In the United States today, the marital relationship is one of the most influential aspects of many people’s lives, as more than 90% of the American population marries at least once in their lifetime (Velander 1993). A study of the positive and negative long-term impacts of such an all-pervasive unit as marriage, therefore, becomes important to investigate and understand. This presentation explores the relationship between the degree of marital stress and the quality of problem solving skills with psychological distress and investigates the impact of the role played by stressful life events between these two variables. It will then look at how varying initial levels of chronic marital stress changes levels of psychological distress and the intensity with which negative life events are then felt. If, as this study demonstrates, a chronic state of marital stress or poor problem solving skills influences a distressed psychological outcome in later years, knowing the variables to focus on to prevent distress would be invaluable. One application of this study is to prevent a manifestation of susceptibility to negative life events, or reduce the impact they have on the lives of individuals. It was found that mothers and fathers respond more strongly to different kinds of marital stress and negative events. This is important knowledge when working with couples, both to remedy current problems and to ward off potential ones.
Brandi Logan, ’05 Poplar Grove , IL
Majors: Mathematics and Sociology
Sponsor: Christopher Carlson