When “We” Are Stressed: A Dyadic Approach to Coping with Stressful Events


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Series: Psychology Research Progress
BISAC: PSY013000

The couple, from its formation and throughout its life cycle, is faced with several sources of stress, from daily stressors (minor stress; e.g., everyday family demands, neighborhood hassles, etc.) to critical transitions (major stress; e.g., the transition to parenthood, divorce, illness, etc.). Although in the past stress and coping were considered as mere individual processes, it is now well recognized that, when the stress and coping processes unfold within the couple relationship, a dyadic approach to both stress and coping is essential. Stress can impact both partners at the same time (e.g., financial strain) or only one member of the couple.

Nonetheless, even when only one individual is experiencing stress within a couple and communicates such stress to the partner, in fact, both partners are affected by the stressful circumstance and the stress can be considered dyadic (though indirectly). Coping strategies as well could be carried out both at the individual level (e.g., individual coping) and at the dyadic level (e.g., dyadic coping). Specifically, dyadic coping is conceptualized as the interpersonal process of managing stressful events as a couple with the purpose of restoring the individual’s well-being as well as the couple’s relationship quality.

The present book is a collection of theoretical and empirical chapters focused on the relevance of a dyadic approach to couples coping with stress. A dyadic perspective is evident in both the conceptualization of stress and coping as well as in the methodology (e.g., dyadic research design and dyadic analytical methods) presented in the different chapters.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section is focused on some of the most recent theoretical and methodological issues in couples’ coping. The second section of the book comprises three chapters on how a dyadic approach can be adopted to study couples dealing with daily stressors and family transitions. The third section of the book comprises two chapters adopting a dyadic approach to the study of couples coping with illness. Finally, the fourth section of the book includes three chapters presenting dyadic interventions aimed at helping partners cope together more efficiently.

Highlights include:
-How couples cope with different stressors
-New trends in dyadic coping research
-A description of intervention programs for couples dealing with stress
The book is an ideal source of reference for relationship researchers, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and advanced students who work with couples dealing with stress.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. New Perspectives on Dynamics of Dyadic Coping
(Lorena Leuchtmann and Guy Bodenmann, University of Zurich, Zurich, CH, Switzerland)

Chapter 2. The Puzzle of Support Mobilization and Well-Being: Potential Mechanisms and Methodological Considerations
(Jessie Pow and Anita DeLongis, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada)

Chapter 3. Through Thick and Thin: Perceived Partner Responses to Negative and Positive Events
(Silvia Donato, Ariela Francesca Pagani, Miriam Parise, Anna Bertoni and Raffaella Iafrate,Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, Italy)

Chapter 4. Becoming Parents: Examining the Role of Dyadic Coping on the Individual and Relational Adjustment of Future Mothers and their Partners
(Sara Molgora, Valentina Fenaroli, Emanuela Saita, and Chiara Acquati, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy, and others)

Chapter 5. Trust as an Antidote to the Co-Parenting Conflict in High-Conflict Divorce Relationships
(Catrin Finkenauer, Esther Kluwer, Janique Kroese, and Margreet Visser, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands, and others)

Chapter 6. Cardiac Disease-Induced PTSD: The Need for a Dyadic Perspective
(Noa Vilchinsky and Rachel Dekel, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel)

Chapter 7. Dyadic Coping in Patients with Prostate and Laryngeal Cancer and Their Partners
(Tanja Zimmermann and Sophie-Luise Rauch, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany)

Chapter 8. Development of a Psychosocial Intervention for Head and Neck Cancer Patients and Their Partners
(Hoda Badr, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA)

Chapter 9. The Elephant in the Room: Facilitating Illness-Related Communication among Couples with Advanced Cancer
(Laura S. Porter, Laura Fish, and Karen Steinhauser, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA, and others)

Chapter 10. TOGETHER: A Couple’s Model to Enhance Relationships and Economic Stability
Mariana K. Falconier, PhD, Jinhee Kim, PhD, and C. Andrew Conway, Department of Human Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA, and others)


Keywords: Dyadic approach, dyadic coping, stressful event, couple relationship, couple critical transitions, couple and illness

The book is an ideal source of reference for relationship researchers, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and advanced students who work with couples dealing with stress.

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