Marital Satisfaction and Stability Following a Near-Death Experience of One of the Marital Partners

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The purpose of this quantitative and qualitative study was to determine retrospectively marital satisfaction and stability following the near-death experience (NDE) of one of the marital partners, focusing on the role of Gottman's Sound Marital House (1999) in the couple's relationship before and after the NDE. The researcher used the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test (1959), the Weiss-Ceretto Marital Status Inventory (1980), and a modification of Gottman's Shared Meanings Questionnaire (1999). The first group of participants included 26 NDErs. To create as comparable a group as possible, the researcher designed a life-changing event (LCE) group of 26 people who used as ... continued below

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Christian, Sandra Rozan August 2005.

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  • Christian, Sandra Rozan

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The purpose of this quantitative and qualitative study was to determine retrospectively marital satisfaction and stability following the near-death experience (NDE) of one of the marital partners, focusing on the role of Gottman's Sound Marital House (1999) in the couple's relationship before and after the NDE. The researcher used the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test (1959), the Weiss-Ceretto Marital Status Inventory (1980), and a modification of Gottman's Shared Meanings Questionnaire (1999). The first group of participants included 26 NDErs. To create as comparable a group as possible, the researcher designed a life-changing event (LCE) group of 26 people who used as their referent the non-NDE-related experience they considered their most life-changing one during their marriage. Sixty-five percent of the marriages in which the NDErs were involved at the time of their NDEs ended in divorce. This number is in contrast to the 19 percent of LCE participants whose marriages ended in divorce. Marital adjustment, marital stability, and meanings in marriage between retrospectively based pre-event and post-event composite scores were statistically significantly different between the NDErs and LCErs. Low effect sizes were identified for each of the instruments except the Weiss-Ceretto Marital Status Inventory, which had a moderate effect size. Strong correlations among the scores were identified. Further analysis of the results indicated strongly that the NDErs were less satisfied in their marriages, their marriages were less stable, and they did not have a strong level of shared meaning in the marriage after the NDE occurred as compared to the LCE participants. This study has serious implications for counselors who may work with NDErs. Findings from this study show that NDErs who were married at the time of their experiences have a strong possibility of experiencing marital problems. Encouraging these couples to seek professional help as soon as possible can provide a forum for them to address the potential numerous changes in their relationship. By having more information about the effects of an NDE on a marriage, counselors will be better prepared to assist those couples who are not well prepared to navigate their way through the aftereffects of the event. Through psychoeducation and the application of counseling approaches, counselors can help their clients address specific issues related to their NDEs.

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  • August 2005

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 4:16 p.m.

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  • April 13, 2016, 3:32 p.m.

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Christian, Sandra Rozan. Marital Satisfaction and Stability Following a Near-Death Experience of One of the Marital Partners, dissertation, August 2005; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4893/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .