Marital relationships and stress in couples with a diabetic spouse
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The purpose of this study was to examine factors related to marital satisfaction and dietary adherence for adult, married diabetics and their spouses. Using general systems theory as a conceptual base, four hypotheses were organized and tested according to McCubbin and Patterson's (1982) Double ABC-X Model of stress and coping. Variables examined were diagnosis, gender, education, income, and perception of the disease on four marital measures and one dietary measure. Each of the variables was examined across five testing times during the twenty-two week study. Twenty-four married couples having a diabetic spouse participated in the study. Participants were between the ages of 21 and 65 and were residing in the West Texas area. Throughout the study, participants completed several marital and dietary self-report measures (including the Marital Adjustment Test, Locke-Wallace, 1959; modified Spouse Observation Checklist, Weiss, 1975; Areas of Change Questionnaire, Weiss & Birchler, 1975; and two-day food diaries), were visited weekly in their home at a mealtime by a team of trained observers, and were given specific dietary regimens to follow. Each couple participated for eleven consecutive weeks, then were met for a follow-up interview and debriefing.