Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Lorne Campbell


Women’s marital surname change was investigated as a potential marital commitment signal, and strategy for enhancing investment from in-laws and husband.

Hyphenating or keeping premarital surname for all U.S. destination brides marrying in Hawai'i in 2010 was significantly correlated with a women’s income measure (r = .78, p < .000) and with the analogous statistic for men (r = .64, p < .000), by bride’s state of residence. The women’s measure, only, remained significant under regression of both predictors. The interaction of state Gini and the women’s income measure in a regression including the interaction components as predictors was positively predictive (adjusted-R2 = .57). None of several other predictors suggested by previous research or related to Gini or income were significant under regression, alongside the women’s income measure. The older the bride, from any jurisdiction, marrying in Hawai'i in 2010, the more likely to hyphenate/keep premarital surname (χ2 (1) for linear trend = 1754.65, p < .000).

Among all opposite-sex couples (N = 167 couples) divorcing in a Canadian county in an 8-month period, 2013-2014, marriages the women in which underwent marital surname change lasted 60% longer, controlling for wife’s age at the time of marriage. When the woman’s marital surname change/retention was used as a regression predictor of number of children of the marriage alongside marriage duration in years, only the latter was predictive.

Brides-to-be from across especially western and central Canada (N = 184) were surveyed as to marital surname hyphenation/retention versus change (DV 1), and attitude towards such retention in general (DV 2). Among women engaged to men, the hypothesized predictors of income and number of future children desired were positively predictive of marital surname retention/hyphenation under univariate analysis. Under multiple regression analysis using these and other predictors from the literature also found to be predictive of this DV under univariate analysis, only some of these other predictors were predictive. An EFA factor score calculated from several attitude items concerning in-laws, conceptualizable as In-law avoidance motivation, was not predictive of general attitude toward or actual retention/hyphenation, contrary to prediction.