Life events and problem-solving behavior were examined relative to longitudinal change in depressive symptoms and marital adjustment over 18 months in 60 newlywed couples. Spouses' problem-solving behavior moderated, but did not mediate, the relationship between life events and adjustment. Some behaviors contributed to spouses being more resilient to life events, and some behaviors made spouses more vulnerable. In particular, wives' anger facilitated their adjustment to major and interpersonal events such that their depressive symptoms declined and their marital satisfaction increased. Husbands' humor contributed to marital instability when spouses reported more major events. The results further specify the vulnerability-stress-adaptation model of marriage and expand on the role of behavior in marriage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science