ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

In this study, we interpret codependency as a dysfunctional pattern of relating to others, and based on this approach, we hypothesized an association with negative forms of dyadic coping, relationship problems and life satisfaction. A total of 246 Hungarian participants (167 females, 79 males), aged 18–72 years (M = 35.3, SD = 11.6) completed our online survey including measures of codependency, dyadic coping, perceptions of relationship, and life satisfaction. In our cross-sectional research, the Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale (SF-CDS), the Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI), the Shortened Marital Stress Scale (MSS-R), and the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) were used. Correlational and pathway analyzes were applied to confirm our hypotheses. Codependency was associated with negative dyadic coping, while we found no measurable influence on positive dyadic coping. Individuals with higher codependency rated both their own and their partner’s negative dyadic coping more pronounced, while at the same time they characterized their relationships as more problematic. Structural Equation Modelling proved that codependent attitudes, along with the emergence of negative dyadic coping forms and perception of relationship problems, reduce a person’s life satisfaction. Overall, it can be stated that the more codependent the participants were, the more negative their own and partner’s behaviour was perceived in stressful situations and the more problematic their intimate relationship was found to be. Our results support the idea that codependency is a specific, largely stable attitude that determines a person’s perception and behaviour relating to others.
This content is subject to copyright. Terms and conditions apply.
Current Psychology (2023) 42:15688–15695
1 3
How codependency affects dyadic coping, relationship perception
andlife satisfaction
ZsuzsaHapp1 · ZsóaBodó‑Varga1· SzabolcsAjtonyBandi1· EnikőCsillaKiss2· LászlóNagy1· KrisztinaCsókási1
Accepted: 2 February 2022 / Published online: 23 February 2022
© The Author(s) 2022
In this study, we interpret codependency as a dysfunctional pattern of relating to others, and based on this approach, we
hypothesized an association with negative forms of dyadic coping, relationship problems and life satisfaction. A total of
246 Hungarian participants (167 females, 79 males), aged 18–72years (M = 35.3, SD = 11.6) completed our online survey
including measures of codependency, dyadic coping, perceptions of relationship, and life satisfaction. In our cross-sectional
research, the Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale (SF-CDS), the Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI), the Shortened Marital
Stress Scale (MSS-R), and the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) were used. Correlational and pathway analyzes were
applied to confirm our hypotheses. Codependency was associated with negative dyadic coping, while we found no measur-
able influence on positive dyadic coping. Individuals with higher codependency rated both their own and their partner’s
negative dyadic coping more pronounced, while at the same time they characterized their relationships as more problematic.
Structural Equation Modelling proved that codependent attitudes, along with the emergence of negative dyadic coping forms
and perception of relationship problems, reduce a person’s life satisfaction.Overall, it can be stated that the more codepend-
ent the participants were, the more negative their own and partner’s behaviour was perceived in stressful situations and the
more problematic their intimate relationship was found to be. Our results support the idea that codependency is a specific,
largely stable attitude that determines a person’s perception and behaviour relating to others.
Keywords Codependency· Dyadic coping· Relationship problems· Relationship assessment· Life satisfaction
The phenomenon of codependency was at first recognized
as a typical enabling attitude of a family member (typically
a wife or a mother) of a person suffering from chemical
dependence. The term co-dependency comes from co-chem-
ical dependency (Whitfield, 1984). According to the mod-
ern approach, codependency is not limited to relationships
affected by addictions. Over the past few decades, there
Higher level of codependency is associated with the negative
forms of dyadic coping
Codependency does not affect the perception of positive dyadic
Codependency promotes more frequent presence and/or perception
of relationship problems
Codependent pattern affects the relationship and its perception in
a specific way
* Zsuzsa Happ
Zsófia Bodó-Varga
Szabolcs Ajtony Bandi
Enikő Csilla Kiss
László Nagy
Krisztina Csókási
1 Institute ofPsychology, University ofPécs, 6 Iúság Street,
Pécs, Baranya7624, Hungary
2 Institute ofPsychology, Károli Gáspár University
oftheReformed Church inHungary, Budapest, Hungary
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
15689Current Psychology (2023) 42:15688–15695
1 3
have been growing interest in the topic of codependency;
however, there is still a lack of consensus on the definition.
The divergent approaches include the personality model
(Cermak, 1986; Fischer & Spann, 1991), the disease model
(Whitfield, 1984), the addictive love hypothesis (Peele &
Brodsky, 1975) and the interactionist model (Wright &
Wright, 1991). In the present study, we use the personality
model, which defines codependency as a dysfunctional pat-
tern of personality organisation and relating to others (Cer-
mak, 1986).Based on the personality model, Spann and Fis-
cher (1990) created the working definition of codependency,
which is the most widely used and comprehensive approach
to date. According to this working definition, codependency
is “a psychosocial condition manifested through a dysfunc-
tional pattern of relating to others. This pattern is charac-
terized by extreme focus outside of self, lack of open expres-
sion of feelings, and attempts to derive a sense of purpose
through relationships. (Spann & Fischer, 1990, p. 27). We
committed ourselves to this definition since it acknowledges
both the intrapsychic and interpersonal aspects of codepend-
ency (Cermak, 1986).
Previous studies identified correlations between code-
pendency and several intrapsychic and relational features.
Codependency was found to be correlating negatively with
self-esteem (Martsolf etal., 2000; Stafford, 2001) and inter-
personal control (Springer etal., 1998) and positively with
various psychopathological conditions, such as covert nar-
cissism (Wells etal., 2006), borderline and dependent per-
sonality disorders (Hoenigmann-Lion & Whitehead, 2007;
Knapek etal., 2017) as well as depression (Hughes-Hammer
etal., 1998).Furthermore, codependency is associated with
a wide variety of relationship problems. For example, in a
previous study, individuals with high codependency scores
reported greater difficulties in their relationships in the areas
of communication, roles, involvement, expression of emo-
tions and issues of control, values, and norms (Cullen &
Carr, 1999). Codependent wives were proved to have fewer
coping resources and less social support than non-code-
pendent wives (Bhowmick etal., 2001). Another research
reported problems of differentiation – according to Bowen’s
(1978) concept – among codependent individuals (Lampis
etal., 2017). Moreover, results revealed that differentia-
tion of self was in stronger connection with codependency
than dyadic adjustment. Amongst the dimensions of dyadic
adjustment, satisfaction and dyadic cohesion did not relate to
codependency, but positive correlation was found with affec-
tive expression (Lampis etal., 2017). Even though, as far as
we know, preceding studies did not address the relationship
between codependency and dyadic coping, data supporting
the correlation between relating concepts are available. As
Cowan etal. (1995) found, individuals with higher code-
pendency were more likely to use indirect strategies (Falbo
& Peplau, 1980) to enforce their will, in both interactive
and non-interactive forms.Furthermore, regarding positive
and negative attitudes towards the partner, codependency
showed no correlation with caring for or supporting the part-
ner, however showed positive correlation with being com-
petitive with the partner (Springer etal., 1998).
Based on Bodenmann’s theory (1995, 1997a, b), dyadic
stress is a stressful event that affects both partners in a rela-
tionship, whether directly or indirectly, and forces them to
start coping efforts. In addition to individual efforts, part-
ners also make dyadic efforts using problem-focused and
emotion-focused coping strategies, motivated by their inter-
dependence, common concerns, and common goals. Dyadic
coping does not replace the process of individual coping, but
the two coping paths function simultaneously (Bodenmann,
2000). According to the Systemic Transactional Model
(STM) (Bodenmann, 1995), which interprets the general
processes of couples’ everyday stress situations, individual
goals foster individual coping, while common goals pro-
mote dyadic coping. Dyadic coping is considered not to be
an altruistic behaviour, as the satisfaction and well-being
of the partner influences one’s satisfaction and well-being,
as well as relationship quality (Bodenmann, 1995).Dyadic
coping can take both positive and negative forms. We con-
sider the supportive, delegated and common dyadic coping
strategies to be positive. Supportive dyadic coping means
that one helps their partner to cope. In the case of com-
mon (or joint) dyadic coping, the partners work together to
find a solution. Delegated dyadic coping is usually prob-
lem-focused, for example, one of the partners performs the
task instead of the other. Negative dyadic coping strategies
include hostile, ambivalent, and superficial ways of coping.
Hostile dyadic coping includes behaviours such as ridiculing
the partner, trivializing their problems or acting distant with
them. Ambivalent dyadic coping means that although one
supports their partner but does so unwillingly and without
motivation. Superficial dyadic coping is an illusory coopera-
tion, but not real support (Bodenmann etal., 2016). Nega-
tive forms of dyadic coping were more common in a clini-
cal sample (Bodenmann, 2000).Successful dyadic coping
affects psychological and physical well-being, relationship
satisfaction (Bodenmann, 2000), life satisfaction (Gabriel
etal., 2016), and feelings of ‘we-ness’, mutual trust, inti-
macy, and connectedness (Bodenmann, 2000; Falconier &
Kuhn, 2019).Arrindell etal. (1991) found that while gender,
age, and education did not affect life satisfaction, relation-
ship status showed a clearly measurable result: those who
were married or in a relationship, were more satisfied with
their lives than single people. As mentioned earlier, success-
ful dyadic coping also promotes individuals’ relationship
satisfaction and life satisfaction (Bodenmann, 2000; Gabriel
etal., 2016). Based on these previous results, we can assume
that codependency has an effect on relationship function-
ing, and thus on dyadic coping strategies, but we do not
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
15690 Current Psychology (2023) 42:15688–15695
1 3
know any previous research explicitly testing and analyzing
the relationship between these variables.Furthermore, it is
rewarding to use the framework of dyadic coping because
it provides the opportunity to examine positive and nega-
tive dyadic coping behaviours simultaneously, as well as
the individual’s perception of their own and their partner’s
In this study, based on the theories and research results
presented above, we hypothesised that individuals’ code-
pendent functioning patterns affect negative dyadic cop-
ing as well as their perceptions of their relationships. We
hypothesised that higher level of codependency is associ-
ated with the negative forms of dyadic coping (H1) and the
perception of more relationship problems (H2), furthermore
that codependency affects life satisfaction negatively through
negative dyadic coping and the perception of the relation-
ship (H3).
The criteria of participation included a minimum age of
18years and being in an intimate relationship. Participants
were collected by convenience sampling, as many people
meet the aforementioned criteria and we did not focus on
any specific participant groups. The link to the questionnaire
package was distributed on social media sites and partici-
pants were asked to complete it online (Google Forms). Par-
ticipants were briefly informed through social media posts
and detailed information about the research was given on the
beginning page of the survey which they could read before
giving their consent. Informed consent was obtained from all
participants, by accepting the terms and conditions. Exclu-
sion criteria were being younger than 18years and not being
in an intimate relationship at the time of participating, and
there were screening questions to check the eligibility. One
participant not giving consent was automatically excluded.
The data were collected anonymously, and respondents
did not receive any rewards or payment for participation.
The research was approved by the Hungarian United Ethi-
cal Review Committee for Research in Psychology. Data
were collected from October 2019 to June 2020. Participants
completed each questionnaire once. They were asked about
their age, education, and the type and duration of their exist-
ing intimate relationship. 246 Hungarian participants (167
females, 79 males), aged 18–72years (M = 35.3, SD = 11.6)
completed the questionnaires. 123 of them had higher edu-
cation, 107 of them had secondary level education and 16
of them had only primary level education. At the time of
completing the questionnaires, 95 people were married or
lived in a registered partnership, 86 people were living with
a partner, 50 people were in a committed relationship but
living in separate households, and 15 people were in a non-
committed relationship. 95 of the participants had lived in
a relationship lasting 1–5years, 67 of them 6–15years, and
56 more than 15years, with only 15 reporting a relationship
lasting less than a year.
Spann‑Fischer Codependency Scale (SF‑CDS)
The SF-CDS (Fischer & Spann, 1991; Hungarian adoption
is in progress) is a unidimensional self-report instrument
for measuring codependency. The questionnaire contains
16 items and uses a 6-point Likert scale. Items relate to the
person’s attitude towards self and others, e.g. “I seem to have
relationships where I am always there for them but they are
rarely there for me.” The higher the score on the scale, the
higher the degree of codependency. In the present sample
the Cronbach’s alpha was 0.79.
Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI)
The DCI contains 37 items (Bodenmann, 2008; Hungarian
adaptation: Martos etal., 2012), and uses a 5-point Lik-
ert scale. Items relate to handling stressful situations in the
existing intimate relationship of the person, e.g. “I try to
analyze the situation together with my partner in an objec-
tive manner and help him/her to understand and change the
problem”, “I provide support, but do it so unwillingly and
unmotivated because I think that he/she should cope with
his/her problems on his/her own”, or “We help one another
to put the problem in perspective and see it in a new light.
The instrument includes nine subscales and five combined
scales. The subscales are the following: Stress Communica-
tion by Oneself (SCO), Supporting Dyadic Coping by One-
self (SDCO), Delegated Dyadic Coping by Oneself (DDCO),
Negative Dyadic Coping by Oneself (NDCO), Stress Com-
munication by Partner (SCP), Supporting Dyadic Coping
by Partner (SDCP), Delegated Dyadic Coping by Partner
(DDCP), Negative Dyadic Coping by Partner (NDCP), and
Common Dyadic Coping (GDC). The present research dis-
cusses the Negative Dyadic Coping by Oneself (NDCO) and
Negative Dyadic Coping by Partner (NDCP) subscales, and
the DCI Common Negative Dyadic Coping (NDCtot) com-
bined scale which is a summary of the NDCO and NDCP
subscales. For the subscales discussed, the higher score the
participants reach, the more often they perceive negative
dyadic forms of coping (hostile, ambivalent, superficial
dyadic coping) as characteristics of themselves (NDCO),
their partners (NDCP), and their relationships (NDCtot).
The Cronbach’s alphaof the Dyadic Coping Scale (DCItot,
35 items) was 0.94, while that of the discussed subscales
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
15691Current Psychology (2023) 42:15688–15695
1 3
were 0.72 (NDCO) and 0.80 (NDCP), and that of the NDC-
tot combined scale was 0.81.
Shortened Marital Stress Scale (MSS)
We used 15 items from the MSS (Orth-Gomér etal., 1997;
Hungarian adaptation: Balog etal., 2006); the 2 items
that apply only to patients with coronary disease had been
removed. Respondents had to give yes or no answers. The
Cronbach’s alpha was 0.75 for the shortened scale. The MSS
Problem factor we are discussing contains 4 items, and its
Cronbach’s alpha was 0.71. Items of this factor relate to the
problematic nature of the intimate relationship, e.g. “Have
you had serious problems in the relationship with your
spouse currently?” The more times participants responded
yes to the Problem factor questions, the more they rated their
current intimate relationship as problematic. Other factors of
the MSS scale are Love and Trust, Sexuality, and Personal
Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS)
The SWLS (Diener etal., 1985; Hungarian adaptation: Mar-
tos etal., 2014) contains 5 items, and uses a 7-point Likert
scale. Items refer to the perception of life as being satisfy-
ing, e.g. “If I could live my life over, I would change almost
nothing.” A higher score on the scale indicates a higher level
of satisfaction with one’s life. The Cronbach’s alpha of the
SWLS was 0.83 in the present study.
Data Analysis
To test our hypotheses, we performed correlation analyses
using jamovi, a statistical spreadsheet, version for
macOS (The Jamovi Project, 2020). Structural Equation
Modelling was performed using another statistical software
program named JASP, version 0.14 for macOS (JASP Team,
2020). To evaluate model fit, we used the chi-square, the
comparative fit index (CFI), the Tucker–Lewis index (TLI),
and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA).
As acceptance criteria, the following were examined: a
chi-square to df ratio (χ2/df) lower than 3.0, CFI and TLI
values equal to or greater than 0.95 (Hu & Bentler, 1998),
and RMSEA value equal to or lower than 0.08 (Browne &
Cudeck, 1992).
Correlations between Codependency (CD) and subscales
of Dyadic Coping Inventory including Negative Dyadic
Coping by Oneself (NDCO), and Negative Dyadic Coping
by Partner (NDCP) (see Table1) were significant, as we
had hypothesised. These two subscales (NDCO & NDCP)
together form the DCI Common Negative Dyadic Coping
(NDCtot) summary scale. For better manageability we use
this variable (NDCtot) in further discussion. Codependency
showed a strong positive correlation with the MSS Problem
factor and was negatively correlated with life satisfaction. As
shown in Table1, both the negative dyadic coping variables
and the MSS Problem factor were negatively correlated with
life satisfaction. Codependency did not show a significant
correlation with any of the positive subscales of dyadic cop-
ing, nor with the other factors of the MSS scale.
Thus, hypotheses H1 and H2 were confirmed. We
examined hypothesis H3 by structural equation modelling
(SEM). We first assumed and examined a model in which
codependency influences negative dyadic coping, which
affects satisfaction with life through MSS Problem factor
(CD – > NDCtot – > MSS Problem – > SWLS), but the fit of
this model did not prove to be adequate (see Table2).There-
fore, according to Modification Indices, we considered the
direct relationships between the perception of codependency
and the problematic nature of the relationship, as well as
Table 1 Significant correlations between Codependency, Nega-
tive Dyadic Coping by Oneself, Negative Dyadic Coping by Part-
ner, Common Negative Dyadic Coping, Problem Scale, and Life
Satisfaction. CD = Codependency, NDCO = Negative Dyadic Cop-
ing by Oneself, NDCP = Negative Dyadic Coping by Partner,
NDCtot = Common Negative Dyadic Coping (NDCO&NDCP),
MSS Problem = Problem Scale of Shortened Marital Stress Scale,
SWLS = Satisfaction With Life Scale; ***p < 0.001
Correlations Codependency (CD) Negative Dyadic
Coping by Oneself
Negative Dyadic
Coping by Partner
Common Nega-
tive Dyadic Coping
Problem Scale
(MSS Prob-
Negative Dyadic Coping by
Oneself (NDCO)
0.304*** -
Negative Dyadic Coping by
Partner (NDCP)
0.298*** 0.531*** -
Common Negative Dyadic
Coping (NDCtot)
0.351*** -
Problem Scale (MSS Problem) 0.705*** 0.326*** 0.321*** 0.370*** -
Life Satisfaction (SWLS) -0.272*** -0.229*** -0.390*** -0.369*** -0.313***
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
15692 Current Psychology (2023) 42:15688–15695
1 3
between common negative coping and life satisfaction. The
modified model (Fig.1) proved to be appropriate (Table2).
The test yielded a good model fit (Χ2(1) = 2.125, p = 0.145,
TLI = 0.973, CFI = 0.996, RMSEA = 0.068, 90%CI = [0.00
– 0.2], SRMR = 0.019). The AIC and BIC values were lower
in this model, confirming a better model fit also.
The explanatory power of the model continuously
increases up to the MSS Problem variable, and then
decreases when the SWLS is reached. This result is inter-
preted in the discussion.
The statistical analysis confirmed our hypothesis that code-
pendent pattern affects the functioning of the relationship
and its perception in a specific way. As seen in the results,
codependency was not associated with the perception of
positive forms of dyadic coping (common, supportive and
delegated coping) in their relationships. Therefore, it can be
assumed that individuals with higher codependency utilize
positive forms of dyadic coping, and perceive such posi-
tive forms of coping in their partners, in the same way as
less codependent people. This result meets the results of
Springer etal. (1998) according to which codependency
was not correlated with supporting the partner. Low self-
esteem (Martsolf etal., 2000; Stafford, 2001) may encourage
codependent people committing to positive dyadic coping
forms because of getting positive external confirmation. We
also found that people with higher codependency tended
to rate their own and their partners’ negative dyadic cop-
ing (ambivalent, superficial and hostile) more pronounced.
Thus, codependency as a specificpattern of relating to oth-
ersamplifies the problems in the intimate relationship, with-
out affecting the positive forms of cooperation. We can find
logical explanations for these results referring to personality
psychology theories and the Family Systems Theory (Kerr
& Bowen, 1988). Regarding the etiology of codependency
several empirical data suggest that the major factor in the
background of codependency is a dysfunctional family of
origin (eg: Prest & Protinsky, 1993; Cullen & Carr, 1999;
Fuller & Warner, 2000). According to Family Systems
Theory, dysfunctional relationship patterns are transmitted
in an intergenerational way (Kerr & Bowen, 1988). Dur-
ing their childhood codependent people – as a reaction to
the dysfunctional family functioning – learned to adapt to
these dysfunctional family dynamics (Prest & Protinsky,
1993) and learned to cope in maladaptive ways to maintain
the –pathological – balance. Growing up, these dysfunc-
tional patterns are carried on into their intimate relationships
affecting relationship functioning, including dyadic coping.
Results draw the attention to the specific functioning of
codependent individuals, confirming that they are sensitive
to negative feedback and susceptible to experiencing anxiety
and vulnerability. The negative dyadic coping behaviours
described in our results can be considered as efforts aimed
solely at maintaining the relationship (ambivalent coping)
or ways of exercising power indirectly (Cowan etal., 1995),
competing their partners (Springer etal., 1998) as well as
responding to the person’s own feelings of vulnerability
(hostile coping and superficial coping). Thus, codepend-
ence causes the person's own negative behaviour in dyadic
coping situations, which may be a way of strengthening the
feeling of control.
This is also confirmed by the results that codepend-
ency has a significant direct influence on perceiving one’s
relationship as problematic. According to the Family Sys-
tems Theory (Kerr & Bowen, 1988), this can be explained
by growing up in a family environment where problems
were present as a norm and coping situations were laden
with conflicts. As Kerr and Bowen (1988) found, indi-
viduals with less differentiated self – which is associated
Table 2 Fit indices of the two
proposed models χ2df χ2/df CFI TLI RMSEA 90% CI AIC BIC
Model 1 161.78 3.000 53.93 0.367 -0.266 0.464 [0.425 – 0.526] 4385.939 4406.971
Model 2 2.125 1.000 2.125 0.996 0.973 0.068 [0.000 – 0.200] 4230.284 4258.327
MSS Problem
0.117* -0.208**
Fig.1 Model 2. Direct and indirect pathways between Codependency,
Common Negative Dyadic Coping, Problems, and Life Satisfaction.
CD = Codependency, NDCtot = Common Negative Dyadic Cop-
ing (NDCO&NDCP), MSS Problem = Problem Scale of Shortened
Marital Stress Scale, SWLS = Satisfaction With Life Scale; *p < 0.05;
**p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
15693Current Psychology (2023) 42:15688–15695
1 3
with higher codependency – are more likely to experience
relational anxiety and function less effectively in stressful
situations. In the present study, we did not examine how
often and to what extent participants experience stress in
their relationships, however, considering the cited research
results it is also possible that individuals with higher code-
pendency tend to evaluate several situations as stressful
events that others do not. We may also assume that code-
pendent people are indeed facing many relationship prob-
lems because they have a distinctive pattern for choosing
a partner with problematic behaviour—but in the present
research the problematic behaviour of the partner was not
examined. We reported no correlations between codepend-
ency and other factors of MSS (Love-Trust, Sexuality, and
Personal Identity), which reaffirms our results that code-
pendency has no measurableeffect on the perception of
positive relationship functioning. Nevertheless, methodo-
logical issues could also contribute to this result: namely,
that Personal Identity and Sexuality factors include only
two items.
Our model’s explanatory power decreased when SWLS
was included, since life satisfaction is also influenced by
several other factors, such as health status, self-confidence,
neuroticism, well-being (Arrindell etal., 1999), optimism, or
anxiety (Hinz etal., 2018). The negative correlation between
codependency and life satisfaction may also be affected by
characteristics that appear in a person’s other (not intimate)
relationship. Negative dyadic coping perceived from the
partner showed a stronger correlation with life satisfaction
than the own negative dyadic coping. Accordingly, the part-
ner's behaviour and cooperation have stronger effect on life
satisfaction compared to that of one’s own. This result is
firmly consistent with the definition of codependency, which
states that codependent persons are characterized by extreme
focus outside of self and they attempt to derive a sense of
purpose through relationships (Spann & Fischer, 1990).
To sum up, codependency as a dysfunctional pattern of
relating to others plays an important role in one’s relation-
ship functioning, thus also in dyadic coping, influencing the
perception of dyadic coping behaviour in a specific way.
Our results suggest that both in terms of couples’ behaviour
and the quality of the relationship codependency promotes
more frequent presence and/or perception of problems. On
the other hand, codependency has no effect on the positive
dyadic coping behaviours. Results support the theory that
codependency is a specific, largely stable attitude that deter-
mines a person’s perception and behavior relating to others.
Results can be applied in clinical practice, both in indi-
vidual and couples’ therapy. Recognition of the codepend-
ent attitude can help the client to explore and interpret the
characteristic patterns related to it, which gives the client
the opportunity to recognize the consequences of their own
behaviour and change their behavioural habits.
The study had also some limitations. Because of conveni-
ence sampling method, a large number of the participants
were women with higher level of education which limits
the generalizability of our results. The study was based on
self-report measures that may have been open to response
bias. Considering the gender differences in dyadic coping
behaviours (e.g. Hilpert etal., 2016; Martos etal., 2012)
future studies are needed to address gender differences in
the relationship between codependency, dyadic coping and
marital stress. Also codependency and dyadic coping could
be examined for dyads, which would also allow the explora-
tion of actor-partner effects (Kenny, 1996).
Authors' Contributions All authors contributed to the study conception
and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were
performed by Zsuzsa Happ, Zsófia Bodó-Varga, and Krisztina Csókási.
The first draft of the manuscript was written by Zsuzsa Happ and all
authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors
read and approved the final manuscript.
Funding Open access funding provided by University of Pécs.
Availability of Data and Material All data and materials as well as soft-
ware application comply with field standards.
Code Availability Not applicable.
Conflicts of Interest/Competing Interests The authors have no relevant
financial or non-financial interests to disclose.
Additional Declarations for Articles in Life Science Journals that Report
the Results of Studies Involving Humans and/or Animals Not appli-
Ethics Approval This study was performed in line with the principles
of the Declaration of Helsinki. The research was approved by the Hun-
garian United Ethical Review Committee for Research in Psychology
(16/12/2019; Nr. 2019–115). The data were collected anonymously,
and respondents did not receive any rewards or payment for participa-
Consent to Participate Informed consent was obtained from all indi-
vidual participants included in the study.
Consent for Publication There is no personal data or identifying infor-
mation in the study.
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri-
bution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adapta-
tion, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long
as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source,
provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes
were made. The images or other third party material in this article are
included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated
otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in
the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not
permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
15694 Current Psychology (2023) 42:15688–15695
1 3
need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a
copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/.
Arrindell, W. A., Meeuweesen, L., & Huyse, F. J. (1991). The Sat-
isfaction With Life Scale (SWLS): Psychometric properties in
non-psychiatric medical outpatients sample. Personality and
Individual Differences, 12(2), 117–123. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/
0191- 8869(91) 90094-R
Arrindell, W. A., Heesink, J., & Feij, J. A. (1999). The Satisfaction
With Life Scale (SWLS): Appraisal with 1700 healthy young
adults in The Netherlands. Personality and Individual Differences,
26, 815–826. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/ S0191- 8869(98) 00180-9
Balog, P., Székely, A., Szabó, G., & Kopp, M. (2006). A rövidített
házastársi stressz skála pszichometriai jellemzői. Mentálhigiéné
És Pszichoszomatika, 7(3), 193–202. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1556/
Mental. 7. 2006.3.3
Bhowmick, P., Tripathi, B. M., Jhingan, H. P., & Pandey, R. M. (2001).
Social support, coping resources and codependence in spouses of
individuals with alcohol and drug dependence. Indian Journal of
Psychiatry, 43(3), 219.
Bodenmann, G. (1995). A systemic-transactional conceptualization
of stress and coping in couples. Swiss Journal of Psychology,
54, 34–49.
Bodenmann, G. (1997a). Dyadic coping – a systemic-transactional
view of stress and coping among couples: Theory and empirical
findings. European Review of Applied Psychology, 47, 137–140.
Bodenmann, G. (1997b). The influence of stress and coping on close
relationships: A two-year longitudinal study. Swiss Journal of
Psychology, 56, 156–164.
Bodenmann, G. (2000). Stress und Coping bei Paaren [Stress and cop-
ing in couples]. Hogrefe.
Bodenmann, G. (2008). Dyadisches Coping Inventar. Test Manual.
Huber: Bern, Switzerland.
Bodenmann, G., Randall, A.K., & Falconier, M.K. (2016). Coping
in couples: The Systemic Transactional Model (STM). In M.K.
Falconier, A.K. Randall, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping
with stress: A cross-cultural perspective (5–22). https:// doi. org/
10. 3389/ 978-2- 88963- 031-8
Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. Jason Aronson.
Cermak, T. L. (1986). Diagnostic Criteria for Codependency. Journal
of Psychoactive Drugs, 18(1), 15–20. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1080/
02791 072. 1986. 10524 475
Cowan, G., Bommersbach, M., & Curtis, S.R. (1995). Codependency,
loss of self, and power. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 19,
Cullen, J., & Carr, A. (1999). Codependency: An empirical study from
a systemic perspective. Contemporary Family Therapy, 21(4),
505–526. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1023/A: 10216 27205 565
Diener, E., Emmons, E. R., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The
Satisfaction With Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment,
49(1), 71–75. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1207/ s1532 7752j pa4901_ 13
Falbo, T., & Q, & Peplau, L. A. (1980). Power strategies in intimate
relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38,
618–628. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1037/ 0022- 3514. 38.4. 618
Falconier, M.K. & Kuhn, R. (2019). Dyadic Coping in Couples: A
Conceptual Integration and a Review of the Empirical Literature.
In: Bodenmann, G., Falconier, M.K., Randall, A.K. (eds.) Dyadic
Coping: A Collection of Recent Studies. Lausanne: Frontiers
Media.https:// doi. org/ 10. 3389/ fpsyg. 2019. 00571
Fischer, J. L., & Spann, L. (1991). Measuring codependency. Alcohol-
ism Treatment Quarterly, 8(1), 87–100. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1300/
J020V 08N01_ 06
Fuller, J. A., & Warner, R. M. (2000). Family Stressors as Predictors
of Codependency. Genetic, Social & General Psychology Mono-
graphs, 126(1), 5–22.
Gabriel, B., Untas, U., Lavner, J., Koleck, M., & Luminet, O. (2016).
Gender typical patterns and the link between alexithymia, dyadic
coping, and psychological symptoms. Personality and Individual
Differences, 96, 266–271. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. paid. 2016. 02.
Hilpert, P., Randall, A. K., Sorokowski, P., Atkins, D. C., Sorokowska,
A., Ahmadi, K., & Yoo, G. (2016). The associations of dyadic
coping and relationship satisfaction vary between and within
nations: A 35-nation study. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1106.
https:// doi. org/ 10. 3389/ fpsyg. 2016. 01106
Hinz, A., Conrad, I., Schroeter, M. L., Glaesmer, H., Brähler, E.,
Zenger, M., Kocalevent, R.-D., & Herzberg, P. Y. (2018). Psy-
chometric properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS),
derived from a large German community sample. Quality of
Life Research, 27(6), 1661–1670. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1007/
s11136- 018- 1844-1
Hoenigmann-Lion, N. M., & Whitehead, G. I. (2007). The rela-
tionship between codependency and borderline and depend-
ent personality traits. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 24(4),
55–77. doi. org/ 10. 1300/
J020v 24n04_ 05
Hughes-Hammer, C., Martsolf, D. S., & Zeller, R. A. (1998). Depres-
sion and codependency in women. Archives of Psychiatric Nurs-
ing, 12(6), 326–334. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/ S0883- 9417(98)
Kenny, D. A. (1996). Models of nonindependence in dyadic
research. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 13,
279–294.https:// doi. org/ 10. 1177/ 02654 07596 132007
Kerr, M., & Bowen, M. (1988). Family evaluation: An approach
based on Bowen theory. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
Knapek, É., Balázs, K., & Szabó, I. K. (2017). The substance abus-
er’s partner: Do codependent individuals have borderline and
dependent personality disorder? Addiction is a treatable disease.
Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems, 19(5), 55–62.
Lampis, J., Cataudella, S., Busonera, A., & Skowron, E. A. (2017).
The role of differentiation of self and dyadic adjustment in pre-
dicting codependency. Contemporary Family Therapy, 39(1),
62–72. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1007/ s10591- 017- 9403-4
Martos, T., Sallay, V., Nistor, M., & Józsa, P. (2012). Párkapcsolati
megküzdés és jóllét – a Páros Megküzdés Kérdőív magyar vál-
tozata. [Dyadic coping and well-being—The Hungarian version
of the Dyadic Coping Inventory]. Psychiatria Hungarica, 27
(6), 446–458.
Martos, T., Sallay, V., Désfalvi, J., Szabó, T., & Ittzés, A. (2014). Az
Élettel való Elégedettség Skála magyar változatának (SWLS-
H) pszichometriai jellemzői. [Psychometric characteristics
of the Hungarian version of the Satisfaction with Life Scale
(SWLS-H)]. Mentálhigiéné és Pszichoszomatika, 15(3), 289–
303.https:// doi. org/ 10. 1556/ Mental. 15. 2014.3.9
Martsolf, D. S., Sedlak, C. A., & Doheny, M. O. (2000). Codepend-
ency and related health variables. Archives of Psychiatric Nurs-
ing, 14(3), 150–158. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1053/ py. 2000. 6387
Orth-Gomér, K., Chesney, M. A., & Anderson, D.E. (1997): Social
stress/strain and heart disease in women. In: Julian, D. G.,
Wenger, N. K. (eds.): Women and Heart Disease, Martin Dun-
itz, London, 407–420.
Peele, S., & Brodsky, A. (1975). Love and addiction. Signet.
Prest, L. A., & Protinsky, H. (1993). Family systems theory: A unify-
ing framework for codependence. American Journal of Family
Therapy, 21(4), 352–360. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1080/ 01926 18930
82510 05
Spann, L., & Fischer, J. L. (1990). Identifying codependency. The
Counselor, 8, 27.
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
15695Current Psychology (2023) 42:15688–15695
1 3
Springer, C. A., Britt, T. W., & Schlenker, B. R. (1998). Codepend-
ency: Clarifying the construct. Journal of Mental Health Coun-
seling, 20(2), 141–158.
Stafford, L. L. (2001). Is codependency a meaningful concept? Issues
in Mental Health Nursing, 22(3), 273–286. https:// doi. org/ 10.
1080/ 01612 84012 1607
Wells, M. C., Hill, M. B., Brack, G., Brack, C. J., & Firestone, E. E.
(2006). Codependency’s relation-ships to defining characteristics
in college students. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy,
20(4), 71–84. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1300/ J035v 20n04_ 07
Whitfield, C. L. (1984). Co-alcoholism: Recognizing a treatable illness.
Family & Community Health: The Journal of Health Promotion
& Maintenance, 7(2), 16–27. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1097/ 00003 727-
19840 7020- 00004
Wright, P. H., & Wright, K. D. (1991). Codependency: Addictive love,
adjustive relating, or both? Contemporary Family Therapy, 13,
435–454. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1007/ BF008 90497
Publisher's Note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to
jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Terms and Conditions
Springer Nature journal content, brought to you courtesy of Springer Nature Customer Service Center GmbH (“Springer Nature”).
Springer Nature supports a reasonable amount of sharing of research papers by authors, subscribers and authorised users (“Users”), for small-
scale personal, non-commercial use provided that all copyright, trade and service marks and other proprietary notices are maintained. By
accessing, sharing, receiving or otherwise using the Springer Nature journal content you agree to these terms of use (“Terms”). For these
purposes, Springer Nature considers academic use (by researchers and students) to be non-commercial.
These Terms are supplementary and will apply in addition to any applicable website terms and conditions, a relevant site licence or a personal
subscription. These Terms will prevail over any conflict or ambiguity with regards to the relevant terms, a site licence or a personal subscription
(to the extent of the conflict or ambiguity only). For Creative Commons-licensed articles, the terms of the Creative Commons license used will
We collect and use personal data to provide access to the Springer Nature journal content. We may also use these personal data internally within
ResearchGate and Springer Nature and as agreed share it, in an anonymised way, for purposes of tracking, analysis and reporting. We will not
otherwise disclose your personal data outside the ResearchGate or the Springer Nature group of companies unless we have your permission as
detailed in the Privacy Policy.
While Users may use the Springer Nature journal content for small scale, personal non-commercial use, it is important to note that Users may
use such content for the purpose of providing other users with access on a regular or large scale basis or as a means to circumvent access
use such content where to do so would be considered a criminal or statutory offence in any jurisdiction, or gives rise to civil liability, or is
otherwise unlawful;
falsely or misleadingly imply or suggest endorsement, approval , sponsorship, or association unless explicitly agreed to by Springer Nature in
use bots or other automated methods to access the content or redirect messages
override any security feature or exclusionary protocol; or
share the content in order to create substitute for Springer Nature products or services or a systematic database of Springer Nature journal
In line with the restriction against commercial use, Springer Nature does not permit the creation of a product or service that creates revenue,
royalties, rent or income from our content or its inclusion as part of a paid for service or for other commercial gain. Springer Nature journal
content cannot be used for inter-library loans and librarians may not upload Springer Nature journal content on a large scale into their, or any
other, institutional repository.
These terms of use are reviewed regularly and may be amended at any time. Springer Nature is not obligated to publish any information or
content on this website and may remove it or features or functionality at our sole discretion, at any time with or without notice. Springer Nature
may revoke this licence to you at any time and remove access to any copies of the Springer Nature journal content which have been saved.
To the fullest extent permitted by law, Springer Nature makes no warranties, representations or guarantees to Users, either express or implied
with respect to the Springer nature journal content and all parties disclaim and waive any implied warranties or warranties imposed by law,
including merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose.
Please note that these rights do not automatically extend to content, data or other material published by Springer Nature that may be licensed
from third parties.
If you would like to use or distribute our Springer Nature journal content to a wider audience or on a regular basis or in any other manner not
expressly permitted by these Terms, please contact Springer Nature at
... In the behavioral aspect, a tendency to obsessions, loss of personal autonomy, a predominance of catastrophizing reactions, a tendency to self-aggression and self-destructive behavior were shown (Stryapukhina, 2021;Kupchenko, 2020;Rozhnova T. M. et al., 2020;Kolenova and Gurtskoy, 2019;Buzik and Efimova, 2019;Perminova, 2017;Merinov et al., 2015). Codependency, as a dysfunctional form of relationships, is significantly associated with negative forms of dyadic adaptation in couples, relationship problems, and reduced life satisfaction (Happ, et al., 2022). There is also evidence of the absence or blurring of psychological boundaries and a tendency to violate them with others, negative attitudes towards theirs self and others, as well as a lack of personal coping resources (Khazova and Varioshkina, 2022;Kolenova, 2019;Tasheva and Bedredinova, 2016). ...
... Studies on coping mechanisms of codependents emphasize the prevalence of dysfunctional attitudes, including catastrophizing and self-blaming responses (Happ, et al., 2022;Kupchenko, 2020;Politika, 2020). However, our findings reveal a variety of coping strategies, indicating a more diverse coping mechanisms. ...
Full-text available
This study examined psychological characteristics and behavioral regulation in codependent women. The study aimed to identify personality traits, approval motivation, and empathy levels as predictors of behavioral regulation in codependent women. A total of 102 women (mean age 30.39 years) in relationships or related to alcohol, drug, or non-chemical addicts participated. Psychological testing and survey were used to assess codependence, aggression, empathy, need for approval, cognitive regulation of emotions, and self-regulation strategies: codependency Self-Inventory scale (CSIS; B. Weinhold, J. Weinhold); questionnaire “Auto- and Aggression to others” (E.P. Ilyin); method “Diagnosis of the level of empathy” (V. V. Boyko); Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (adapted by Yu.L.Khanin); The questionnaire of cognitive regulation of emotions (Rasskazova E.I., Leonova A.B., Pluzhnikov I.V.) and the questionnaire “Style of self-regulation of behavior” (Morosanova V.I.). Results suggest that personal characteristics, approval motivation, and empathy can predict the severity of codependence, manifestation of aggressiveness, self-regulation strategies, and cognitive regulation strategies in codependent women.
... When the current literature is examined, it is seen that the relationship of codependency with various variables in different samples is a frequently studied subject (Aristizábal, 2020;Bacon et al., 2020;Happ et al., 2022;Karaşar, 2021;Orbon et al., 2021;Rozhnova et al., 2020). However, it has been determined that studies that examine a special sample such as housewives with a broad perspective such as general mental health are insufficient. ...
... The traditional family structure exists because the woman should focus on her family first and expects the housewife to devote herself to her family (Koç et al., 2017;Tire, 2017). This view is also adopted in Turkish culture, and women in particular focus on the health and well-being of others by giving too much importance to "what others think" (Altuntaş & Altınova, 2015;Happ et al., 2022;Karaşar, 2021). When the studies in the literature are examined, it is stated that the codependence caused by this view causes women to consume all their physical and mental capital and to experience serious mental problems (Karaşar, 2021;Khanna & Khatri, 2021). ...
Full-text available
Housewives are individuals who assume the role of caregiver in the family in almost every society and experience serious psychological difficulties in line with this role. These psychological difficulties may develop due to the pathological relationships that women have, especially with their family members. In this context, the study aims to examine the mental health states of housewives within the framework of codependence and self-perceptions. This study, which was planned as descriptive, relational, and cross-sectional, by online questionnaire method, consists of 371 housewives. Personal information form, Codependency Assessment Tool (CODAT), social comparison scale (SCS), and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) were used to collect data. In the analysis of the research, a structural equation model was established by using SPSS 25 and AMOS 23 package programs. It was found that the mean age of the housewives included in the study was 35.19 ± 9.85 and 35.5% of the participants were university graduates, 13.2% lived in an extended family, 13.7% had a poor relationship with their spouse, and 51.5% were only responsible for housework. Besides, according to the results of the study, it was found that the total mean score of SCS was 75.16 ± 21.73, SCL-90-R was 1.96 ± 0.95, and CODAT was 76.16 ± 17.75. In the case of analysis, there was strong correlation between the mental status of housewives and both their codependency levels and their self-perceptions. It has been determined that increased levels of codependency and negative self-perception of housewives increase the psychological symptoms experienced.
... So, they were like both good and bad". Happ et al. (2022) found that the higher the dependence was on the partners, the higher the intensity of the negative experience was perceived. ...
Full-text available
White knights are individuals who enter into romantic relationships with damaged and vulnerable partners, hoping that love will transform their partner’s behaviour or life. Existing literature on white knight is limited to a handful of studies, primarily based on Western population. The present research aimed at developing a substantive theory on white knight syndrome in an Indian setting. The study follows a qualitative paradigm and the research design is grounded theory approach to be specific. Participants for the study were screened using Lamia’s white knight checklist. Data has been collected from eighteen young adults aged 18–25 years through semi-structured interviews. The data was analyzed using Strauss and Corbin grounded theory analysis. The study identified six phases—pre-relationship phase, needs exploration phase, shining white knight phase, drained white knight phase, golden realization phase, and finally delayed breakup. Along with the phases, the study identified factors, characteristics, and types of white knight. The study has implications in the clinical and counselling field in identifying and understanding white knight tendencies. Additionally, the theory is applicable in the Indian setting highlighting the intricate interaction between culture, norms, roles, and the recent social factors.
... The convergent and discriminant validity could be the first step in the measurement model fit, and the path analysis and the model fit measurement would be the second step. Some critical examples have successfully generated significant findings in satisfaction, psychological levels, and personality via this SEM process (Happ et al., 2022;Preacher et al., 2016;Wagner et al., 2019). In fact, MacCallum and Austin (2000) found that a variety of research designs and significant issues have utilized this kind of modeling to survey behavioral or psychological works. ...
Full-text available
Needs are an invisible concept in people’s lives, and are the main motivator for many decisions. They include both the tangible and intangible choices that are involved in many psychologically emotional and abstract transformations. In order to explore an advanced sustainable need theory, a comparison of three different service situations was made to explain the inner momentary development of enthusiasts. The effects of the proposed need satisfaction model based on the three preferred services were studied. Material satisfaction (the satisfaction of physiological and safety needs), psychological satisfaction (the satisfaction of belonging and respect needs), self-fulfilled satisfaction (the satisfaction of inner growth needs), and moderated service knowledge (the ability to assess service performance) were addressed to form a hierarchical model. Multi-group analysis and a longitudinal design also indicated an obvious difference in the path estimates. Psychological satisfaction always played an apparent mediating role in the satisfaction hierarchy for the three preferred services (and was noticeably more influential for food service). Nevertheless, service knowledge had different negative moderating effects on self-fulfilled satisfaction. The implication of these results is that a more abstract mental level could be obtained via transcending more knowledge obstacles.
Full-text available
The relevance of the research is conditioned upon the rapid spread of the problem of codependency, which has a destructive impact on the psychological state, and social and personal development of a person. The purpose of the research is to determine the psychological traits of codependent women in the period of midlife crisis. The research methodology is based on the methods of critical analysis, synthesis and generalisation of scientific and methodological literature. In the course of the study, the concept of codependence is defined, and the factors of its development are identified. It has been established that the main factor that becomes a prerequisite for the emergence of codependency is upbringing in a dysfunctional family. The psychological features of women’s codependency and their manifestations are described. It has been established that codependent women are characterised by low self-esteem, a desire to control others, using psychological defence mechanisms, self-sacrifice, and caring for others, forgetting about their own needs and feelings. The author analyses the midlife crisis as a factor of personality transformation and a period with a high opportunity to free oneself from codependency. It is determined that during a midlife crisis, a person tries to reassess their life, achievements, and behavioural patterns. The author argues that the midlife crisis can have both destructive consequences, including the loss of the meaning of life, and constructive ones, which are manifested in the discovery of new meanings. The results of the scientific research are designed to generalise theoretical data on the problem of codependency and identify the psychological traits of codependent women. The theoretical significance of the research lies in the systematisation of scientific approaches to the study of codependent personality and the identification of psychological traits of codependent women in the period of midlife crisis.
Full-text available
The present review on dyadic coping (DC) aims at providing a critical integration of both the conceptual and empirical DC literature and overcoming the limitations of past reviews by (a) describing, comparing, and integrating all the DC models, (b) presenting and integrating findings from studies based on DC models, and (c) suggesting directions for further research. The DC models identified and compared include: The congruence model (Revenson, 1994), the relationship-focused model (Coyne and Smith, 1991; O'Brien and DeLongis, 1996), the communal coping model (Lyons et al., 1998), the systemic-transactional model (Bodenmann, 1995, 1997), the relational-cultural model (Kayser et al., 2007), and the developmental-contextual coping model (Berg and Upchurch, 2007). After discussing each DC model, we advance a conceptual integration of all models, which serves as the framework to organize the review of the empirical literature. This integration includes the following DC dimensions: (a) Stress Communication, (b) Positive DC by One Partner (supportive DC, empathic responding, delegated DC, active engagement), (c) Positive Conjoint DC (common, collaborative, communal, mutual responsiveness); (d) Negative DC by One Partner (protective buffering, overprotection, and hostility/ambivalence), and (e) Negative Conjoint DC (common negative DC, disengaged avoidance). Developmental, relational, and contextual variables are included as factors shaping DC. To be included in the empirical review, articles had to be published in or a peer-reviewed journal in English and/or German before 2017 and include an original empirical study guided by one of the DC models. The review included 139 studies and, with the exception of the congruence model whose findings were discussed separately, findings were presented for overall DC and each of the dimensions identified in the conceptual integration. Findings were grouped also according to whether the stressor related or not to a medical or mental health condition. Demographic and cultural factors affecting DC were discussed. Overall, the empirical review suggests that in Western couples, positive individual, and conjoint DC forms, taken together or separately, have individual and relational benefits for couples coping with stress in general and/or mental health or medical stressors. Research on DC can be expanded to include other populations and stressors and use improved designs.
Full-text available
A study was conducted to generate (a) a model of power strategies used in intimate relationships and (b) information regarding the associations between gender, sexual orientation, egalitarianism, and power strategy use. Ss were 200 university students (100 homosexuals and 100 heterosexuals) evenly divided by gender. A 2-dimensional model was devised based on the strategies written in open-ended essays. These 2 dimensions concerned the extent to which the strategies were (a) direct (ranging from direct to indirect) and (b) interactive (ranging from bilateral to unilateral). Gender differences were found only among heterosexuals, with males more likely than females to report using bilateral and direct strategies. The effects of gender among heterosexuals paralleled findings concerning the balance of power in the relationship: Ss who preferred and perceived themselves as having more power than their partner, such as heterosexual men, were also more likely to use bilateral and direct strategies. No differences in power strategy use were found between homosexuals and heterosexuals. These and other results are interpreted in terms of the aforementioned model and general gender differences in power. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Full-text available
Purpose: The aim of this study was to test psychometric properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), to provide normative values, and to analyze associations between life satisfaction and sociodemographic and behavioral data. Methods: A German community sample (n = 9711) with an age range of 18-80 years was surveyed using the SWLS and several other questionnaires. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to test the dimensionality of the SWLS. Invariance across gender and age groups was tested with multiple-group CFA. Associations between SWLS, sociodemographic variables, and behavioral variables were tested with ANOVAs. Results: Confirmatory factorial analysis results confirmed that the SWLS is a one-dimensional scale. Measurement invariance across gender was completely confirmed, while concerning age strict measurement invariance was confirmed. The effects of gender and age on satisfaction with life were weak. Satisfaction with life was associated with fatigue (r = - .49), the mental component of quality of life (r = .45), anxiety (r = - .42), dispositional optimism (r = .41), pessimism (r = - .34), sleep quality (r = - .32), and sociodemographic factors such as marital status, income, and occupational status. Non-smokers reported higher life satisfaction than smokers. Conclusions: Because of the good psychometric properties, the SWLS can be recommended for use in epidemiological research. Normative values based on a large community sample are provided.
Full-text available
Working within the framework of the Bowen’s Family Systems Theory and using data from 318 non-clinical participants, the present study assessed a model in which codependent behaviors were predicted by dyadic adjustment in couple relationships and differentiation of self. Results indicated that the dimensions of differentiation of self (I-position, emotional reactivity, emotional cutoff, fusion with others) were more important in explaining the codependent behavior compared to the dimensions of dyadic adjustment (dyadic satisfaction, cohesion, consensus, affective expression). These results suggest the importance of considering the dynamics and outcomes of the process of differentiation of self both in research and in counselling and clinical practice with individuals, couples, and families.
Full-text available
Objective: Theories about how couples help each other to cope with stress, such as the systemic transactional model of dyadic coping, suggest that the cultural context in which couples live influences how their coping behavior affects their relationship satisfaction. In contrast to the theoretical assumptions, a recent meta-analysis provides evidence that neither culture, nor gender, influences the association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction, at least based on their samples of couples living in North America and West Europe. Thus, it is an open questions whether the theoretical assumptions of cultural influences are false or whether cultural influences on couple behavior just occur in cultures outside of the Western world. Method: In order to examine the cultural influence, using a sample of married individuals (N = 7973) from 35 nations, we used multilevel modeling to test whether the positive association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction varies across nations and whether gender might moderate the association. Results: Results reveal that the association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction varies between nations. In addition, results show that in some nations the association is higher for men and in other nations it is higher for women. Conclusions: Cultural and gender differences across the globe influence how couples' coping behavior affects relationship outcomes. This crucial finding indicates that couple relationship education programs and interventions need to be culturally adapted, as skill trainings such as dyadic coping lead to differential effects on relationship satisfaction based on the culture in which couples live.
Full-text available
This article investigates the field of stress and coping in close relationships. In an effort to move beyond an individually oriented focus, our work proposes a systemic-transactional approach to stress and coping in close relationships. In this conceptualization, stress and coping are understood to be the reciprocal and dynamic interplay between the stress signals of one partner and the dyadic coping reactions of the other. The theoretical and empirical findings concerning the proposed stress-coping-model in dyads are reported and discussed regarding the validity of this construct.
Full-text available
Stress and coping are concepts which have rarely been applied in research conducted on close relationships. This article will focus upon the importance of stress and coping in relation to close relationship quality and stability. Using a multi-method approach (questionnaire and behavioral observation data), the influence of stress upon a random sample of 70 Swiss couples was studied with the two following questions in mind: (a) what influence does stress and coping have on the current partner relationship and on the relationship after two years? (b) how does stress affect the stability of the couple on a long-term basis? A model proposing direct and indirect influences of stress on close relationships was tested by means of path analysis. The findings indicate that stress can, in fact, be a potential threat to the well-being and functioning of intimate relationships.(1)
Background: Little is known about the personality of codependents, despite the fact that it should be taken into consideration in the treatment of illicit drug users. Codependency has a strong positive correlation with borderline and with dependent personality disorder (BPD, DPD), which should be taken into account when trying to explain the relationships so far discovered between codependency and anamnestic data, together with psychopathological (e.g. child) abuse, depression, and insecure attachment. Aim: To identify whether ‘pure’ codependent individuals exist. By ‘pure’ codependency we mean the condition of codependent individuals without BPD and/or DPD. Methods: Our sample consisted of 131 codependents and 276 non-codependent individuals, as assessed by the Codependent Questionnaire; they were recruited in self-help groups and in the general population. Borderline and dependent traits were assessed by SCID-II. Results: According to our data, probably every 2nd codependent person meets the five criteria required for a BPD diagnosis in DSM-IV-TR, and every 7th codependent meets the criteria set out there for a DPD diagnosis. 31% of codependent individuals have borderline traits; in addition, 31% of codependents have dependent traits. On the other hand, 16% of codependent individuals seem to be classifiable as ‘pure’ codependents. Conclusions: The overlap areas between codependency, BPD and DPD have significant treatment and research implications. Since ‘pure’ codependents were identified by us, the codependency concept cannot be rejected.
Prior research has identified associations between alexithymia, psychological symptoms, marital functioning and life satisfaction. However, less is known about the specific dynamics in the interplay of these associations, and other research suggests that such associations may differ depending on gender. The goal of this study is to investigate gender specific associations between alexithymia, symptoms of anxiety/depression, life satisfaction, and dyadic coping in a sample of 112 heterosexual couples. Using path analyses and extended applications of the actor–partner-independence model (APIM), results revealed significant associations between alexithymia, dyadic coping, and symptoms of anxiety/depression, as well as between dyadic coping and life satisfaction for women and for men. For women, the association between symptoms of anxiety/depression and dyadic coping was mediated by alexithymia. For men the association between alexithymia and dyadic coping was mediated by anxiety/depression. The study highlights the interplay between alexithymia, symptoms of anxiety/depression, life satisfaction, and dyadic coping, and suggests that men and women may show different patterns of association.