Background and Objectives: This study examines positive reframing (a form of meaning making), perceived benefits (a form of meanings made) and adjustment in couples who experienced a stressful life event in the past year. This study tested whether couple members’ scores were nonindependent and whether one’s own perceived benefits was predicted by their own positive reframing (actor effect) as well as their partner’s positive reframing (partner effect). Further, this study tested actor and partner effects for the link between perceived benefits and adjustment and whether positive reframing (the initial variable) works through perceived benefits (the mediator) to affect adjustment (the outcome) at the dyadic level.
Design: A standard dyadic design was used. Methods. Eighty couples completed measures of positive reframing, perceived benefits, and adjustment (depression, anxiety, positive affect, life satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction).
Results: Partners’ scores on study variables were related, and although only actor effects were found for the path between positive reframing and perceived benefits, both actor and partner effects were found for the path between perceived benefits and adjustment. Mediation was found for actor–actor and actor-partner indirect effects.
Conclusions: Results indicate that a greater focus on interpersonal factors is needed to further meaning-making theory and inform practice.