Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Family Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Kay Bradford

Abstract

Although Prochaska and DiClemente (1984) considered the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) to be relevant to couples therapy, there is a paucity of research in this area. Understanding how couples initiate change in their relationship still proves difficult due to barriers in the collection of couple level data and the fact that the majority of research on the TTM is individualistic in nature (Fowers, 2001; Schneider, 2003). Schneider (2003) reported that research suggests a relationship between change processes and relationship adjustment in couples. To my knowledge this study is the first test of the reliability and correlates of relationship change, beyond Schneider’s initial work. The purpose of the present study was to examine how individual adjustment and readiness to change affect relationship adjustment. Data were collected from a sample of 389 married and cohabitating individuals using a self-report survey. Readiness to change was found to partially mediate the relationship between individual well-being and relationship adjustment. This link underscores the concept of women as health gatekeepers of the family. The present study validates research on the TTM with individuals but draws further attention to the idea that changing a dyadic relationship is not an individual process.

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