The decision to remarry and the ethic of care : a qualitative study of formerly divorced females

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Anne Justice Byrd (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rebecca M. Smith

Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine commitment processes for second marriages for females. Gilligan's ethic of care developmental stage model provided the theoretical framework for the analysis of the data. This framework assumes that as individuals are confronted with new experiences, they move from a cognitive level of caring for self first, to caring for others first, to caring for self and others equally. The primary research question focused on whether females used qualitatively different cognitive levels of care in deciding to marry the first time and deciding to marry the second time. Other research questions were concerned with whether levels of ambivalence and conflict surrounding commitment during the courtship relationship in second marriages would be different for females who showed such a qualitative shift and those who did not. The data were gathered from 23 formerly divorced females who had been remarried less than three years. Through an intensive interview, interviewees were asked to reconstruct their reasons for deciding to marry the first time and their reasons for deciding to marry the second time. Using a scoring manual developed for the research project, three independent judges classified the responses as representing one of five levels of care. Objective measures of conflict and ambivalence about commitment to the relationship in second marriages were also obtained at the time of the interview.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1986
Divorced women $x Attitudes

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