Examining the linkages between marital quality and anxiety and marital instability and anxiety: a meta-analytic review

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kaicee Beal Postler (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Arthur Anastopoulos

Abstract: The current study investigated the linkages between marital quality and anxiety and marital instability and anxiety using meta-analytic techniques. 50 studies with a total of k = 297 effects published between the years 2000 - 2019 were analyzed. Overall marital quality, which subsumes several underlying concepts, including marital behaviors, marital adjustment, marital distress, and marital satisfaction, was assessed. Additional post hoc analyses examined the association between each underlying marital quality indicator and anxiety separately. It was expected that better overall marital quality would be associated with less anxiety. Marital instability was hypothesized to be associated with more anxiety. As expected, significant associations between all marital factors and anxiety were found. Higher overall marital quality was associated with lower anxiety. Post hoc analyses revealed that higher positive marital behaviors (e.g., communication, intimacy), marital adjustment, and marital satisfaction were associated with lower anxiety. Similarly, lower negative marital behaviors (e.g., criticism) and marital distress were associated with lower anxiety. Finally, an association between experiences of marital instability (i.e., divorce or separation) and higher anxiety was found. Additional moderating variables, including study design, direction of longitudinal associations, gender, operationalization of anxiety, treatment of the marital quality factor, type of marriage, sample location, and the use of control variables were examined. Implications of this research and directions for future research were discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Anxiety, Divorce, Marital instability, Marital quality
Marital quality
Marital conflict

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