Relational turbulence from the COVID-19 pandemic: Within-subjects mediation by romantic partner interdependence
Goodboy, A. K., Dillow, M. R., Knoster, K. C., & Howard, H. A. (2021). Relational turbulence from the COVID-19 pandemic: Within-subjects mediation by romantic partner interdependence. Journal of Social and Personal Relationship, 38(6), 1800 - 1818. https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075211000135
Abstract Created by REACH:
According to relational turbulence theory, major life transitions such as the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to instability in romantic relationships (i.e., relational turbulence), particularly because partners’ influence on each other can change during these transitions. Partners can influence each other by making daily life easier (i.e., facilitation) or harder (i.e., interference). This study examined how the pandemic has influenced individuals’ negative emotions (e.g., anger, fear, sadness) about their partner, perceived changes in their partners’ facilitation and interference, and relational turbulence. Civilian college students (N = 315) were asked to respond to all study measures twice: first, thinking about their relationship before the pandemic (i.e., January 2020); second, thinking about their relationship during the height of the pandemic (i.e., April 2020). COVID-19 may be partly related to greater relational turbulence due to less perceived partner facilitation and more partner interference.
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)
Goodboy, Alan K., Dillow, Megan R., Knoster, Kevin C., Howard, Heath A.
Relational turbulence theory posits that external changes to the relational environment compel romantic partners to navigate transitions by establishing new daily routines as interdependent couples. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented transition fraught with difficult changes that have the potential to be especially disruptive to romantic partners’ daily routines as couples alter their patterns of interdependence and adapt their everyday lives. To study the pandemic’s effect as a relational transition, college students in romantic relationships (
Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University, AKG
COVID-19, interdependence, negative emotions, relational turbulence model, relational turbulence theory
REACH Publication Type: