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Accepting influence in military couples: Implications for couples’ communication and family satisfaction

APA Citation:

Peterson, C., & Lucier-Greer, M. (2022). Accepting influence in military couples: Implications for couples’ communication and family satisfaction. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 48(4), 1075-1094. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12574

Abstract Created by REACH:

In couple relationships, accepting influence involves allowing a romantic partner’s input and influence to shape your perspectives and actions. A sample of 244 Army couples (Service member husbands and their civilian wives) was used to examine whether accepting influence was linked to each spouse’s reports of family satisfaction and couple communication satisfaction. In this study, accepting influence was measured by asking individuals if they thought that their partner accepts influence. Couples’ relationship length and Service members’ rank were also considered in analysis. Perceiving that one’s spouse accepts one’s influence has important implications for family satisfaction and couple communication for both partners but was particularly evident for wives.


Mental health

Branch of Service:


Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Spouse of service member or veteran
Active duty service member


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


Secondary Analysis


Peterson, Clairee, Lucier-Greer, Mallory


In popular relationship resources, accepting influence is regarded as a couple-level process vital for relational satisfaction. However, empirical research has demonstrated inconsistent evidence for these suppositions, with several studies identifying no associations between accepting influence and relationship outcomes, and, furthermore, several gaps in the literature remain with regard to our knowledge on accepting influence (e.g., little identified research on military couples or family outcomes). To address these gaps, a measure of perceptions of one's partner accepting influence was retrospectively created to examine accepting influence in Army couples (N = 244). With theoretical underpinnings from family systems theory, this study used an actor-partner interdependence approach to investigate the associations between partners’ accepting influence and couple communication satisfaction and satisfaction with the family. Service members’ perceptions of their partners’ accepting influence were associated with their own outcomes, whereas civilian spouses’ perceptions of partners’ accepting influence were related to both partners’ outcomes. Results suggest accepting influence may be an intervention point to improve couple and family outcomes.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

John Wiley & Sons

Publication Type:


Author Affiliation:

University of Georgia, CP
Auburn University, MLG


accepting influence, actor-partner interdependence model, communication satisfaction, family satisfaction, systems theory

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  April 2022

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