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Spousal similarity in coping and depressive symptoms over 10 years

Holahan CJ, Moos RH, Moerkbak ML, Cronkite RC, Holahan CK, Kenney BA. Spousal similarity in coping and depressive symptoms over 10 years. Journal of Family Psychology. 2007 Dec 1; 21(4):551-9.

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Following a baseline sample of 184 married couples over 10 years, the present study develops a broadened conceptualization of linkages in spouses' functioning by examining similarity in coping as well as in depressive symptoms. Consistent with hypotheses, results demonstrated (a) similarity in depressive symptoms within couples across 10 years, (b) similarity in coping within couples over 10 years, and (c) the role of coping similarity in strengthening depressive similarity between spouses. Spousal similarity in coping was evident for a composite measure of percent approach coping as well as for component measures of approach and avoidance coping. The role of coping similarity in strengthening depressive symptom similarity was observed for percent approach coping and for avoidance coping. These findings support social contextual models of psychological adjustment that emphasize the importance of dynamic interdependencies between individuals in close relationships.

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