The role of stress on close relationships and marital satisfaction

Ashley K. Randall, Guy Bodenmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

222 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stress is a concept that has received increased attention in marital research during the last decade, showing that it plays an important role in understanding the quality and stability of close relationships. Evidence suggests that stress is a threat to marital satisfaction and its longevity. Research has been based upon theoretical models of stress in close relationships, specifically family stress models [e.g., Hill, R. (1958). Generic features of families under stress. Social Casework, 39, 139-150.; McCubbin, H. I., & Patterson, J. M. (1983). Family transitions: Adaptation to stress. In H. I. McCubbin & C. R. Figley (Eds.), Stress and the family: Coping with normative transitions (Vol. 2, pp. 5-25). New York: Brunner/Mazel] and couple's stress model's proposed by Karney, Story, and Bradbury [Karney, B. R., Story, L. B., & Bradbury, T. N. (2005). Marriages in context: Interactions between chronic an acute stress among newlyweds. In T. A. Revenson, K. Kayser, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: Emerging perspectives on dyadic coping (pp.13-32). American Psychological Association: Washington, D.C.] and Bodenmann [Bodenmann, G. (1995). A systemic-transactional conceptualization of stress and coping in couples. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 54, 34-49.; Bodenmann, G. (2005). Dyadic coping and its significant for marital functioning. In T. Revenson, K. Kayser, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: Emerging perspectives on dyadic coping (pp.33-50). American Psychological Association: Washington, D.C.]. In this review we: (1) examine the various theoretical models of stress, (2) analyze and summarize the typologies relating to stress models (internal versus external, major versus minor, acute versus chronic), and (3) summarize findings from stress research in couples that has practical significance and may inspire clinical work. Future directions in research and clincial significance are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Critical life events
  • Daily hassles
  • Distress
  • Marital satisfaction
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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