Family- versus couple-initiated marriages in Turkey: Similarities and differences over the family life cycle

Hortacsu N.

ASIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol.10, no.2, pp.103-116, 2007 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1467-839x.2007.00217.x
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.103-116
  • Keywords: arranged marriage, gender difference, marital cycle, ARRANGED MARRIAGE, 1ST YEAR, JAPAN, CONFLICT, CULTURES, ANKARA, VALUES
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


The present study aimed to investigate marital relationships of the Urban Turkish family. Questionnaires were given to both members of 430 couples at various stages of the marriage cycle. Information concerning demographic characteristics, spousal feelings, marital functioning, including division of labour and satisfaction with division of labour, decision-making, and conflict; and relationships with social network, including feelings for families of origin and frequency of interaction with families was obtained. Results revealed that in comparison to family-initiated marriages, couple-initiated marriages were more emotionally involving, less enmeshed with families, more egalitarian, and involved fewer conflicts. However, over successive stages of the marital cycle, conflict declined in family-initiated marriages and division of labour became less equalitarian in couple-initiated marriages. No differences between the two types of marriage emerged with respect to decision-making and conflict management style. Wives were reportedly more influential with respect to decisions concerning families and children than their husbands in both types of marriage. Couples at later stages of the marital cycle reported lower emotional involvement and less equalitarian division of labour. Relationships between educational level and various marital measures were also obtained. The results are discussed in relation to the possibly different marital schema entertained by men and women within the modernising context of Turkey and with respect to possibly different effects of modernization on different aspects of marraige.