How do marriages become unhappy? How do marriages change? What are the theories and methods that can best illuminate our understanding of marital development? This 1998 volume comprehensively explores how marriages develop and deteriorate, and in doing so, brings together leading scholars to present research on the longitudinal course of marriage. The chapters share a common focus on the early phases of marriage but address a diverse array of topics, including marital conflict, personality, social support, the transition to parenthood, violence, ethnicity, stress, alcohol use, commitment and sexuality. Implications of this research for alleviating marital distress are also noted. The book concludes with six provocative analyses by prominent scholars in the areas of sociology, clinical psychology, social psychology and developmental psychology.