UBC Theses and Dissertations
Predicting satisfaction with spouse responses among patients with rheumatoid arthritis Beggs, Robert Thomas
Despite an abundance of research demonstrating the importance of social support for health outcomes, much less is known about what causes a person to feel supported. Past research has focused on between-person analyses, meaning that the degree of within-person variance and the within-person covariates of satisfaction with support are largely unknown. The current study used a daily diary methodology to investigate both within- and between-person factors related to satisfaction with spouse responses. The sample was comprised of 69 married individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. Participants completed an initial background interview, followed by twice-daily telephone interviews for one week. The first research question addressed whether variance in satisfaction with responses was within- or between-person. Results showed that a significant portion of the variance was within-person in the morning (45%) and the evening (40%) interviews. The second question addressed whether within- and between-person variance in satisfaction with responses could be explained by illness-related variables (e.g., pain severity), personality, mood, and types of support provided by the spouse. Multilevel analysis revealed that esteem support was positively associated, and negative spouse responses were negatively associated, with both within- and between-person variance in satisfaction with responses. These effects were present in both concurrent and lagged analyses. Positive affect and pain had only concurrent associations with satisfaction with spouse responses. At the between-person level, age was positively associated, and marital dissatisfaction and fatigue were negatively associated with average levels of satisfaction with spouse responses. The third research question investigated factors related to the variance of a participant’s satisfaction with spouse responses over the course of the week (i.e., their lability in satisfaction with responses). Marital dissatisfaction and negative spouse responses were related to greater lability over the course of the week, whereas positive affect and positive spouse responses were associated with lower lability. Overall, the current study found a significant portion of explainable variance in satisfaction with spouse responses, both within- and between-participants. Future research should investigate cross-level interactions, as well as factors associated with satisfaction with support outside the marital relationship and among other populations.
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