With a little help from Our friends: Couple social integration in marriage

Allen W. Barton, Ted G. Futris, Robert B. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The benefits of social integration (i.e., structural or affective connectedness with others and with social institutions) have been frequently noted for individuals' personal well-being. In a similar fashion, recent marital research has highlighted how the social integration of a couple also appears to positively affect marital well-being. However, beyond main effects, little research to date has considered whether couples' social integration possesses moderating effects for spouses' marital quality as well. Among a sample of 492 married individuals, the present study explored whether spouses' reports of the social integration of their marriage moderated the associations between (a) financial distress and marital happiness, and (b) residing in more urban areas and marital happiness. Results from latent interaction structural equation modeling revealed a significant interaction between couple social integration and each contextual factor. Specifically, higher levels of couple social integration buffered marital happiness from lower levels associated with greater financial distress and with residing in more urban areas. These results, along with cultural shifts that have led to lower levels of communal ties and involvement throughout society, suggest couple social integration to be a pertinent construct for marital research and enrichment efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)986-991
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Financial distress
  • Marriage
  • Social integration
  • Urbanicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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