Money, Marriage, and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
by Bernard Poduska
Abraham Maslow (1954, 1955) was one who questioned the
that pain avoidance and tension reduction motivated most human
behavior. He believed that if we are to investigate the prime movers
of humanity, we must focus not merely on avoidance behavior but look
at seeking behavior as well. Whereas pain avoidance and tension
reduction often lead to behavior that could be characterized as the
easy way out, for most it is not enough to merely remain inert until
threat prompts an avoidance response. Maslow believed that the
significance of our lives constitutes more than just the sum total of
our avoidance responses. It is the striving for growth, happiness, and
satisfaction that seems to inspire us to go beyond the minimal effort
to sustain life and to put forth the effort required to enable us not
only to improve ourselves but to improve our lot in life as well.
The need to strive toward fulfillment and enhancement that
advocated appears especially well suited to explaining why some
married couples are fairly satisfied with how their financial affairs
are managed, whereas for others, the degree of dissatisfaction with
their financial situation leads to divorce. In many eases, the married
couples who are satisfied have been able to establish a budget that
provides not only for the maintenance of life but for the enhancement
of the quality of their lives as well.
Just stopping the foreclosure, getting out of debt, or
food on the table is not enough for most couples. The majority need to
formulate a financial management plan that goes beyond being able to
stay alive--one that helps give meaning to life. Frick's (1971) view is
similar: Meaning plays a major role in goal setting. Without meaning,
even after having achieved a particular goal, many are left with the
empty question "What difference does it make?" Couples who have not
formulated meaningful goals often feel frustrated and discouraged,
wondering what difference it makes whether they work harder or not.
When couples are faced with the fact that they are unable
to make it
on one salary, the decision is often made to have both partners enter
the labor market. Unfortunately, many find that even with a second
income, they're still not making it. The whole treadmill process makes
their efforts seem futile and meaningless. Weisskopf-Joelson (1968)
maintained that personal meaning "lies in a belief system that
provides structure and significance to one's life" (p. 373). Maslow's
hierarchy of needs is capable of providing this kind of structure, and
even though there is debate over the ability to test empirically
Maslow's "hierarchy of needs" (Mathes & Edwards, 1978; Wahb &
Birdwell, 1976), this hierarchy can still provide a model by which the
role that finances play in a marriage can be better understood.
Maslow proposed that human needs can be arranged in a hierarchy
potency and priorities, the lower needs being more potent and
therefore tending to take precedence over the higher ones in need
gratification. According to Frick (1982), "For Maslow the
gratification of each need in the motivational hierarchy is a
biological prerequisite for attention to the next higher need" (p.
36), which means a lower level of needs must be satisfied before a
higher level can be satisfied.
As most readers probably know, Maslow's hierarchy is composed
levels. The lowest level concerns one's physiological or "survival"
needs. The second level deals primarily with safety needs and the
third with love and belonging needs. These first three levels are what
Maslow termed "deficit needs," whereas the remaining two levels,
esteem needs (Level 4) and self-actualizing needs (Level 5), are
"growth needs." Maslow agreed with Allport (1955) in the distinction
that "deficit motives do, in fact, call for the reduction of tension
and restoration of equilibrium," whereas "growth motives . . .
maintain tension in the interest of distant and often unattainable
goals" (p. 67).
This distinction seems to be of particular importance to
have been managing, or more precisely, mismanaging, their financial
affairs by either distorting the needs of a particular hierarchical
level or by attempting to bypass needs of a lower level in preference
for those of a higher level. In either case, the end result is that
tensions are not reduced in the lower levels, and tension is not
maintained in the higher levels. Such might be the case, for instance,
if a husband were to buy his wife 25 pounds of potatoes as a birthday
gift. The husband informs her that because she had been complaining
about how the food budget was not providing enough money to feed the
family, he decided to buy her a gift that would be practical. The gift
of potatoes may help satisfy her survival needs from Level 1 but be
woefully inadequate with regard to satisfying her love and belonging
needs in Level 3.
LEVEL 1: SURVIVAL NEEDS
From a financial standpoint, satisfying the Level 1 survival
involves a wage earner's ability to meet the fundamental needs of
food, clothing, and shelter--the basic needs of the family.
Unfortunately, far too many couples treat the monies allocated for
food as a flexible part of the family budget that can be thought of as
the "Peter" that can be robbed to pay "Paul" when money gets tight. As
a consequence, many families, especially low- and fixed-income
families, tend to buy food with the money that left over after paying
the rent, utilities, and other fixed bills such as car loans and
monthly payments on credit cards.
From a hierarchical perspective, however, many of these
debts arc acquired in an attempt to satisfy needs from a higher level
than the survival needs. According to Maslow, the higher levels should
not be addressed until after the survival needs are satisfied. It is
important that marriage partners recognize such discrepancies when
they are setting up priorities regarding the allocation of resources.
Basically, they are being asked to recognize the unreasonableness of
buying a new microwave oven (because everyone has one) and then,
because of the payments, being unable to buy food to cook in it.
Providing adequate food for the family is paramount to
physiological and psychological well-being and must not be seen as the
first place to cut corners. Besides, a food budget that is too austere
may prove to be not only nutritionally insufficient over an extended
time but may indirectly lead to higher dental and medical expenses.
The austerity factor must be considered whenever a food
being developed. A budget cannot be too austere because with a "bare
bones" type of budget, even if the food allotment were sufficient to
sustain life, the quality of that life may be of such a low level that
a family's psychological survival needs could not be satisfied. In
other words, how long would a person want to go on living at a
subsistence level? A budget that eliminates everything but the
essentials is a budget that is destined to fail. Neither man nor
families can live on bread alone. Therefore, to increase the chances
of a budget succeeding, it should, whenever possible, allow for
favorite foods and nostalgic dishes, as well as holiday specialties
and traditional ethnic or religious meals.
When dealing with the psychological survival needs, family
traditions, and rituals need to be considered as well as income. As
human beings, we give value and symbolic meaning to both objects and
events, and as a result, certain things may come to symbolize or
represent something special to us. This phenomenon is especially true
of food. From infancy, food is frequently associated with feelings of
love, security, and well-being. Favorite foods, special preparations,
and rituals often become an integral and essential part of food
consumption. For example, consider the difference between a family in
a low-income apartment eating frozen TV turkey dinners on Thanksgiving
Day and a family sitting down with grandparents and loved ones for
Thanksgiving dinner after a morning of being surrounded by the smells,
flavors, and the socialization so often associated with preparing a
Thanksgiving dinner. Both could say that they had turkey for
Thanksgiving, but most of the psychological survival needs would not
have been met in the first situation.
NEED FOR A SECOND INCOME
Over the past few decades, the cost of living has steadily
to the extent that family incomes sometimes have had a difficult time
keeping up with these increases. Nevertheless, the median income of
the single-wage-earner family increased by almost 30% between 1955 and
1986 (including an adjustment for inflation). In 1955, the median
family income for a single-wage-earner family was $17,693 (in 1986
dollars); in 1986, the median income for these families had risen to
$24,390. Yet even with these kinds of increases in income, families
appeared unable to maintain themselves without going into debt. As a
consequence, more and more families began relying on a second income.
For many married couples, the addition of the second income
it the hope of getting out of debt and being able to enjoy some of the
"extras" in life. As a consequence, by 1987, over 61% of all mothers
were employed outside the home, over 57% of all families had both
husband and wife working, and women made up over 51% of the U.S. labor
force (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1989). The median income for
dual-income families grew to $44,666 in 1986, or two and a half times
what was being earned (again in 1986 dollars) that 1955 parents were
using to raise their families. Unfortunately, even with the addition
of a second income, families continued to go deeper in debt. (Since
1970, consumer debt has increased from $131.6 billion to almost $730
billion by 1988).
A partial explanation for such a paradox can be found in
difference between what is earned and what is actually realized from
the second income. Due to job-related expenses, such as taxes,
insurance deductions, retirement contributions, dues, extra clothing,
and child care costs, only about one half of the second income is
actually available for family use. Hanson (1991) pointed out that
those in the upper-income group will lose about 68% of the gross
earnings from a second income, the middle-income group will lose about
56%, and lower-income families will lose about 46%.
TWO INCOMES--THREE JOBS
This depiction of "real" earnings has been especially discouraging
the women who are in the paid labor force for 40 hours a week and also
have to put in another 32 hours a week working at home. In spite of
technological advances, there is still a great deal of work that needs
to be done in the home, and both the perceived quality of the marriage
and individual happiness depend on how fairly these responsibilities
are distributed (Yogev & Brett, 1985). Unfortunately, research
indicates that wives who are employed outside the home contribute more
to homemaking chores than do their husbands (Abdel-Ghany & Nickols,
1983; Bernardo, Sherhan & Leslie, 1987) and that individual incomes
strongly influence the division of labor in the home (Hiller &
Philliber, 1986). Kamo (1988) found that "the more a husband earns and
the less money a wife makes, the less the husband's share in domestic
work" (p 198).
Much of the discrepancy that exists between the amount
being done by husbands and wives appears to stem from the perception
that the "women's movement" was just that: a women's movement, whereby
the women moved and the men tended to stay right where they were. Many
wives naively assumed that because they had changed, their husbands
would change, too. In contrast, most husbands saw no reason for a
change in themselves. After all, they now found themselves in a world
where they not only had everything they had before (someone to raise
the children, clean the house, prepare the food, and so on) but, in
addition, they now had someone earning money to help pay the bills.
For many husbands, the issue was not who would do the housework but
how his wife might earn more money.
SECOND INCOME AND DIVORCE
Wives who attempt to earn more money, however, often find
in a catch-22 situation: The more they work, the more likely the
marriage will end in divorce. Yeh and Lester (1987, 1988) found
through a survey of census reports for the continental United States
that the higher the proportion of married women working full-time and
the lower the proportion working part-time, the higher the divorce
rate of the state. In states where a greater percentage of wives
worked part-time, the divorce rates were lower.
This relationship between the amount of hours that married
and divorce rates is supported by the research findings of Spitze and
South (1985). They found that the number of hours that wives worked
outside the home had a greater impact on the probability of a divorce
than did the size of her earnings and that this relationship was
strongest among middle-income families and in families where the
husband disapproved of her employment. As a consequence, the wife's
efforts to make more money not only does not decrease family
indebtedness but actually seems to increase the chances of her
marriage ending in divorce.
What often happens next is analogous to the white rat experiments
which two rats are placed in a cage with a floor that can be
electrified. When the rats arc first put in the cage, the electricity
is off, and the rats merely explore their new surroundings. After a
period of acclimation has passed, the electricity is turned on and the
rats begin to leap up and down, trying to escape the pain and
discomfort. However, within a short while, they stop trying to escape
and aggressively turn on each other. They bite, scratch, and maul each
other as if to say, "I'm in pain. You arc here. Therefore, you must
have something to do with the cause of my pain." Of course, the other
rat has nothing to do with the fact that some researcher with a morbid
curiosity turned on the electricity, but proximity is often all that
is needed to qualify as someone's scapegoat.
A similar phenomenon appears to occur among husbands and
in pain. You are here. Therefore, it must be your fault." The blaming
and fault-finding that emerges from this point of view can be not only
damaging to the relationship but destructive to individual feelings of
self-esteem. As Crump (1992 [this issue]) pointed out, "We do not
fight with weapons. We fight with property" (p. 671). The main events
in such fights can be witnessed in almost any divorce court.
LEVEL 2: SAFETY NEEDS
The primary challenge facing married couples in meeting
needs is knowing what it is they fear and whether or not these fears
are based on reality or just imagined. Safety needs deal primarily
with providing direct and indirect protection of oneself, loved ones,
and property. In a direct sense, families face the problem of
acquiring adequate protection against disease, accident, and crime as
well as the need to provide adequate security for their property and
For most families, property and assets translate into what
calls "home." Being able to come up with the rent, build a house, or
pay the mortgage is often paramount to maintaining a sense of
well-being. How safe a family is from being evicted or how likely the
couple will face a foreclosure is often directly related to the amount
of income that the couple is able to earn compared to the size of
Although most lending institutions recommend that home
their liability to no more than 25% to 30% of their income, it is not
uncommon to find home owners with mortgage liabilities in excess of
50% of their income. In cases where there appears to be excessive
mortgage liability, at least some of the excess would be attributable
to attempts at bypassing survival and safety needs in order to satisfy
According to Rector (1989), the reason for this kind of
in changes that have taken place with regard to how much we are
spending rather than changes in how much we are earning: "We have
experienced not a decline in earnings capacity but a profound upward
`revolution of expectations' in living standards; . . . we have
largely forgotten the actual income levels and standards of living of
the preceding generations" (p. 522).
Eggebeen and Hawkins (1990) found that many mothers were
labor force not so much to provide basic family needs but to provide a
higher standard of living. According to these researchers, "when
married mothers cite economic motives for their employment outside the
home, they are referring to standard-of-living preferences rather than
basic economic necessities" (p. 54). As a consequence, couples no
longer appear to be merely trying to "shelter the family" but trying
to satisfy esteem needs by obtaining higher social status.
When buying a home, renting an apartment, or leasing a
condo, the most
important question to consider is "What is sufficient?" Being able to
answer this question is essential to being able to satisfy
physiological safety needs as well as psychological safety needs.
"What is enough house?" . . . "enough money?". . . "enough security?"
Many people become preoccupied with attempts to gain a
security through acquiring material possessions--land, money, and
other "things." Others seek security by attempting to perpetuate a
particular socioeconomic way of life. In most cases, families try to
achieve a sense of permanence. But because land can be lost, money can
be stolen, and socioeconomic positions can be precarious, some
feelings of insecurity will usually persist.
Notice, however, that married couples are most often trying
a feeling of security rather than actual security. As a consequence,
it is often a very fine line between providing what is needed to
satisfy a couple's physiological safety needs and what is required to
satisfy their psychological safety needs.
One of the primary distinctions between physiological safety
psychological safety is that physiological safety deals mainly with
external threat, whereas psychological safety deals mostly with
internal threat. Internal threats are, for the most part,
self-generated, most often from a "what if" world manufactured by each
member of the family. What if I lose my job? What if I cants keep up
the payments? What if I don't get the raise? Even though most of these
fears will never be realized, the stress from the worry is very real.
Satisfying safety needs depends a great deal on a couple's
deal with the world as it is and not with how it might be. Life offers
few guarantees; therefore, security is most likely to be found in the
knowledge that one will never be totally secure. To cope effectively
with the unexpected, it is more advantageous to develop greater
self-confidenec and flexibility to deal with what does happen in life
rather than focusing on attempts at controlling what might happen in
COPING WITH STRESS
In Reality Therapy, Glasser (1965) proposed that if a person
something and can do something about it, he or she should do it. If
not, forget it. Glasser appeared to advocate that clients act
responsibly to effectively satisfy their safety needs. This means that
if a major source of stress is the fear that creditors will find out
that a spouse has been laid off from work, then call the creditors and
tell them of the situation. Ask the question "What is the worst thing
that could happen?" If a couple feels that they could cope with the
worst that could happen, then why fear it? If they do not think they
could cope, then there is a need to develop greater self-confidence.
In some cases, it is helpful to recall how effectively they have coped
with difficult challenges in the past.
Having couples develop an accurate perception of their
weaknesses is crucial to achieving sufficiency within the
psychological area of the safety needs. As mentioned earlier, the
primary objective in satisfying safety needs is to have each
individual come to know whether or not his or her fears arc real or
imagined and to learn how to cope with them effectively. Keep in mind
that a sense of safety will come from confidence in being able to deal
with one's fears, not in denying them. In many cases, some of the
greatest financial threats to the family are those that are
self-generated. Therefore, in order for family members to stop
generating fear, he or she must become aware of the internal threats
that create these fears, such as feelings of inferiority and
inadequacy and of being unlovable. Once they feel reasonably secure in
these areas as well as the other areas associated with the safety
needs, they arc ready to expand into Level 3, love and belonging
LEVEL 3: LOVE AND BELONGING NEEDS
To meet one's love needs, a person must first feel safe
enough to love
without demanding reciprocation. If an individual loves someone and
that person rejects this love or fails to love back, that person
has--tragically-- missed an opportunity to experience being loved.
Unfortunately, in many marriages, love is seen as a commodity
be bought, sold, and exchanged for goods and services. As a
consequence, a great many marriages have ended in financial disaster
due to attempts at buying love. In such instances, there is a tendency
to substitute gifts for feelings and to substitute money for time.
Busy parents, for instance, frequently go heavily into debt in an
attempt to compensate for guilt feelings associated with not being
able to spend as much time with their children. In many cases, both
the parents and the children come to believe that money and things arc
the equivalent of love. Unfortunately, this kind of situation is
likely to become more prevalent in today's world of dual-income
families, reconstituted families, and divorced or separated parents.
DUAL-IN COME CHALLENGES
Satisfying the love and belonging needs is even more difficult
the dual-income family is a dual-career family. One of the distinctions
between a dual-income family and a dual-career family is that in the
dual-income family, those employed typically view work as a source of
economic security without an organized sequence of intellectual or
promotional sequence in mind. In contrast, the person who is career
oriented views work as a developmental job sequence with clearly
formulated goals and time frames for reaching certain milestones
(Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971).
In addition, dual-career families tend to experience greater
stress than either single-wage-earner or dual-income families
(Rapoport & Rapoport, 1969, 1976). Additional sources of stress
include difficulties finding a satisfying balance between parenting
and career development, concerns about personal identity and
self-esteem, and financial jealousy between spouses. (Price-Bonham &
MANAGING THE MONIES
The two management systems most commonly used by dual-income/
families arc the shared management system and the independent
management system (Heath, 1986; McCrae, 1987; Pahl, 1983). Under the
shared management system, both partners share in the managerial tasks.
Both incomes are deposited in a joint account, and both partners
discuss allocation issues and try to arrive at a consensus for
distribution of funds. It has been found that marriages in which
partners had equal control over financial decisions, either by making
joint decisions or by agreeing to assume responsibility for specific
[asks, had the least amount of conflict (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983;
Schaninger & Buss, 1986).
The main problem associated with the shared management
system is the
element of trust, or more accurately, the lack of trust within a
relationship. Many of today's children are being raised in families in
which the parents have divorced and remarried only to divorce again.
As a consequence, there are fewer examples of trusting relationships
in which no one felt exploited. With these kinds of perspectives, it
is difficult to trust in the durability of relationships.
The blended families (stepfamilies) that result from remarriages
which one or both partners bring children from a previous relationship
have become an ever increasing part of the American way of life. Over
17% of all households with children are blended families (Glick,
1989). In interviews with couples who had remarried, researchers
asked, "What issues or concerns did you discuss before you married?"
The most frequent topic mentioned was "children from a previous
marriage," followed by "finances" (Ganong & Coleman, 1989). Because
the financial demands of a blended family are typically more complex
than in an original marriage, the problems associated with the
management of resources is correspondingly more stressful (Messinger,
1976). As a consequence, more and more individuals have developed the
belief that the only one you can really trust is yourself, and
therefore you had better play it safe when it concerns protecting your
One way of playing it safe is to use the independent management
system. In this system, each spouse deposits his or her income in
separate accounts, they agree that neither spouse shall have access to
all of the income, and specific financial obligations are assigned to
each spouse. For example, one spouse would be responsible for paying
the mortgage and the other for paying the utilities. Each spouse would
be responsible for his or her own car payments, insurance payments,
and car maintenance costs.
As a consequence of this separation of tasks and responsibilities,
however, there is a tendency to develop a "yours, mine, and ours"
attitude toward the distribution of income (Jensen & Jensen, 1981).
Unfortunately, when this attitude becomes extreme, it creates feelings
of emotional distance (Glickauf-Hughes, Hughes, & Wells, 1986). Again,
one of the more measurable outcomes of such a perspective would most
likely be divorce.
Unfortunately, more and more couples are trying to satisfy
belonging needs through consumption rather than through contribution.
However, if the truth were to be known, it is more likely that these
individuals are attempting to satisfy safety or esteem needs rather
than love and belonging needs. Should this prove to be the case, it is
important for a couple to refocus on their efforts to satisfy Level 3
by having them concentrate on relationships rather than things and on
giving rather than getting.
LEVEL 4: ESTEEM NEEDS
In attempting to achieve sufficiency at Level 4, individuals
consider both the need for self-esteem and the need for spouse esteem.
A person will most likely satisfy self-esteem needs through developing
his or her full potential. By developing individual talents, a person
becomes more capable of making contributions and therefore is more
likely to achieve a sense of significance and relevance; as a
consequence, such a person is more likely to experience a sense of
self-worth and self-respect. Spouse esteem, on the other hand, usually
comes when a person's contributions are recognized and appreciated by
his or her partner.
Crucial to achieving sound financial practices, as well
as a sense of
personal fulfillment at this level, are the couple's intentions. Are
their intentions to express their self-worth or to impress each other
with how much they think they arc worth? Self-worth is often expressed
through what a spouse can or cannot do and at what skill level. In
contrast, impressing one's spouse is often expressed through what he
or she can and cannot buy and at what price.
The need to impress others is most often found in individuals
to gain acceptance by those they perceive to be at a higher
socioeconomic level than the one they perceive themselves to be at
(note the apparent failure to achieve sufficiency in Level 3). In such
cases, couples may engage in what is commonly referred to as
"conspicuous consumption," acquiring goods and services not because
they are needed but because they are expensive or because others in
the group already have or want them. These individuals tend to see
themselves as inadequate when compared to those they see as
successful, and as a consequence, they are constantly trying to prove
themselves to others.
Again, as at the love and belonging needs level, the issue
contribution and consumption. For the insecure individual, the primary
question is "Am I earning enough?" believing that his or her spouse
will stay in the relationship only as long as the income is high
enough to make it worthwhile. The inherent problem with this
orientation is that it often becomes very difficult for a spouse to
distinguish between being valued for what kind of person he or she is
and being valued solely for what kind of income he or she can bring
in. The questions often arise about whether the couple is staying
married because of their accumulated assets or because of feelings of
affection and the quality of their relationship. If it appears that a
couple would rather not even address such a question, then Levels 2
and 3 may not have been resolved adequately.
Another source of dissatisfaction is the dependency that
have on the things that money can buy. They frequently come to believe
that their self-worth, their self-esteem, rests on the figures found
on a balance sheet rather than on the mutual respect and affection
found in an intimate relationship. Fortunately, there are many
individuals who do not adhere to the belief that people are worthwhile
only if they have lots of money; such individuals are considered to be
LEVEL 5: SELF-ACTUALIZING
As a self-actualizing couple, each spouse has grown to
realize a great
deal of his or her potential. Each will have achieved sufficiency in
the levels of physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging
needs, and esteem needs. They are now better able to be for the sake
of being and do for the sake of doing. For example, one spouse may
choose to be a sculptor because he or she wants to be a sculptor--to
sculpt for the sake of sculpting. Such a person does not work for the
purpose of winning a prize or solely to earn money but rather to
experience his or her creative abilities.
For couples who are self-actualizing, work is often perceived
medium for self-expression. They may very well earn a living, but it
is an inner satisfaction they seek rather than fame or fortune.
However, the ability to earn a living through a form of
self-expression is usually made possible only if they have truly
satisfied their lower needs; otherwise, their work may still be
dedicated to seeking tribute, recognition, or material gain.
Developing a means of self-expression is an expansion of efforts to
maintain lower-need levels and not a substitute for these efforts.
Self-actualizing people are often better able to recognize and accept
the realities of life and the fact that they will not be able to be,
do, or have everything. They therefore tend to be as efficient as
possible with their time, energy, and money in order to achieve a
balance in the allocation of their resources.
In contrast, some individuals remain preoccupied with thoughts
becoming rich and frequently indulge in daydreams about what life
would be like if they were wealthy. As a consequence, their
expectations of how much money they will make, as well as how quickly
they will make it, tend to be somewhat unrealistic. Such individuals
tend to spend money they don't have and as a consequence often incur
large debts. However, rather than facing up to the reality of the
situation, they frequently develop elaborate, and often complicated,
manipulative techniques to maintain the appearance of being able to
live at a given economic level.
Self-actualizing people are not "superpersons" but rather
capable of responsibly expressing their individuality as fully as
possible. Self-actualizing individuals are more able to accept not
only who they are being but when they are living; that is, they are
not likely to attempt to be someone they are not nor to live in the
past or too far in the future. Their budgets tend to reflect these
values. Credit is used sparingly so as to avoid an overcommitment of
today's labors to the payment of a debt resulting from yesterday's
consumption. Rather than comparing themselves to others and spending
competitively, self-actualizing couples tend to concentrate more on
self-improvement and devote their monies toward this end. Rather than
being overly involved with wishful thinking and fantasy, which often
lead to the development of unrealistic expectations and unfulfilling
life-styles, self-actualizing individuals tend to organize financial
goals so that whatever is necessary and sufficient has first priority.
It would seem paradoxical for individuals to strive to
self-actualizing while simultaneously acquiring an unserviceable debt
load or to be able to satisfy love and belonging needs while
encouraging loved ones to buy whatever they want in hope that it will
be enough to prevent them from leaving the relationship.
Self-actualizing couples are more likely to solve their financial
management problems by focusing not only on their financial needs but
on their personality needs. Applying Maslow's hierarchy of needs
permits both the temporal and emotional needs of a family to be
synthesized into one uniform, integrated approach to establishing an
effective, fulfilling pattern of behavior that applies to all aspects
of their lives.
WHERE ARE WE HEADED?
There is no doubt that the 20th century has been one of
change and in
many ways, one of progress. As to how much the American family has
progressed or benefited from this change is a matter of great debate.
At the turn of the century, in a primarily agrarian society, the needs
of the family came first in deference to the needs of the individual.
As we prepare to enter the 21st century, the needs of the individual
appear to come first in deference to the needs of the family. An
individual's worth used to be measured more by what he or she could
contribute, whereas in today's world, an evaluation of individual
worth appears to depend more on what he or she can consume. During the
20th century, we may have become a society that loves things more that
people, and as a consequence, many have come to believe that
relationships are undependable and that all we have to do is acquire
more things in order to be happy. As a counterperspective to such a
belief, l propose that we all contemplate the adage "You can never get
enough of what you don't need because what you don't need can never
satisfy you" (Poduska, in press).
Abdel-Ghany, M., & Nickols, S. (1983). Husband/wife
household work times: The case of dual-earner families. Home Economics
Research Journal, 12(2), 159-167.
Allport, G. W. (1955). Basic consideration for a psychology
personality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Berardo, D. H., Sherhan, C. L., & Leslie, G. R. (1987).
A residue of
tradition: Jobs, careers, and spouses' time in housework. Journal of
Marriage and the Family, 49, 381-390.
Blumstein, P., & Schwartz, P. (1983). American couples:
sex. New York: William Morrow. Crump, (1992). Money as a ritual
system. American Behavioral Scientist, 35, 669-677.
Eggebeen, D. J., & Hawkins, A. J. (1990). Economic
need and wives'
employment. Journal of Family Issues, 11, 48-66.
Frick, W. B. (1971). Humanistic psychology: Interviews
Murphy, and Rogers. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill.
Frick, W. B. (1982). Conceptual foundations of self-actualization:
contribution to motivation theory. Journal of Humanistic Psychology,
Ganong, L. H., &Coleman, M. (1989). Preparing for remarriage:
Anticipating the issues, seeking solutions. Family Relations, 28,
Glasser, W. (1965). Reality therapy. New York: Wiley.
Glick, P.(1989). Remarried families, step-families, and
A brief demographic profile. Family Relations, 38, 24-27.
Glickauf-Hughes, C., Hughes, G., & Wells, M. (1986).
approach to treating dual-carccr couples. American Journal of Family
Therapy, 14, 254-263.
Hanson, S. L. (1991). The economic costs and rewards of
two-parent families. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53, 622-634.
Health, D. (1986). America in perspective. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Hiller, D., & Philliber, W.(1986). The division of
contemporary marriage: Expectations, perceptions, and performance.
Social Problems, 33, 191-201.
Jensen, L., & Jensen, J. (1981). Stepping into stepparenting:
practical guide. Palo Alto, CA: R & E Research Associates.
Kamo, L. Y. (1988). Determinants of household division
Journal of Family Issues, 9, 177-200.
Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper.
Maslow, A. H. (1955). Deficiency motivation and growth
M. R. Jones (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (Vol. 3, pp.
1-30). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Mathes, E. W., & Edwards, J. (1978). An empirical test
theory of motivation. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 18, 75-77.
McCrae, S. (1987). Allocation of money in cross-class families.
Sociological Review, 35, 97-122.
Messinger, L. (1976). Remarriage between divorced people
from previous marriages: A proposal for preparation for remarriage.
Journal of Marriage and Family Counseling, 2, 193-200.
Pahl, J. (1983). The allocation of money and the structuring
inequality within marriage. Sociological Review, 31, 237-262.
Poduska, B. E. (in press). For love and money. Monterey,
Price-Bonham, S., & Murphy, D. C. (1980). Dual-career
Implications for the clinician. Journal of Marital and Family
Rapoport, R., & Rapoport, R. (1969). The dual-career
Relations, 22, 3-30.
Rapoport, R., & Rapoport, R. (1971). The dual-career
family: A variant
pattern and social change. In C. Safilios-Rothschild (Ed.), Toward a
sociology of women (pp. 216-245). Lexington, MA: Xerox College
Rapoport, R., & Rapoport, R. N. (1 976). Dual-career
reexamined. New Yok: Harper & Row
Rector, R. (1989). Fourteen myths about families and child
Harvard Journal on Legislation, 26, 517-545.
Schaninger, C. M., & Buss, W. C. (1986). A longitudinal
consumption and finance handling between happily married and divorced
couples. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 48, 129- 136.
Spitze, G., & South, S. (1985). Women's employment,
and divorce. Journal of Family Issues, 8, 307-329.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. (1989).
profile of the United States, 1989 (Series 23, No. 159). Washington,
DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Wahb, M. A., & Birdwell, L. G. (1976). Maslow reconsidered:
of research on the need hierarchy theory. Organizational Behavior and
Human Performance, 15, 212-240.
Weisskopf-Joelson, E. (1968). Meaning as an integrating
factor. In C.
Buhler & F. Massarik (Eds.), The course of human life (pp. 359-382).
New York: Springer.
Yeh, B., & Lester, D. (1987). Statewide divorce rates
participation in the labor market. Journal of Divorce, 11, 107-114.
Yeh, B., & Lester, D. (1988). Wives who work full-time
Correlates over the states of the USA. Psychological Reports, 62,
Yogev, S., & Brett, J. (1985). Perceptions of the division
housework and child care and marital satisfaction Journal of Marriage
and the Family, 47, 609-618.
By BERNARD PODUSKA Brigham Young University
Copyright of American Behavioral Scientist is the property
Publications Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to
multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's
express written permission. However, users may print, download, or
email articles for individual use.
Source: American Behavioral Scientist, Jul/Aug92, Vol. 35 Issue 6,
Item Number: 9211167432