133: Innovations in Studying Couples Across the Life Course

Allen Barton; Kale Monk; Leanne Knobloch; Claire Kamp Dush; Jeremy Kanter

2:30 PM
3:45 PM
Location
Virtual
Session #
133
Session Type
Paper
Session Focus
  • Research
Organized By
  • Research & Theory
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About the Session

Concurrent Sessions 3 - (NBCC CE Credit: #1 hr and Conference Attendance Credit: #1 hr)

133-01: If You Host it Online, Who Will (and Will Not) Come? Individual and Partner Enrollment in a Web-Based Couples Intervention
Allen Barton, S. Hatch, Brian Doss

Summary
This proposal examines the ways in which recruitment and eligibility factors affect the resulting size and composition of participants in an online intervention. Study hypotheses were tested from a sample of 2,512 low-income individuals who sought to enroll in Our Relationship, a web-based intervention for distressed couples. Results indicated that more than half of the sample (62%) learned about the program from results of an online search, and these individuals were characterized by higher levels of relationship distress and personal distress relative to those who learned about the program through other means. Fifty-two percentage of help-seeking individuals had partners who did not complete the screening enrollment, and these individuals were characterized by greater levels of break-up potential, physical aggression, communication conflict, psychological distress, and anger.

Objectives
-- To examine the ways in which different recruitment sources (e.g., online search, social media, word of mouth) affect the resulting sample of individuals who seek to enroll in an online intervention for relationship support.
-- To examine how sample characteristics are affected by partner participation requirements for an online intervention for relationship support.
-- To consider the implications of these findings on sampling and recruitment approaches for online programming for romantic relationships.

Subject Codes: interpersonal relationships, technology
Population Codes: couples/coupled
Method and Approach Codes: quantitative methodology, interventions


133-02: Pre-Divorce On-Off Relationship Instability and Adjustment in the Divorce Transition
Kale Monk, Jeremy Kanter, Matthew Ogan

Summary
Individuals in distressing unions may experience benefits in wellbeing following marital dissolution. Informed by relational turbulence theory, we hypothesized that those with a history of on-off cycling (i.e., dissolution and reconciliation) would report less distress following a dissolution perceived to be permanent (divorce) than those separating without prior instability. Using data from 98 separated dyads, we found that a history of cycling prior to divorce was associated with less distress in the transition to divorce, but only for women. In line with feminist perspectives, those most affected by inequalities in turbulent relationships, may experience the most relief when they end. The discussion focuses on the implications for practitioners working with couples with a history of cycling to help them stabilize their unions or safely leave.

Objectives
-- To examine the association between on-off relationship cycling prior to divorce and psychological distress during the divorce transition
-- To investigate gender differences in the cycling-distress association following relational dissolution
-- To describe the practical implications of pre-divorce instability for practitioners and partners in unstable relationships

Subject Codes: relationship dissolution, relationships, well-being
Population Codes: divorced, middle adulthood
Method and Approach Codes: dyadic analysis

133-03: Suspicion About a Partner's Deception and Trust as Roots of Relational Uncertainty During the Post-Deployment Transition
Leanne Knobloch, Lynne Knobloch-Fedders, Jeremy Yorgason, Erin Basinger, Bryan Abendschein, Kelly McAninch

Summary
Relational uncertainty is both prominent and pivotal during the transition from deployment to reintegration. Most prior research has considered the outcomes rather than the origins of relational uncertainty, hampering the development of interventions for military couples. We theorize about two predictors of relational uncertainty during the post-deployment transition: suspicion about a partner's deception and trust. Results of an 8-wave longitudinal study involving 287 U.S. military couples (N = 4,147 observations) revealed that relational uncertainty increased over the transition. Suspicion about a partner's deception, and particularly trust, predicted the relational uncertainty of military couples at homecoming and over time. These findings advance knowledge about the roots of relational uncertainty and suggest ways to assist military couples upon reunion.

Objectives
-- To document the trajectory of relational uncertainty experienced by returning service members and at-home partners during the transition from deployment to reintegration.
-- To evaluate suspicion about a partner's deception as a predictor of the relational uncertainty of military couples during the post-deployment transition.
-- To evaluate trust as a predictor of the relational uncertainty of military couples during the post-deployment transition.

Subject Codes: communication, family processes
Population Codes: military family
Method and Approach Codes: longitudinal research


133-04: Population Perspectives on Same-Gender Marriage in the US
Claire Kamp Dush, Wendy Manning, Gary Gates

Summary
The legalization of same-gender marriage in the US in 2015("Obergefell v. Hodges," 2015)was a watershed moment for LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States. Yet due to a serious lack of sufficiently powered population representative samples of lesbian and gay Americans, little to no research has examined several critically important questions about the LGBTQ+ population across the transition to marriage equality. How many same-gender couples married? What are the demographic differences between the married and unmarried population of same-gender couples? What are the demographic differences between the married same-gender and different-gender couples? Using population representative data from Gallup samples from 2012 to 2019 (n = 1,884,108), we seek to answer these questions, using both 2015 and state-specific marriage legalization dates as markers.

Objectives
-- Identify marriage trends among individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and same-gender loving in the United States.
-- Examine cohabitation vs. marriage among individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and same-gender loving in the United States.
-- Explicate the demographic differences between single, cohabiting, and married individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and same-gender loving in the United States.

Subject Codes: interpersonal relationships, cohabitation, sexuality
Population Codes: U.S., couples/coupled, sexual orientation inclusive
Method and Approach Codes: quantitative methodology

Facilitator: Jeremy Kanter

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