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Ready or Not?: Criteria for Marriage Readiness Among Emerging Adults

Carroll, J. S.,
Badger, S.,
Willoughby, B. J.,
Nelson, L. J.,
Madsen, S. D.,
Barry, C. M.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2009
Sage Publications
Journal of Adolescent Research, 24(3); 349-375: 2009
Sage Publications

The authors of this 27-page article examined emerging adults? criteria for marriage readiness and explored how these criteria are associated with their current attitudes and behaviors. The authors establish the psychometric value of the Criteria for Marriage Readiness Questionnaire and report on a study of 788 emerging
adults recruited from five college sites across the country (a small, private liberal arts college and a medium-sized, religious university on the East coast; two large, Midwestern public universities; and a large, public university on the West coast). Their results showed that marriage readiness is viewed by emerging adults as a process of developing interpersonal competencies, making life-long commitments, and acquiring capacities to care for others. These findings suggest that many emerging adults regard becoming an adult and becoming ready for marriage as two distinct transitions in life, with the first involving a shift from being cared for by others to taking care of oneself and the second consisting of a transition from self-care to caring for others. Study results also showed that young people?s criteria for marriage readiness are associated with individual differences in their current risk taking and family formation values. Modified Author Abstract.

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