Rusu, P., Nussbeck, F.W., Leuchtmann, L., Bodenmann, G.. (2020). Stress, dyadic coping, and relationship satisfaction: A longitudinal study disentangling timely stable from yearly fluctuations. PLoS ONE 15: e0231133.
The aims of the present study are to analyze the associations of different forms of dyadic coping (i.e., own supportive dyadic coping = OSDC; perceived supportive dyadic coping provided by the partner = PSDC; common dyadic coping = CDC) with relationship satisfaction, and to investigate whether these effects differ depending on the amount of perceived stress. In 240 couples, the different forms of dyadic coping and stress of both partners were assessed annually across 5 measurement points. Data was analyzed by dyadic multilevel models, which allow for disentangling between-person (overall, timely stable) from within-person (yearly, time specific) variations. The results revealed that all different forms of dyadic coping enhanced overall and yearly relationship satisfaction. At the same time, relationship satisfaction depends on the amount of overall and yearly stress. Interestingly, for PSDC, we found that the more a member of the couple was supported by the partner yearly (time-specific PSDC) and the more the member was stressed overall (timely stable), the higher the member scored on relationship satisfaction. For CDC, we found that yearly CDC beyond the overall level of CDC interacted with the timely stable amount of stress. Dealing together with stress and perceiving the partner as helpful were especially beneficial for relationship satisfaction. Findings highlight the importance of addressing specific forms of dyadic coping in intervention and prevention programs for couples.