Have Changes in Gender Relations Affected Marital Quality?

Stacy J. Rogers, Paul R. Amato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


We used national data from two samples reflecting different marriage cohorts to examine long-term changes in gender relations within marriage, long-term changes in marital quality, and the association between the two. The first marriage cohort consisted of individuals married between 1964 and 1980 (N = 1,119) and interviewed in 1980, whereas the second marriage cohort consisted of individuals married between 1981 and 1997 (N = 312) and interviewed in 1997. Compared with the earlier cohort, the more recent cohort reported larger contributions to household income among wives, more employment of wives with preschool-age children, less traditional gender-role attitudes, a greater share of housework on the part of husbands, less husband influence in marriage, and greater wife influence in marriage. Members of the more recent marriage cohort also reported significantly more marital discord. This difference in discord was explained partly by greater work-family conflict in the more recent cohort. Other changes in gender relations, however, were not related to increases in marital discord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-753
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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