Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 357–376 | Cite as

Linking Financial Strain to Marital Instability: Examining the Roles of Emotional Distress and Marital Interaction

  • Clinton G. GudmunsonEmail author
  • Ivan F. Beutler
  • Craig L. Israelsen
  • J. Kelly McCoy
  • E. Jeffrey Hill
Original Paper


Using a sample consisting of 4,997 married couples from the National Survey of Families and Households, individual emotional distress, the occurrence of couple disagreements, couple fighting, and couple quality time together mediated the relationship between financial strain and personal assessments of marital instability. The overall results suggest that financial strain influences both positive and negative forms of couple interaction which are stronger mediators than personal emotional distress of the relationship between financial strain and marital instability. The results further suggest that there were no gender differences among these linkages.


Couple interaction Disagreements Financial strain Marital conflict Marital instability 



The authors would like to thank Shari Gudmunson for her assistance, and thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clinton G. Gudmunson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ivan F. Beutler
    • 2
  • Craig L. Israelsen
    • 2
  • J. Kelly McCoy
    • 3
  • E. Jeffrey Hill
    • 2
  1. 1.Family Social Science, University of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of Home and Family Living, School of Family LifeBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Marriage, Family, and Human Development, School of Family LifeBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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