Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name



This study examined whether a difference in marital satisfaction existed among pre-marital cohabitating couples and non pre-marital cohabitating couples. Twenty of the couples had cohabitated and twenty had never cohabitated prior to their marriage. The forty couples were from the Atlanta metropolitan and LaGrange, Georgia areas and were selected for the study utilizing a non probability/purposive snowball sampling technique. The couples were referred by previous participants and were screened in order to ensure that all eligibility requirements were met. The couples' ages ranged from 20-45 years and all couples were involved in their first marriage. The Marital Satisfaction Inventory Revised (MSI-R) was administered to all forty couples in order to ascertain differences in marital satisfaction and to determine an interaction effect of gender and cohabitation status. The MSI-R is a 150 question, true-false inventory which measures marital satisfaction by testing nine marital scales and two validity scales. The findings of the study indicated that there were significant differences in marital satisfaction among premarital cohabitating and non pre-marital cohabitating husbands and wives. The significance between the two groups were Aggression, Family History of Distress, Time Together, Role Orientation, and Disagreement about Finances.

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