Relationship functioning in couples has been linked to numerous health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between 1) marital functioning and sleep dimensions, 2) marital functioning and cortisol, and 3) sleep dimensions and cortisol. The sample consisted of 108 heterosexual, married couples and was part of a larger marital intervention study. As predicted, poor marital functioning was related to negative sleep outcomes. However, these effects were only significant for wives. There was also evidence to suggest that poor marital functioning was associated with increased cortisol levels in husbands. These effects were independent of age and BMI. Contrary to our hypotheses, cortisol was not linked to sleep outcomes and, therefore, not a mediator of effect between marital functioning and cortisol. However, we did find evidence to suggest that stress and depressive symptomology could mediate the association between dyadic adjustment and sleep. Together, these findings provide evidence for how marital functioning can affect both physical and psychological health.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Clark, Benjamin D., "The Impact of Relationship Functioning on Cortisol in Married Couples: A Dyadic Exploration of Sleep as a Potential Mediator" (2014). All Theses and Dissertations. 5243.