The Development of a Measure Assessing U.S. Adults’ Motives for Marriage

Ashley E. Thompson, Hannah Pannell, Brieanna Muzzy, Megan S. Jarvis, Elle A. Henne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the existing literature assessing various aspects of marriage, there is a lack of understanding of adults’ motives for pursuing marriage. Thus, this research advanced the literature by assessing adults’ motives for marriage via four novel studies in which the Motives for Marriage Scale (MMS) was developed, refined, and validated. In study one, semi-structured focus groups were conducted to capture the range of motives for marriage. In study two, the factor structure of the MMS was assessed. The factor structure was then validated and the psychometric properties were established in study three. Finally, the temporal consistency of the scale was established in study four. The results confirmed that adults’ marital motives are complex and that they are best conceptualized using Social Determination Theory (i.e., intrinsic, extrinsic, and instrumental motives). Investigation of the psychometric properties demonstrated the MMS to be reliable and valid. Implications for investigators and practitioners are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychological reports
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • marital motives
  • marriage
  • psychometrics
  • scale development

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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