Individual functioning, individual distress, stress, relationship functioning, relationship distress, relationship satisfaction, relationships, marriage, couples, dyads, dyadic data analysis, multilevel modeling, hierarchical linear modeling, actor partner interdependence model, counseling, relationship education
Couples experiencing relationship distress often require professional help, such as counseling and couple and relationship education (CRE). Research recently discovered that among couples in counseling, a circular relationship exists between individual and relationship distress-stress begets stress. Until this study, a similar examination had not been conducted among couples selecting CRE. This study examined the relationship between individual and relationship distress among married couples that had children, were from predominantly low-income and racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and selected CRE. A correlational research design was employed and framed in the social interdependence theory. The actor-partner interdependence model was conducted within a three-level hierarchical model. The results confirmed that a circular relationship exists between individual and relationship distress-distress begets distress. Within the circular model of individual and relational functioning, personal individual distress predicted partner individual distress as well as personal and partner relationship distress, and personal relationship distress predicted personal individual distress and partner relationship distress. The extent to which distress begot distress was stronger among women, those with low income, and those who were unemployed. The results also revealed a continuum of individual and relational functioning. Dyad members interact along a continuum from intrapersonal individual functioning to interpersonal relational functioning. The continua meet at the nexus of negotiation or the heart of interpersonal interaction, where dyad members communicate and make decisions, among other actions. Implications related to the findings of this study as well as inspirations for future research are discussed.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Education; Counselor Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Education;Education -- Dissertations, Academic
Munyon, Matthew D., "The Relationship Between Married Partners' Individual and Relationship Distress: An Actor-Partner Analysis of Low-income, Racially and Ethnically Diverse Couples in Relationship Education" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4674.