Together Through Thick and Thin : A Multinational Picture of Long-Term Marriages book cover
1st Edition

Together Through Thick and Thin
A Multinational Picture of Long-Term Marriages

ISBN 9780789004932
Published August 25, 2000 by Routledge
236 Pages

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Book Description

Discover what factors, beliefs, and attitudes build a successful marriage!

In the enormous social, political, and technological upheavals since World War I, the long and happy marriage has begun to seem like an endangered species. In the desperate hunt for reasons that marriages fail, most researchers have ignored the factors that help marriages succeed. Together Through Thick and Thin: A Multinational Picture of Long-Term Marriage reports a landmark study of long-term satisfaction in marriage. Instead of relying on conjecture or unproven clinical hunches, the authors studied the happily married around the world. The respondents’early experiences included the Great Depression, World War II, and the Holocaust as well as the Roaring Twenties. In the years since they married, technological change and the women's movement have made the world almost unrecognizable. Yet these people have managed to maintain both stability and quality in their marriages.

The scope of Together Through Thick and Thin is sweeping: eight countries, more than 400 couples who had been happily married for between 25 and 45 years. Factors analyzed include degree of satisfaction, gender differences, socioeconomic level, family history, shared values, religious belief and practice, attitudes toward children, physical health, and problem-solving styles, among many others. Moreover, the book builds on existing documented literature on marriage. This solid background helps put its wealth of practical data into context, an ideal synthesis of theory and practice.

This study delves into the reasons couples stay together and stay satisfied. What qualities and attitudes do happily married couples share? Can the factors that keep a Chilean couple together for life also apply in the very different cultures of Sweden, Israel, South Africa, the United States? What keeps a marriage together in times of crisis? How important is love?

Together Through Thick and Thin helps you understand the diverse factors that affect marital quality and stability by offering a broad range of information:

  • a comprehensive review of the literature of happy marriage
  • cross-cultural comparisons that kindle fresh insights
  • discussions of factors ranging from gender and economic status to family history and shared attitudes
  • specific behaviors and attitudes that illuminate what matters most in marriage, from mutual respect to shared fun
  • the reasons couples stick together during crises
  • which problem-solving behaviors actually work

    Together Through Thick and Thin provides psychologists, family therapists, and couples counselors with the solid data they need to guide couples in crisis toward greater intimacy, commitment, and joy together.

Table of Contents


  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Part I: Background of the Study
  • Chapter 1: Overview
  • Chapter 2: Theoretical Underpinnings
  • Review of Literature and Earlier Findings
  • Correlates of Marital Satisfaction
  • Research on Long-Term Marriages
  • Results of the Pilot Study for This Project
  • Underlying Theoretical Approach
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Methodology
  • Sampling Procedure
  • Instruments Utilized
  • Instruments Employed: Overview
  • Validity and Reliability Aspects
  • Procedure: How the Study Was Conducted
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Analysis of Data: Statistical Tools
  • Part II: Findings
  • Chapter 4: Reports of the United States and Canada
  • The United States
  • Canada
  • Chapter 5: Reports of the Western European Countries
  • Germany
  • Sweden
  • The Netherlands
  • Chapter 6: Reports of Israel, South Africa, and Chile
  • Israel
  • South Africa
  • Chile
  • Part III: Comparative Analysis and Conclusions
  • Chapter 7: Cross-Cultural Analysis
  • Introduction
  • Findings
  • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Retrospective Analysis: Conclusions, Implications for Therapy, and Recommendations
  • Implications for Marital and Family Therapy
  • Appendix A: Overall Assessment of the Quality of Couple Life
  • Couple Well-Being--DAS, Item 18
  • Couple Satisfaction--DAS, Subscale
  • Couple Happiness--DAS, Item 31
  • Appendix B: International Family Research Group Long-Term Marriages Questionnaire
  • Instructions for User
  • Q.1. General Information
  • Q.2. DAS and PRL
  • Q. 3. CPS, CC, and CR
  • Q.4. Motives: Why Did and Do You Stay Together?
  • Q.5. Ingredients for Marital Satisfaction
  • References
  • Index

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