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A systemic-transactional conceptualization of stress and coping in couples


Bodenmann, Guy (1995). A systemic-transactional conceptualization of stress and coping in couples. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 54(1):34-49.

Abstract

Until recently, research on stress and coping has primarily focused on the individual, where we find a large body of theoretical and empirical work. On the other hand, there are far fewer empirical, and nearly no theoretical, approaches to these phenomena in couples. Stress in couples and forms of dyadic coping in a systemic view have largely been neglected as topics and have not yet attracted the attention of many psychologists. Although some models exist for family stress and family coping in regard to critical life events and transitions and thus may be applied in the context of dyadic intimate relationships as well, most of these approaches have several weaknesses: (1) Their utility concerning every day stress and daily hassles is limited. (2) Furthermore, stress and coping are seldom discussed as a systemic phenomenon, but rather as individual affairs. (3) Theoretical conceptualizations are generally rare. In this article, I will try to clarify stress and coping from a systemic and transactional point of view by proposing a new model of stress and coping processes in intimate relationships. In addition to a discussion of different forms of stress in couples, we will present a taxonomy of different coping forms: common dyadic coping, supportive dyadic coping and delegated dyadic coping. Moreover, factors determining whether dyadic coping is practiced or not will be outlined.

Abstract

Until recently, research on stress and coping has primarily focused on the individual, where we find a large body of theoretical and empirical work. On the other hand, there are far fewer empirical, and nearly no theoretical, approaches to these phenomena in couples. Stress in couples and forms of dyadic coping in a systemic view have largely been neglected as topics and have not yet attracted the attention of many psychologists. Although some models exist for family stress and family coping in regard to critical life events and transitions and thus may be applied in the context of dyadic intimate relationships as well, most of these approaches have several weaknesses: (1) Their utility concerning every day stress and daily hassles is limited. (2) Furthermore, stress and coping are seldom discussed as a systemic phenomenon, but rather as individual affairs. (3) Theoretical conceptualizations are generally rare. In this article, I will try to clarify stress and coping from a systemic and transactional point of view by proposing a new model of stress and coping processes in intimate relationships. In addition to a discussion of different forms of stress in couples, we will present a taxonomy of different coping forms: common dyadic coping, supportive dyadic coping and delegated dyadic coping. Moreover, factors determining whether dyadic coping is practiced or not will be outlined.

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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
Date:1995
Deposited On:27 Jul 2012 10:05
Last Modified:20 Feb 2018 11:55
Publisher:Hans Huber
ISSN:1421-0185
OA Status:Closed

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