General and health-related stress and couples' coping

Guy Bodenmann, Ashley K. Randall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Stress is an important factor in most models of individual psychopathology (see diathesis-stress model). However, the role of stress in close relationships is often neglected in understanding psychopathology and often considered as interpersonal tensions that originate inside the relationship. Research on stress as a dyadic construct highlights the importance of understanding the origin of stress and its role on psychopathology and relationship functioning. Specifically, the stress spillover process (from external to internal) can often cause conflict, frustration, and alienation and therefore requires further attention. In coping-oriented approaches, therapists try to increase partners' awareness of the impact of external stress on their relationship. Partners are taught how to effectively cope with stress together by engaging in supportive dyadic coping. These concepts and techniques are applicable to couples experiencing common and specific stressors, such as those from severe health conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Systemic Family Therapy, Set
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781119438519
StatePublished - Aug 26 2020


  • Conflict
  • Couple therapy
  • Dyadic coping
  • Illness
  • Intimacy
  • Relational well-being
  • Self-disclosure
  • Stress
  • Stress communication
  • Systemic family therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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