Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Pa Der Vang, Ph.D., LICSW


Social Work


The current study looked to understand the relationship between marriage and poverty from a male perspective. Previous research identified a number of barriers to marriage of those in poverty, with an emphasis on a female perspective. Previous research also found that there is a desire to marry amongst women who have experienced poverty, however many do not because of the lack of quality, marriage-ready candidates. The current research sought to fill this gap through better understanding men’s experience of marriage and poverty. Data was collected through a qualitative design by interviewing 13 men who had experienced poverty and had been married. The data was analyzed through open coding and organized around grounded categories.

Findings included factors that led to the decision to get married, characteristics of the positive and negative qualities of the marriage, and how poverty affected the marriage relationship. The current study examined internal processes of what led to the decision to get married and found the most identified reason was feelings of love, like, and adoration. The positive attribute mentioned by most participants was companionship and a good quality of marriage. The negative attributes mentioned by most participants was a breakdown in relational dynamics and differences between husband and wife. Participants reported both a positive impact of poverty on marriage and a negative impact of poverty on marriage. Participants discussed how poverty brought them closer together, but also how poverty caused strain on the relationship and created arguments. Strengths, limitations, and implications of the current study were also explored.

Included in

Social Work Commons