Chronic pain is a common stressor in couples’ daily lives, but little is known about couples’ day-to-day pain concordance (i.e., agreement regarding one partner’s level of pain) and its relevance to both partners’ daily marital interaction quality. Using 22-day diaries of patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and their spouses, the current study sought to quantify the degree of daily fluctuation in both partners’ reports of patient pain, pain concordance, and marital interaction quality as well as assess the links between daily concordance and marital tension and enjoyment. Half of the variability in patient–spouse pain concordance and marital interaction quality was attributable to daily fluctuations in these experiences. Furthermore, after accounting for global marital satisfaction, on days when spouses overestimated pain, patients enjoyed marital interactions more, whereas spouses themselves experienced greater tension. Findings underscore the importance of examining pain concordance at the daily level, pain agreement’s significance for everyday marital function, and the potential challenge chronic illness poses for partners in daily life.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science