Abstract

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.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Rights

https://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2021-03-29

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd11523

Keywords

empathy, depression, marital satisfaction, physical health, moderating effects

Language

english

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