Adaptation to the family stress model of economic pressure using an actor–partner interdependence mediation model

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kiyara J. Leis (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Cheryl Buehler

Abstract: The family stress model of romantic relationships (FSM; Conger et al., 1999) is a well-established tool for examining individual and relationship processes linking economic pressure and marital well-being. Despite the large body of literature utilizing the FSM, gaps remain in our knowledge of differences in the influence of financial stress both within and across couples. Utilizing a sample of 416 different-sex, mostly White, married couples with emerging adolescent children, the current, longitudinal, study adapted the FSM in several ways. Using an actor–partner interdependence mediation model, this study examined direct and indirect spillover and crossover effects between wives’ and husbands’ economic pressure at Wave 1 (when children were in 6th grade) and both their own and their partners’ divorce proneness at Wave 4 (when children were in 9th grade). Additionally, the current study examined two potential moderators: income level (lower, middle, and higher) and work-to-family conflict level (lower and higher). In accordance with the original work conducted by Conger and colleagues, there was no evidence in the current of either spillover or crossover direct effects. Furthermore, support was found for the wives’ hypothesized spillover pathway. Wives’ W1 economic pressure was significantly associated with wives’ depressive symptoms at W2, which were associated with wives’ hostile conflict behaviors at W3 and, finally, with wives’ divorce proneness at W4. Among husbands, there were significant associations between husbands’ economic pressure at W1, husbands’ depressive symptoms at W2 and husbands’ hostile conflict behaviors at W3. However, husbands’ hostile conflict behaviors were not significantly associated with husbands’ divorce proneness at W4. Both wives’ and husbands’ hostile conflict behaviors at W3 were influenced by their partners’ depressive symptoms at W2. Additionally, income was found to significantly moderate the FSM associations. These findings suggests that economic pressure, and it’s resulting influencing on individual well-being and couples’ interaction, operate differently across both gender and income level.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
APIMeM, Communication, Divorce, Family Dynamics, Marriage
Families $x Psychological aspects
Families $x Economic aspects
Communication in families

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