Measuring dynamic goals for marriage: Development and validation of the Marital Goal Scale using Rasch modeling

Psychol Assess. 2020 Mar;32(3):211-226. doi: 10.1037/pas0000779. Epub 2019 Oct 24.


Both the dynamic goal theory of marital satisfaction and the suffocation model of marriage argue that whether people are satisfied with their marriage largely depends on their marital goals. However, the lack of a validated measure has greatly limited empirical investigations about marital goals. The current study developed the Marital Goal Scale (MGS) using Rasch modeling. We provided evidence for the validity of the scale scores and confirmed its factorial structure using confirmatory factor analysis. The MGS contains 3 subscales assessing personal growth, instrumental, and companionship goals, respectively. The functioning of each subscale with a 4-point rating scale was supported by Rasch modeling in a married sample (from Hong Kong and the United States) and an unmarried sample (from Hong Kong). The discriminant and convergent validity of the subscale scores were supported in both samples. Major assumptions of the dynamic goal theory were also examined and partially supported. The MGS provides a useful tool to support empirical research about marital goals. Future studies are encouraged to utilize this tool to further investigate the important role of marital goals in marital dynamics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Marriage / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motivation
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Young Adult