Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 44–56 | Cite as

How Resources (or Lack Thereof) Influence Advice Seeking on Psychological Well-being and Marital Risk: Testing Pathways of the Lack of Financial Stability, Support, and Strain

  • Melissa Curran
  • Casey Totenhagen
  • Joyce Serido


Using the model of conservation of resources (Hobfoll in The ecology of stress. Hempshire, New York, 1988; Hobfoll in Am Psychol 44:513–524, 1989; Hobfoll in Stress, culture, and community: the psychology and philosophy of stress. Plenum, New York, 1998; Hobfoll in Appl Psychol Int Rev 50:337–421, 2001), we explore how advice seeking, as influenced by lack of financial stability and support and strain from others (i.e., spouse, friends, and family) predicts psychological well-being and marital risk. Married and committed individuals (n = 1,798) were drawn from a nationally representative sample, the MIDUS. We found that advice seeking predicted psychological well-being and marital risk, but that the relationships depended on the availability of resources (i.e., financial stability, support, strain) and from whom support or strain was received. For example, for individuals lacking financial stability, marital risk decreased with advice seeking for those reporting high support from friends, whereas for individuals with financial stability, marital risk increased with advice seeking for those reporting high support from friends. We explain how understanding advice seeking and its outcomes must be considered within the context of available resources (or lack thereof).


Resources Conservation of resources Psychological well-being Marriage Advice seeking Lack of financial stability Support Strain 



This research was supported by grant to the first author from the Take Charge America Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa Curran
    • 1
  • Casey Totenhagen
    • 1
  • Joyce Serido
    • 1
  1. 1.Family Studies and Human DevelopmentUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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