|This study explores the connections between the dynamics and quality of parental
marital relationships and the resulting dynamics, quality, and expectations that young
adults have towards their own intimate relationships. Both a pilot and follow-up study
were conducted. In order to be eligible, participants had to be 18 years or older and have
parents who were either married or divorced. The pilot study had 67 participants, the
follow-up study had 94. Participants were asked to provide their parents’ marital status as
well as rate their level of conflict between parents. Participants also responded to the
Romantic Beliefs Scale, Dyadic Trust Scale, and Family Attitudes Scale in both studies.
In addition, participants were asked to provide answers to open-ended questions
regarding their beliefs on how they were influenced by their parents’ marriage and
divorce. The results suggest that adults from divorced homes or homes fraught with
conflict have less romanticized, more realistic, views of marriage. They also demonstrate
an understanding of what can go wrong in a marital relationship and a willingness to
work harder in their own marriages.