Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Counseling

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Susan Kashubeck-West


Dr. R. Rocco Cottone

Dr. Emily Brown

Dr. Vagdevi Meunier


Marital quality plays a significant role in the physical and mental health of many people. The purpose of this study was to examine anxiety, attributions, and marital quality in a sample of females. The first two hypotheses aimed to assess the relationship between anxiety and marital quality, and the relationship between attributions and marital quality. The primary research question aimed to assess attributions as a mediator in the relationship between anxiety and marital quality. Participants (N = 358) completed a demographic questionnaire, the Quality Marriage Index (QMI; Norton, 1983), the Marital Adjustment Test (MAT; Locke & Wallace, 1959), the Relationship Attribution Measure (RAM; Fincham & Bradbury, 1992), the Marital Attitude Survey (MAS; Pretzer, Epstein, & Fleming, 1991), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Spielberger, 1983), the Big Five Inventory – Neuroticism subscale (BFI-N; John & Srivastava, 1999), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS; Cohen, 1994), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression (CES-D; Radloff, 1977). The researcher used hierarchical regression analysis to assess the first two hypotheses and structural equation modeling to assess the third research question. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that anxiety and marital quality correlated inversely after controlling for depression, such that higher levels of anxiety correlated with lower levels of marital quality. Additionally, these analyses showed that attributions and marital quality correlated positively after controlling for depression, such that higher levels of positive attributions correlated with higher levels of marital quality. Structural equation modeling analysis provided evidence that attributions mediated the relationship between anxiety and marital quality, such that greater anxiety predicted more negative attributions which then predicted lower marital quality. Limitations, implications, and future considerations were all addressed.