Drive to Marry and Social Prescription in Chinese Online Daters


  • Rense Lange
  • James Houran
  • Song Li


Individuals’ eagerness or desire to get married was investigated in a sample of online daters in China (n = 3,389) using a 6-item version of the Drive to Marry (DTM) Scale, which was modified with new questions about normative pressures to marry given the cultural emphasis on social prescription in Eastern versus Western culture. The questionnaire items conformed to a unidimensional Rasch scale with interval-level measurement, although two themes seemed inherent to DTM – positive feelings of excitement or anticipation and negative feelings of urgency or desperation. Consistent with previous theory and research, women exhibited stronger DTM than men and normative pressures resulted in greater perceived DTM. Finally, significant response biases by sex were found, indicating that men and women differ in their qualitative experience of DTM. The results offer a preliminary cross-cultural validation and perspective on DTM and expand the present conceptualization and measurement of the construct to guide future research and theory-building.