n Gender and Behaviour - How happy are married people? Psychological indicators of marital satisfaction of married men and women in Gauteng Province, South Africa

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



The aims of this paper were to first establish the difference in scores of men and women on marital satisfaction and other psychological variables such as communication, alexithymia and psychological wellbeing and secondly, to establish whether the study variables - including gender, communication, alexithymia and psychological wellbeing will predict marital satisfaction. Based on a cross-sectional design, data was collected from a random sample of 500 married men and women with mean age of 37 years (SD = 8.98). Results of the study show that there were significant differences between men and women on three of the four subscales of the marital satisfaction scale: dyadic consensus, dyadic satisfaction and affectional expression with women scoring higher than men; there was also a significant difference between men and women on only one subscale (externally oriented thinking) of the alexithymia scale with men reporting more on externally oriented thinking than women; On psychological wellbeing, two of the subscales were statistically significant: environmental mastery with men scoring higher and self-acceptance with women scoring higher than men. Variables such as dyadic cohesion (marital satisfaction), DDF and DIF (alexithymia), verbal and non-verbal (communication) and autonomy, personal growth and positive relations (psychological wellbeing) were not significant between males and females. All three psychological variables (gender, communication, alexithymia and psychological wellbeing significantly predicted marital satisfaction and sex difference (model 1) difficulty in identifying feelings (model 2), verbal communication (model 3) and positive relations (model 4) were significant predictors of marital satisfaction. Recommendations were made in light of the findings of the study.

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