Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


It has been widely documented that most Americans will marry at least once in their lifetime, however evidence suggests that marital success and satisfaction are not so widespread (Bornstein & Bornstein, 1985: Cargan, 1991). The increase in divorce and the rising demand for marital therapy serve as evidence that marriages are not succeeding. Factors contributing to marital dissatisfaction are mainly focused around communication. Many couples who experience communication apprehension also experience loneliness (Sadava & Matejcic, 1987). During the newlywed stage of marriage, the time of marriage before the birth of the first child, the couple is focused on the marriage and experimenting with different communication styles. Loneliness has been found in this stage of marriage (Sadava & Matejcic, 1987). The present study explored the relationship between communication apprehension, rhetorical sensitivity, and loneliness in early marriage. Forty couples were each given a demographic questionnaire, the UCLA-3 Loneliness Scale, the Personal Report of Spouse Communication Apprehension, and the Rhetorical Sensitivity Scale. Correlations were conducted on the data gathered to determine any significant relationships between the scores. The study found a significant relationship between communication apprehension and loneliness. It appears that the less communication apprehension an individual experiences within the marriage, the less loneliness that person also experiences. No significant relationships were found between rhetorical sensitivity and loneliness or rhetorical sensitivity and communication apprehension.


Thomas T. Jackson

Date of Award

Summer 1994

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1994 Shannon McDowell


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