Identity and dating commitment among women and men in college

Kathleen E. Matula, Ted L. Huston, Harold D. Grotevant, Ari Zamutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lower division and upper division college women's and men's commitment in a dating relationship was examined in connection with their (a) gender role attitudes, (b) educational aspirations, (c) certainty about their future vocation, and (d) the importance they attach to work vs. marriage as a source of life satisfaction. Dating commitment was also examined for women in relation to their dedication to work for pay after marriage, and for men in terms of their ideas about their future wife working. The more certain upper division college women's vocational identity, the more committed they were to their dating partner, but the more they planned to work after marriage the less involved they were in a relationship. Additionally, upper division women who placed more importance on a job than marriage and who had a clearer vocational identity were less involved in a relationship. The clearer upper division men's vocational identity, the more committed they were in a relationship. Lower division men who placed more importance on work compared to marriage were less involved in a dating relationship. The results are discussed in light of Erikson's stages of identity development and more recent research that suggests women's identity development follows a different course from men's.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-356
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 1992

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    Matula, K. E., Huston, T. L., Grotevant, H. D., & Zamutt, A. (1992). Identity and dating commitment among women and men in college. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 21(3), 339-356. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01537022