problem in the Causal Modeling of Family Processes
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Abstract

A sample of 76 white, middle-class couples from a rural midwestern county was used to examine the effects of method variance on models linking family economic pressure, marital quality, and expressions of hostility and warmth. Reports of hostility and warmth were obtained from three sources: self-report, spouse's report, and observer ratings from videotapes of family interactions. Using observer reports of hostility and warmth yielded results consistent with previous literature linking economic pressure to marital quality indirectly through interactional processes such as hostility. When the models were based on information obtained from self-reports or spouses' reports, however, it was difficult empirically to separate the interactional processes of hostility and warmth from the distinct concept of marital quality.

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