Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Nathan D. Wood


The aim of the current study was to examine both dyadic coping and anxious attachment following the experience of a critical non-normative life event. Pairfam, a nationally representative German sample, was used as a secondary data set for this quantitative study. Paired samples t-tests were used to analyze the data from 559 German couples to track statistically significant increases or decreases in the perception of dyadic coping responses and anxious attachment levels when a non-normative critical life event happened at some point in the previous two years. Results found that the partner of the anchor showed a statistically significant increase in attachment anxiety, but the anchors themselves did not. It was also found that there was a significant decrease in the perception of support from their partners among both anchors and partners. It is suggested that future research gather data closer to the time of the event to understand the trajectory of both coping responses between spouses as well as the attachment dimension following a non-normative event. Clinical implications of the current study relate to the addition of therapeutic interventions including but not limited to routine outcome monitoring of a client’s attachment dimension along with dyadic coping following an explicit non-normative critical life event.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)