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Clin Psychol Rev. 2015 Dec;42:28-46. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2015.07.002. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction: A meta-analysis.

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, United States. Electronic address:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, United States.
University of Washington, United States.
University of Zurich, Switzerland.


Meta-analytic methods were used to empirically determine the association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction. Dyadic coping is a systemic conceptualization of the processes partners use to cope with stressors, such as stress communication, individual strategies to assist the other partner cope with stress, and partners' strategies to cope together. A total of 72 independent samples from 57 reports with a combined sum of 17,856 participants were included. The aggregated standardized zero-order correlation (r) for total dyadic coping with relationship satisfaction was .45 (p=.000). Total dyadic coping strongly predicted relationship satisfaction regardless of gender, age, relationship length, education level, and nationality. Perceptions of overall dyadic coping by partner and by both partners together were stronger predictors of relationship satisfaction than perceptions of overall dyadic coping by self. Aggregated positive forms of dyadic coping were a stronger predictor of relationship satisfaction than aggregated negative forms of dyadic coping. Comparisons among dyadic coping dimensions indicated that collaborative common coping, supportive coping, and hostile/ambivalent coping were stronger predictors of relationship satisfaction than stress communication, delegated coping, protective buffering coping, and overprotection coping. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are provided.


Couple; Dyadic coping; Meta-analysis; Relationship satisfaction; Stress

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