Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 327–342

Couples coping with chronic illness: Women with rheumatoid arthritis and their healthy husbands

  • Sharon L. Manne
  • Alex J. Zautra

DOI: 10.1007/BF00844882

Cite this article as:
Manne, S.L. & Zautra, A.J. J Behav Med (1990) 13: 327. doi:10.1007/BF00844882


Effects of a chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, upon the psychological adjustment of 103 women and their healthy husbands were examined. Husbands completed scales assessing perceived vulnerability to illness and coping efficacy, burden of caring for their wives, and level of psychological adjustment. Wives completed the Ways of Coping scale, rated attributions about arthritis, and rated criticalness and supportiveness of their husbands. Husbands were also interviewed and their responses coded for critical remarks about the wife. The same variables were used to predict each partner's adjustment in order to compare factors associated with each. Hierarchical regression indicated that negative marital interaction surrounding the wife's illness was a determinant of both partners' psychological adjustment. Apart from this variable, different factors predicted husbands' and wives' mental health. Husbands were most affected by their own perceived vulnerability to disease and coping inefficacy. Wives were most affected by pain severity and how they coped with arthritis.

Key words

coping chronic illness arthritis spouses adjustment 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon L. Manne
    • 1
  • Alex J. Zautra
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychiatry, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew York
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyArizona State UniversityTempe

Personalised recommendations