Anxiety Disorders and Intimate Relationships: A Study of Daily Processes in Couples

Department of Psychology, Temple University, USA.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.86). 02/2010; 119(1):163-73. DOI: 10.1037/a0018473
Source: PubMed


Although adults with anxiety disorders often report interpersonal distress, the degree to which anxiety is linked to the quality of close relationships remains unclear. The authors examined the relational impact of anxiety by sampling the daily mood and relationship quality of 33 couples in which the wife was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Use of a daily process design improved on prior methodologies by capturing relational processes closer to their actual occurrence and in the setting of the diagnosed partner's anxiety. Analyses revealed significant associations between wives' daily anxiety and both partners' perceptions of relationship quality. Associations were moderated by anxiety-specific support. Results also indicated significant concordance between wives' daily anxiety and husbands' distress. Concordance was stronger for husbands who reported frequent accommodation of wives' anxiety symptoms. Findings are discussed in the context of existing evidence on the social costs of anxiety disorders.

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