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Commitment and Dependency in Marriage

Steven L. Nock
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 57, No. 2 (May, 1995), pp. 503-514
DOI: 10.2307/353702
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353702
Page Count: 12
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Commitment and Dependency in Marriage
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Abstract

This research investigates the relationship between commitment and dependency in marriage, using a national probability sample of 2,331 individuals. Commitment to the marriage is measured by the imagined consequences should the marriage end. Dependency is measured as the relative income, educational attainment, occupational prestige, and household and paid labor of the respondent and spouse, as well as the duration of the marriage, the presence of children, and the imagined commitment of one's spouse. Data are from the National Survey of Families and Households. Results indicate that income, occupational, and labor dependency increase commitment to marriage. However, the felt obligation to or imagined commitment of the spouse is the strongest influence on individual commitment to marriage.

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