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The Interplay of Couple’s Shared Time, Women’s Intimacy, and Intradyadic Stress


Milek, Anne; Butler, Emily A; Bodenmann, Guy (2015). The Interplay of Couple’s Shared Time, Women’s Intimacy, and Intradyadic Stress. Journal of Family Psychology, 29(6):831-842.

Abstract

Theoretically, spending time together should be central for couples to build intimacy and should be associated with less relationship stress; however, few empirical studies have examined these links. The present study used 14 days of diary data from 92 women to investigate the interplay between the amount of time they spent with their partner (shared time), intimacy, and daily stress originating inside the relationship (intradyadic stress) on a within- and between-personal level. Multilevel analyses revealed moderation patterns: For example, when women spent more time with their partners than usual on a weekday with low levels of intradyadic stress, they reported higher intimacy. These associations varied substantially between women and were weaker on the weekend or on days with high levels of intradyadic stress. At the between-person level, higher average shared time appeared to buffer the negative association between intradyadic stress and intimacy. Our results suggest that daily fluctuations in intradyadic stress, intimacy, and shared time may have different implications compared with aggregated amounts of those variables. Spending more time together on a weekday with low intimacy might be linked to more intradyadic stress, but aggregated over the long run, spending more time together may provide opportunities for stress resolution and help couples to maintain their intimacy.

Abstract

Theoretically, spending time together should be central for couples to build intimacy and should be associated with less relationship stress; however, few empirical studies have examined these links. The present study used 14 days of diary data from 92 women to investigate the interplay between the amount of time they spent with their partner (shared time), intimacy, and daily stress originating inside the relationship (intradyadic stress) on a within- and between-personal level. Multilevel analyses revealed moderation patterns: For example, when women spent more time with their partners than usual on a weekday with low levels of intradyadic stress, they reported higher intimacy. These associations varied substantially between women and were weaker on the weekend or on days with high levels of intradyadic stress. At the between-person level, higher average shared time appeared to buffer the negative association between intradyadic stress and intimacy. Our results suggest that daily fluctuations in intradyadic stress, intimacy, and shared time may have different implications compared with aggregated amounts of those variables. Spending more time together on a weekday with low intimacy might be linked to more intradyadic stress, but aggregated over the long run, spending more time together may provide opportunities for stress resolution and help couples to maintain their intimacy.

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2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPSYCH Erstautor
Date:2015
Deposited On:11 Nov 2015 10:35
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:32
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0893-3200
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000133

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