Marital Satisfaction: An Examination of Its Relationship to Spouse Support and Congruence of Commitment Among Runners Academic Article uri icon


  • Role-identity theory supports the position that marital satisfaction is influenced by shared identities to a salient recreation role and by role support provided by a spouse for a salient recreation role identity for her or his partner. In addition, some previous studies have suggested that these effects are more prominent among women, but other research indicates that the effect is stronger among men. This study examined the relationship among the congruence of spouse's commitment to running, perceived role support, and gender to marital satisfaction among a population of married adult runners. Participants were 85 married runners and 75 of their spouses sampled from a list of participants in an annual marathon in a western U.S. city. Questionnaires were administered to runners and their spouses that measured commitment to running, role support, marital satisfaction, and the type of recreation participation within the marriage. A significant main effect for role support was found in the regression analysis, indicating that as the runner's perceived role support decreased, marital satisfaction also decreased. No significant interaction effects involving gender or level of congruence in commitment to running were identified. In an exploratory analysis, it was found that participation in shared activities, or commitment to the same activities, was not essential to marital satisfaction if the spouses perceived that their partners supported their recreational choices. 1999 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Leisure Sciences

author list (cited authors)

  • Julia H. Baldwin, Gary D. Ellis, Br.

citation count

  • 38

publication date

  • June 1999