Deaf Marriage Research Logo

Marital Quality and Stability in Deaf-Deaf and Deaf-Hearing Couples

A master's thesis submitted to the graduate faculty of the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies, Bethel University


Very little research is available on Deaf marriages, and most of the available research is outdated. The author reviews the literature on minority and intercultural marriages as well as the literature on Deaf-Deaf and Deaf-hearing marriages, focusing on data concerning marital quality, marital stability, and the history of controversy surrounding Deaf-Deaf and Deaf hearing marriages. The author reports original research investigating the quality and stability of Deaf-Deaf and Deaf-Hearing marriages. Significant findings include higher divorce rates for Deaf-Deaf marriages (22.33%) than for Deaf-hearing marriages (9.68%, p = .016); similar levels of marital quality for Deaf-Deaf (m = 50.81, SD = 9.05) and Deaf-hearing couples (m = 51.81, SD = 9.08, p = .122); and for all Deaf couples, social support/negative social pressure accounted for 21.3% of the variance in marital quality (p < .001) and 19.0% of the variance in marital stability (p < .001). Implications are discussed for mental health professionals and for future research.


Kingsbury, D. S. (2011, July). Marital quality and stability in Deaf-Deaf and Deaf-hearing couples. Master’s thesis submitted to Bethel University, St. Paul, MN.


If you have any questions or comments about this research, or if you would like to request a copy of the thesis, please contact me at

David S. Kingsbury, MA

Principle Investigator