Defense Date

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Everett L. Worthington Jr.

Abstract

Cross-sectional relationships between psychological symptoms, marital quality, and stress experienced over the past week were explored using data from 310 newly married couples. Couples were recruited through newspaper ads and paid to participate. Couples were eligible if they had been married for less than six months and were not receiving therapy when they contacted the researcher. The Global Severity Index (GSI) of the Brief Symptom Inventory measured psychological symptoms. The Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) measured marital quality, and scaled ratings of 11 types of stressors experienced over the previous week measured stress. Husband and wife measures were taken of each variable and the dyad was the unit of analysis.Correlations between the six variables ranged from 0.13 to 0.60, with 12 of the 15 relationships meeting the Bonferroni-corrected significance level of 0.003. In regression analyses with both DAS and stress entered as predictors of GSI, only stress remained significant for both husbands and wives. For wives, the negative relationship between symptoms and marital quality was more evident at lower levels of stress. In regression analyses with both GSI and stress entered as predictors of DAS, only GSI remained significant for husbands, and only stress remained significant for wives. For husbands, the negative relationship between GSI and DAS was more pronounced at lower levels of stress. At high levels of stress, husband DAS was uniformly low regardless of GSI. The interaction of partner and actor effects of GSI on DAS was significant for both husbands and wives, but the interaction of partner and actor effects of DAS on GSI was not.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons

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