A dyadic and longitudinal investigation of adjustment in couples coping with Multiple Sclerosis

Christina Samios*, Kenneth I. Pakenham, Jill O’Brien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) can affect adjustment at both the individual and couple level. Purpose: This study examined differences and associations between MS patient and spouse adjustment, and whether one partner’s adjustment predicts the other partner’s adjustment over time. Methods: A total of 160 couples at Time 1 and 98 couples at Time 2 completed questionnaires. Results: Mixed-model ANOVAs found that patients reported poorer adjustment than their spouse on a range of adjustment indicators and that positive affect and relationship satisfaction declined over time for both patients and spouses. Intraclass correlations found that patient and spouse scores on all adjustment indicators were related at Time 1. Multilevel modelling showed that one’s partner’s relationship satisfaction at Time 1 positively predicted one’s own relationship satisfaction at Time 2. Conclusions: The findings indicate that a focus on the interpersonal nature of adjustment to MS may be beneficial for future research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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