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Relationship satisfaction in couples confronted with colorectal cancer: the interplay of past and current spousal support.

Hagedoorn M, Dagan M, Puterman E, Hoff C, Meijerink WJ, Delongis A, Sanderman R - J Behav Med (2011)

Bottom Line: Spousal protective buffering--which involved hiding worries and fears and avoiding talking about the disease--was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction in patients, again only when past spousal support was relatively low.Over time, past spousal supportiveness was not found to mitigate the negative association between spousal protective buffering and relationship satisfaction.Overall, our results indicate that relationship satisfaction can be maintained if past spousal supportiveness is high even if the partner is currently not very responsive to the individual's needs, at least in the short-term.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. Mariet.Hagedoorn@med.umcg.nl

ABSTRACT
Based on attribution theory, this study hypthesized that past spousal supportiveness may act as a moderator of the link between one partner's current support behavior and the other partner's relationship satisfaction. A sample of 88 patients with colorectal cancer and their partners completed questionnaires approximately 3 and 9 months after diagnosis. The data were analyzed employing dyadic data analytic approaches. In the short-term, spousal active engagement--which involved discussing feelings and engaging in joint problem solving--was positively associated with relationship satisfaction in patients as well as in partners, but only when past spousal support was relatively low. Spousal protective buffering--which involved hiding worries and fears and avoiding talking about the disease--was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction in patients, again only when past spousal support was relatively low. If past spousal support was high, participants rated the quality of their relationship relatively high, regardless of their partner's current support behavior. Over time, past spousal supportiveness was not found to mitigate the negative association between spousal protective buffering and relationship satisfaction. Overall, our results indicate that relationship satisfaction can be maintained if past spousal supportiveness is high even if the partner is currently not very responsive to the individual's needs, at least in the short-term.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Association between spousal active engagement and relationship satisfaction at baseline in patients as a function of past spousal supportiveness
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Fig1: Association between spousal active engagement and relationship satisfaction at baseline in patients as a function of past spousal supportiveness

Mentions: The first analysis revealed main effects for active engagement and past spousal supportiveness. Specifically, patients as well as partners who reported more spousal active engagement, Bpatients = 0.42, SE = 0.14, t(164) = 3.00, P = .004, ES r = .23 and Bpartners = 0.50, SE = 0.16, t(164) = 3.22, P = .002, ES r = .29, and more past spousal supportiveness, Bpatients = 0.87, SE = 0.27, t(164) = 3.26, P = .002, ES r = .25 and Bpartners = 0.81, SE = 0.16, t(164) = 5.03, P < .001, ES r = .37, were more satisfied with their relationships (see Table 2). Importantly, these main effects were qualified by a two-way interaction between spousal active engagement and past spousal supportiveness, Bpatients = −0.86, SE = 0.35, t(164) = −2.50, P = .014, ES r = .19 and Bpartners = −0.47, SE = 0.20, t(164) = −2.35, P = .020, ES r = .18. To better understand these interactions, we calculated the simple slopes for the associations between spousal active engagement and relationship satisfaction at two levels of past spousal supportiveness (i.e., ±1 standard deviation from its mean) for patients and partners, separately. As depicted in Fig. 1, spousal active engagement was associated with greater relationship satisfaction in patients if past spousal supportiveness was relatively low, B = 0.88, SE = 0.28, t(164) = 3.14, P = .002. This association was not significant if spousal active engagement was relatively high, B = −0.03, SE = 0.17, t(164) = −0.17, P = 0.867. In other words, especially the combination of low levels of spousal active engagement and low past spousal supportiveness was associated with relatively low levels of relationship satisfaction. The same pattern was found for partners, that is spousal active engagement was associated with greater relationship satisfaction in partners if past spousal supportiveness was relatively low, B = 0.75, SE = 0.20, t(164) = 3.71, P < .001. This association was not significant if spousal active engagement was relatively high, B = 0.26, SE = 0.17, t(164) = 1.49, P = 0.139.Table 2


Relationship satisfaction in couples confronted with colorectal cancer: the interplay of past and current spousal support.

Hagedoorn M, Dagan M, Puterman E, Hoff C, Meijerink WJ, Delongis A, Sanderman R - J Behav Med (2011)

Association between spousal active engagement and relationship satisfaction at baseline in patients as a function of past spousal supportiveness
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3141841&req=5

Fig1: Association between spousal active engagement and relationship satisfaction at baseline in patients as a function of past spousal supportiveness
Mentions: The first analysis revealed main effects for active engagement and past spousal supportiveness. Specifically, patients as well as partners who reported more spousal active engagement, Bpatients = 0.42, SE = 0.14, t(164) = 3.00, P = .004, ES r = .23 and Bpartners = 0.50, SE = 0.16, t(164) = 3.22, P = .002, ES r = .29, and more past spousal supportiveness, Bpatients = 0.87, SE = 0.27, t(164) = 3.26, P = .002, ES r = .25 and Bpartners = 0.81, SE = 0.16, t(164) = 5.03, P < .001, ES r = .37, were more satisfied with their relationships (see Table 2). Importantly, these main effects were qualified by a two-way interaction between spousal active engagement and past spousal supportiveness, Bpatients = −0.86, SE = 0.35, t(164) = −2.50, P = .014, ES r = .19 and Bpartners = −0.47, SE = 0.20, t(164) = −2.35, P = .020, ES r = .18. To better understand these interactions, we calculated the simple slopes for the associations between spousal active engagement and relationship satisfaction at two levels of past spousal supportiveness (i.e., ±1 standard deviation from its mean) for patients and partners, separately. As depicted in Fig. 1, spousal active engagement was associated with greater relationship satisfaction in patients if past spousal supportiveness was relatively low, B = 0.88, SE = 0.28, t(164) = 3.14, P = .002. This association was not significant if spousal active engagement was relatively high, B = −0.03, SE = 0.17, t(164) = −0.17, P = 0.867. In other words, especially the combination of low levels of spousal active engagement and low past spousal supportiveness was associated with relatively low levels of relationship satisfaction. The same pattern was found for partners, that is spousal active engagement was associated with greater relationship satisfaction in partners if past spousal supportiveness was relatively low, B = 0.75, SE = 0.20, t(164) = 3.71, P < .001. This association was not significant if spousal active engagement was relatively high, B = 0.26, SE = 0.17, t(164) = 1.49, P = 0.139.Table 2

Bottom Line: Spousal protective buffering--which involved hiding worries and fears and avoiding talking about the disease--was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction in patients, again only when past spousal support was relatively low.Over time, past spousal supportiveness was not found to mitigate the negative association between spousal protective buffering and relationship satisfaction.Overall, our results indicate that relationship satisfaction can be maintained if past spousal supportiveness is high even if the partner is currently not very responsive to the individual's needs, at least in the short-term.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. Mariet.Hagedoorn@med.umcg.nl

ABSTRACT
Based on attribution theory, this study hypthesized that past spousal supportiveness may act as a moderator of the link between one partner's current support behavior and the other partner's relationship satisfaction. A sample of 88 patients with colorectal cancer and their partners completed questionnaires approximately 3 and 9 months after diagnosis. The data were analyzed employing dyadic data analytic approaches. In the short-term, spousal active engagement--which involved discussing feelings and engaging in joint problem solving--was positively associated with relationship satisfaction in patients as well as in partners, but only when past spousal support was relatively low. Spousal protective buffering--which involved hiding worries and fears and avoiding talking about the disease--was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction in patients, again only when past spousal support was relatively low. If past spousal support was high, participants rated the quality of their relationship relatively high, regardless of their partner's current support behavior. Over time, past spousal supportiveness was not found to mitigate the negative association between spousal protective buffering and relationship satisfaction. Overall, our results indicate that relationship satisfaction can be maintained if past spousal supportiveness is high even if the partner is currently not very responsive to the individual's needs, at least in the short-term.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus