Document Type : Original Article


1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences

2 Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


BACKGROUND: Evidence is accumulating that the pattern and nature of marital relationships are
very different in different cultures. This nationwide study aimed to determine marital satisfaction
and the prevalence of emotional divorce as well as to identify the sociodemographic correlates in
a Muslim population.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this cross‑sectional study, one‑third of Iran’s provinces were
selected randomly and a representative sample of inhabitants of their central city was included in
the study. The ENRICH marital satisfaction scale was used to determine marital satisfaction levels.
A single‑item measure with confirmed validity and reliability was used to find out about emotional
divorce. The demographic variables included respondent’s age, spouse’s age, gender, educational
level, residency, childbearing, and premarriage familiarity.
RESULTS: Of the 2033 participants, 1034 were women (50.9%). Nearly one‑third of both men and
women had academic degrees. Almost 53% of them were satisfied with their marital life and 9.7% had
emotional divorce. Men with academic degrees had a higher probability of marital satisfaction (odds
ratio [OR] =1.26, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–1.53) and a lower prevalence of emotional
divorce (OR = 0.37, 95% CI: 0.24–0.58).
CONCLUSION: This study showed a relatively high percentage of marital dissatisfaction as well
as emotional divorce. Policymakers should strengthen premarriage education programs and
postmarriage counseling centers.


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