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J Fam Psychol. 2000 Mar;14(1):42-58.

Predicting marital stability and divorce in newlywed couples.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


A longitudinal study with 95 newlywed couples examined the power of the Oral History Interview to predict stable marital relationships and divorce. A principal-components analysis of the interview with the couples (Time 1) identified a latent variable, perceived marital bond, that was significant in predicting which couples would remain married or divorce within the first 5 years of their marriage. A discriminant function analysis of the newlywed oral history data predicted, with 87.4% accuracy, those couples whose marriages remained intact or broke up at the Time 2 data collection point. The oral history data predicted with 81% accuracy those couples who remained married or divorced at the Time 3 data collection point. This study offers support for causal linkages between perceptual biases and selective attention on the path of marriage.

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