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Emotion expression, avoidance and psychological health during reintegration: A dyadic analysis of actor and partner associations within a sample of military couples

APA Citation:

Marini, C. M., Wadsworth, S. M., Christ, S. L., & Franks, M. M. (2015). Emotion expression, avoidance and psychological health during reintegration: A dyadic analysis of actor and partner associations within a sample of military couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 34(1), 69-90. doi:10.1177/0265407515621180

Abstract Created by REACH:

Whether certain coping strategies are adaptive may depend upon the context and the relationships in which they are used. The effects of Service members' and their partners' use of emotional expression and avoidance on each other's psychological well-being were examined. Generally, individuals' psychological health was better when using emotional expression and poorer when using avoidance, but partners' emotional expression was related to poorer Service members' well-being.


Mental health

Branch of Service:


Military Affiliation:


Subject Affiliation:

Guard/Reserve member
Spouse of service member or veteran


Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)


Empirical Study
Quantitative Study


Marini, Christina M., Wadsworth, Shelley M., Christ, Sharon L., Franks, Melissa M.


We evaluated the extent to which military service members’ and their significant others’ coping strategies (i.e., individual use of emotion expression and avoidance) were independently associated with their own—and each other’s—psychological health during reintegration using an actor–partner interdependence model. We simultaneously evaluated actor associations (e.g., associations between service members’ own coping and psychological health) and partner associations (e.g., associations between service members’ coping and their significant others’ psychological health) with a sample of 175 National Guard couples who recently experienced deployment. We further evaluated (1) whether there were interactive associations among partners’ coping strategies and (2) whether service members’ level of combat exposure moderated any of these associations. Results indicated that, for both service members and significant others, psychological health was positively associated with one’s own emotion expression and negatively associated with one’s own avoidance. Moreover, there was a significant partner association between service members’ psychological health and their significant others’ emotion expression but only in the context of high combat exposure. Implications for intervention and prevention efforts are discussed.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

SAGE Publications

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Purdue University, CMM
Purdue University, SMW
Purdue University, SLC
Purdue University, MMF


avoidance, coping, couples, dyadic, emotion expression, military, psychological health, reintegration

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary


Lilly Endowment, Grant Number: 300906

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