Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Chong Man Chow, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rusty McIntyre, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, Ph.D.


The current study examined the effect of social support behaviors on psychological adjustment in couples. Couples (N = 123) completed surveys assessing depressive and anxiety symptoms. Observational support interactions were conducted to measure partners’ positive and negative affective support behaviors. Structural equation modeling and actor-partner interdependence models (APIM) were used to estimate effects. Results highlight the unfavorable effects of negative social support behaviors on one’s own depression symptoms. Additionally, men’s, but not women’s, negative support behaviors were found to be associated with elevated partner depression symptoms. No significant predictors were found in models predicting anxiety. The combination of partners’ support behaviors was not predictive of depression or anxiety symptoms in men or women. Future research should continue to examine the complex relationship between social support and psychological adjustment.

Included in

Psychology Commons