Stress, Frequency of Challenges, and Coping for Partners of Individuals with Mental Health Conditions

Michelle L. Acevedo Callejas, Charee Mooney Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study applied Lazarus and Folkman’s stress and coping framework to understand how romantic partners cope with the challenges of a significant other’s mental health condition at three levels (i.e., individual, dyadic, and social), how coping at each of these three levels contributes to the association between stress and relational quality for these partners, and how these associations depend upon the frequency of challenges partners experience. We predicted that stress would be negatively associated with relational quality, and that individual (i.e., emotion and problem-focused), dyadic, and social coping would mediate this association. We also posited that the extent to which partners cope would depend on the frequency of challenges they face. We analyzed data from 325 individuals with a moderated multiple-mediation model. Findings provided support for the mediating role of dyadic coping and its positive association with relational quality; partial support for the mediating role of emotion-focused coping and its negative association with relational quality; and partial support for the moderating role of frequency of challenges. We discuss the study’s findings and contributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-889
Number of pages10
JournalHealth communication
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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