Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Nathan D. Wood


This project examined dispositional optimism and its influence on the three subscales of marital adjustment (consensus, satisfaction, and cohesion) by gender. Data for this study came from Wave 2 and 3 of the National Survey of Families and Households. The Actor Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) was used to examine both actor and partner effects of dispositional optimism on the marital adjustment subscales using the program AMOS. Results indicate that wives’ optimism seem to influence their own later marital satisfaction as well as their husbands’ later marital satisfaction. However, husbands’ optimism appeared to influence neither their own nor their wives’ later satisfaction. These results imply that wives’ optimism matters for marital satisfaction, whereas husbands’ does not.