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Standing on shaky ground? Dyadic and longitudinal associations between posttraumatic stress and relationship quality postearthquake

journal contribution
posted on 01.09.2017, 00:00 authored by Emma MarshallEmma Marshall, R G Kuijer, J A Simpson, O Szepsenwol
© 2017 American Psychological Association. In the current study, we took a unique dyadic approach to examine how people's relationship quality following an earthquake was associated with their and their partner's posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and whether support exchanges in the relationship protected relationship quality in the face of this adversity. Ninety-nine heterosexual couples were studied over 4 time points for approximately 15 months following the Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquakes. The data were analyzed using moderated growthcurve modeling in an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model framework. In line with predictions, both partners' PTSS scores were associated with lower relationship quality at Time 1 (the first assessment postearthquake). These associations, however, were attenuated by more frequent provisions of support between relationship partners, especially for men, at least in the short term. The associations, however, changed across time, suggesting that coping in a relationship context post trauma is a dynamic, fluid process. These findings demonstrate the importance of adopting a dyadic perspective and examining effects across time. They also highlight the importance of examining resources within the relationship context to more fully understand how PTSS affects relationships.

History

Journal

Journal of family psychology

Volume

31

Issue

6

Pagination

721 - 733

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Location

Washington, D.C.

ISSN

0893-3200

eISSN

1939-1293

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, American Psychological Association