Masters Thesis

Marital satisfaction and religious and spiritual struggles in same-sex and different-sex marriage

This study explored religious and spiritual struggles and marital satisfaction for individuals in same-sex and different-sex marriages. Data were collected from 220 participants (167 from a previous study) in the United States who were 18 years of age or older, who reported currently being married, and who stated that they practice some form of religion and/or spirituality. Data were collected through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. We found a significant negative association between religious and spiritual struggles and marital satisfaction. We also found a significant difference of religious and spiritual struggles between individuals in same-sex and different-sex marriages, in that individuals in same-sex marriages scored higher than those in different-sex marriages. However, we found no significant difference in marital satisfaction between the two groups. As an exploratory analysis, we also explored the relationship between religious and spiritual struggles and marital satisfaction separately between individuals in same-sex and different-sex marriage. Data revealed a marginally significant positive relationship between religious and spiritual struggles and marital satisfaction for individuals in same-sex marriages and a significant negative relationship for individuals in different-sex marriages. This study provides important information for mental health clinicians on the relationship between religious and spiritual struggles and marital satisfaction in same-sex and different-sex marriages.

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