Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1993

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Thomas T. Jackson


Marriage is a dynamic relationship that changes over time. The experience of loneliness within the marriage and the attitudes marital partners hold about communicating with each other may also vary. The present study examined the effects of marital life-span stage and communication apprehension on levels of loneliness in marriage. Subjects were sixty married couples representing equal sized samples of each of four marital life-span stages: newlywed, parental, postparental, and retirement. Loneliness was measured using the self-report UCLA-3 Loneliness Scale (Russell-Cutrona, 1984). Communication apprehension was measured using the self-report Personal Report of Spouse Communication Apprehension (Powers & Hutchinson, 1979). The UCLA-3 was subjected to a factoral analysis to determine the possible presence of an “Intimate Others” factor, representing loneliness that is specific to the marital relationship. Marital loneliness and communication apprehension were graphed across marital lifespan stage. A multiple regression procedure was used to examine the relative effects of marital life-span stage and communication apprehension on marital loneliness. The data generated by this study suggest that the positive correlation found between loneliness and communication apprehension in other studies may by subject to complex modifications when viewed in the marital context.


Copyright 1993 Patricia A. Ault-Duell


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