Investigation of Social Support in Newlywed Couples as a Predictor of Relationship Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study

Ms Monica Koblik (). Investigation of Social Support in Newlywed Couples as a Predictor of Relationship Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study Professional Doctorate, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Ms Monica Koblik
Thesis Title Investigation of Social Support in Newlywed Couples as a Predictor of Relationship Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology, The University of Queensland
Institution The University of Queensland
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Dr Kim Halford
Total pages 94
Total black and white pages 94
Abstract/Summary Numerous studies have found a correlation between spousal social support and relationship satisfaction in married couples, and it has been suggested that partner social support helps couples sustain relationship satisfaction. However almost all of this research utilised cross-sectional methodology, and often relied on self-reported support that has been shown to be unreliable. One notable exception was the study of Pasch and Bradbury (1999) who found observed social support behaviours predicted three classes of future relationship satisfaction: highly satisfied, satisfied and distressed. However, there are several limitations to the Pasch and Bradbury study including the use of large numbers of predictors that inflated the Type 1 error, classifying a continuous outcome of relationship satisfaction into classes, and confounding relationship satisfaction with relationship dissolution in the distressed class. The current study was a replication and extension of the work of Pasch and Bradbury addressing these methodological shortcomings. Two-hundred and forty-one newlywed couples participated in a social support task at time 1 approximately eight weeks after they were married. Each partner discussed a personal but not relationship related issue for 5-minutes while the partner responded as they normally would. Interactions were audiotaped and coded for positive and negative social support behaviours. Couples completed a measure of relationship satisfaction five times at annual intervals. Multilevel modeling (MLM) was used to predict the trajectory (initial satisfaction and slope of linear change across time) of relationship satisfaction from the social support behaviours at time 1. Negative couple behaviours, and positive behaviours when supporting the woman, predicted the initial relationship satisfaction of both women and men. However, contrary to predictions, social support behaviours did not predict the slope of linear change of relationship satisfaction across time. These results do not support the assumption that social support has a causal impact on relationship satisfaction.

 
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Created: Wed, 24 Nov 2010, 18:31:49 EST by Ms Monica Koblik