An adapted version of the Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation model was used as a theoretical guide for this study, which proposes that adaptive processes exist and can moderate relationships between enduring vulnerabilities and different outcomes. Relationships of interest include the negative link between depression and marital satisfaction and the positive link between marital satisfaction and physical health. An adaptive process of interest is empathy, due to its well-researched positive impact on mental, relational, and physical health. This study examined whether perceived spousal empathy (i.e., the empathy perceived by one spouse coming from their spouse) had any moderating effects on the previously mentioned links. A clinical sample of 34 relationally distressed heterosexual couples was included in the study. Depression unexpectedly had a positive relationship with marital satisfaction and physical health. Marital satisfaction had no significant relationship with physical health. Perceived spousal empathy had no moderating effects. The clinical implications of the results are discussed.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Celestino, F. Javier, ""I Understand, Honey": Perceived Spousal Empathy's Moderating Influence on the Links Between Depression and Marital Satisfaction and Marital Satisfaction and Physical Health" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 8883.
empathy, depression, marital satisfaction, physical health, moderating effects