You are on page 1of 12

Swiss Journal of Psychology, 69 (4), 2010, 201212

SwissJ. Psychol. 69 (4) T. Ledermann 2010 Verlag etHans al.: Dyadic Huber, Coping HogrefeInventory AG, Bern

Original Communication

Psychometrics of the Dyadic Coping Inventory in Three Language Groups


Thomas Ledermann1, Guy Bodenmann2, Simona Gagliardi2, Linda Charvoz3, Sabrina Verardi3, Jrme Rossier3, Anna Bertoni4, and Raffaella Iafrate4
1

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA, 2University of Zurich, Switzerland, 3 University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 4Catholic University of Milan, Italy

Abstract. This article introduces the Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI; Bodenmann, 2008) and aims (1) to investigate the reliability and aspects of the validity of the Italian and French versions of the DCI, and (2) to replicate its factor structure and reliabilities using a new Swiss German sample. Based on 216 German-, 378 Italian-, and 198 French-speaking participants, the factor structure of the original German inventory was able to be replicated by using principal components analysis in all three groups after excluding two items in the Italian and French versions. The latter were shown to be as reliable as the German version with the exception of the low reliabilities of negative dyadic coping in the French group. Confirmatory factor analyses provided additional support for delegated dyadic coping and evaluation of dyadic coping. Intercorrelations among scales were similar across all three languages groups with a few exceptions. Previous findings could be replicated in all three groups, showing that aspects of dyadic coping were more strongly related to marital quality than to dyadic communication. The use of the dyadic coping scales in the actor-partner interdependence model, the common fate model, and the mutual influence model is discussed. Keywords: dyadic coping, validation, questionnaire, dyadic research

In the 1960s and 1970s, when scientists began to study coping with stress, coping was considered an individual phenomenon (e.g., Lazarus, 1966; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Pearlin & Schooler, 1978). Since the early 1990s, however, authors have begun to emphasize the significance of the social context and the role of significant others in managing stressful encounters. In addition to the research focusing on the exposure to stress of groups involving more than two people (e.g., Buchwald, Schwarzer, & Hobfoll, 2004; Hobfoll, 1998; Lyons, Mickelson, Sullivan, & Coyne, 1998) and the investigation of the role of the partner with respect to social support (e.g., Barbee, 1990; Williamson & Clark, 1992; Winkeler & Klauer, 2003), there is a growing literature on coping with stress in intimate relationships (e.g., Berg, Meegan, & Deviney, 1998; Bodenmann, 1997, 2005; Bodenmann & Perrez, 1991; Bodenmann, Pihet, & Kayser, 2006; Coyne & Smith, 1991, 1994; Cutrona, 1996; DeLongis & OBrien, 1990; Kayser, Sormanti, & Strainchamps, 1999). This article introduces the Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI) developed by Bodenmann to measure coping with daily stress in intimate relationships; it demonstrate the reliability of the Italian and French versions and replicates results obtained in previous studies of the German version of the DCI. In the early 1990s, Coyne and colleagues and Bodenmann independently of each other developed a dyadic stress-coping approach on the basis of Lazarus and FolkDOI 10.1024/1421-0185/a000024

mans (1984) transactional stress model. Coyne, Ellard, and Smith (1990) posited the notion of relationship-focused coping, in addition to problem- and emotion-focused coping. This notion was further elaborated by Coyne and Smith (1991), who postulated two forms of relationship-focused coping: active engagement (e.g., discussing the stressful situation with the partner, constructive interpersonal problem solving) and protective buffering (e.g., attempts to hide concerns and deny worries and to protect ones partner from upset and burden). Bodenmann, on the other hand, developed a concept of dyadic coping in close relationships, proposing a systemic-transactional perspective of coping that has its origin in the systematic observation of interactions between spouses under stress (Bodenmann, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2005). His theoretical framework is based on two key assumptions: First, stress and coping represent a dyadic (systemic) phenomenon. Second, dyadic coping with stress includes both stress expression and dyadic support (Bodenmann, 2000). There are two types of stress: relationship stress and external stress (Bodenmann, Ledermann, & Bradbury, 2007; Randall & Bodenmann, 2009). The former originates inside the relationship due to differing goals, attitudes, or desires, whereas the latter originates outside the relationship in the form of work strains, social obligations, or conflicts with personal friends not shared with the partner.
Swiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

202

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

Within this perspective, dyadic coping is considered (1) one partners attempt to help reduce the external stress perceived by his or her partner and (2) a common endeavor to cope with stress that originates inside the relationship. The stress-coping process is regarded as a sequence consisting of stress expression by the stressed person, the perception of stress by the partner, and the partners coping reaction to the stressed persons behavior (see Bodenmann, 2008). Dyadic coping is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct composed of four components: supportive, delegated, negative, and joint (common) dyadic coping. Supportive dyadic coping occurs when one partner assists the other in his or her coping efforts through problem- and emotion-focused support (e.g., providing practical advice, helping the partner accomplish daily tasks and reframe the situation, communicating a belief in the partners capabilities or expressing solidarity with the partner). It is not simply altruistic behavior, but involves efforts to support the partner with the secondary goal of reducing ones own stress as well (Bodenmann, 1995). Delegated dyadic coping occurs when one partner takes over responsibilities in order to reduce the partners stress. As opposed to supportive dyadic coping, delegated dyadic coping is characterized by the expression of support by the stressed person and a new division of contributions to the coping process. This form of dyadic coping is most commonly used in response to problem-oriented stressors. For example, the partner who does not usually go grocery shopping does the shopping in order to reduce the partners stress. Negative dyadic coping includes three subforms: hostile dyadic coping (i.e., support behaviors that are accompanied by disparagement, mocking, or sarcasm), ambivalent dyadic coping (i.e., reluctant insufficient, or inefficient support), and superficial dyadic coping (i.e., insincere or undedicated support). Joint dyadic coping refers to processes in which both partners participate more or less symmetrically in order to handle stressful encounters relevant to the couple. Couples may use strategies such as joint problem solving, joint information seeking, sharing of feelings, mutual commitment, or relaxing together. Whereas supportive dyadic coping means that one partner helps the other to deal with stress, joint dyadic coping implies that both partners are experiencing stress (often because of the same stressor) and try to manage the situation by coping together. They apply strategies focusing on resolving the problem together or helping each other reduce emotional arousal. Based on the systemic-transactional perspective of dyadic coping, Bodenmann developed a self-report questionnaire for assessing dyadic coping in close relationships consisting of four factors: stress communication, supportive, negative, and joint dyadic coping. In addition, two items were designed to reflect the quality of the self-perceived dyadic coping. The questionnaire, called the Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI; Bodenmann, 2008), measures ones own as well as ones perception of ones partners stress communication as well as supportive and negative dyadic coping in close relationships when one or both partners are stressed. A number of studies using a former verSwiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

sion of this scale, called the Questionnaire to Assess Dyadic Coping as a Tendency (FDCT-N), have supported the utility of the questionnaire in predicting marital functioning (Bodenmann, 2005, 2008). Specifically, evidence has been found that low scores in positive dyadic coping and high scores in negative dyadic coping are significantly associated with low relationship quality. The finding that low communication competence coincides with low quality of dyadic coping supports the notion that communication is key to dyadic coping. The results of a meta-analysis revealed that the total composite index of the dyadic coping scale accounted for 30% to 40% of the variance in marital satisfaction (Bodenmann, 2005). Predictive studies showed that dyadic coping is associated with future relationship quality and stability (e.g., Bodenmann & Cina, 2006). Evidence has also been found that couples with a partner suffering from a psychiatric disorder (depression, anxiety disorder, sexual dysfunction) reported significantly higher scores on negative dyadic coping relative to couples where both partners were healthy (Bodenmann, 2000). Studies evaluating gender differences in dyadic coping showed that there were nearly no significant differences in self-perceived dyadic coping, with the exception of stress communication, which was more often practiced by women than men (Widmer & Bodenmann, 2000). Because of its capability to assess changes over time, the DCI is also appropriate for use in treatment designs, including therapy evaluation (see, e.g., Bodenmann et al., 2006; Ledermann, Bodenmann, & Cina, 2007). These findings stimulated research on dyadic coping in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and Italy using the DCI translated into French and Italian. In addition to the introduction of the DCI and its background, the purpose of the current article is (1) to demonstrate the reliability and aspects of the construct validity of the Italian and French versions of the DCI in predicting marital functioning, including marital quality and communication behaviors in conflict situations, and (2) to replicate previous results on the factor structure and reliabilities of the German version of the inventory using a new Swiss sample. In all three language groups, we expect to find that communication of stress, the quality of ones own and the partners as well as the joint dyadic coping are positively related to marital quality and communication behaviors. In this article, we report and discuss the results without distinguishing between men and women since previous studies using the current German version of the DCI reported only a few gender differences (Bodenmann, 2008; Gmelch et al., 2008).

Method
Construction of the DCI
The Dyadic Coping Inventory emerged from the Questionnaire to Assess Dyadic Coping as a Tendency (FDCT-N) developed by Bodenmann (e.g., 2000). On the basis of ration-

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

203

al grounds and statistical analyses, 37 out of 68 items were selected. The Italian and French versions of the DCI are a literal translation of the original German DCI. The translations were carried out by native French and Italian speakers. A backtranslation was undertaken by two native German speakers (one with a good knowledge of French, the other with a good knowledge of Italian) and compared to the original version. In addition, an English version was derived by using the same translation process as for the Italian and French versions. In all language versions of the DCI, the items are to be rated on a 5-point scale (1 = very rarely, 2 = rarely, 3 = sometimes, 4 often, 5 = very often). The DCI scales and subscales along with their construction are listed in the Appendix (Table 1A). The inventory takes about 15 minutes to complete.

castic way), Tenderness (e.g., My partner is affectionate toward me), and Togetherness/Communication (e.g., My partner shares his/her thoughts and feelings with me). The rating scale ranges from never (0) to very often (3). These subscales can be combined to create a total score with high scores indicating high marital quality. The internal consistencies as measured by Cronbachs were .90, .88, and .91 for the German, the Italian, and the French group.

Communication Patterns Questionnaire (CPQ)


The CPQ (Christensen & Sullaway, 1984; see also Christensen, 1988) is a 35-item questionnaire assessing communication behaviors at the beginning, during, and following discussion of relationship problems. The patterns are mutual avoidance (3 items), mutual constructive communication (4 items), and demand-withdraw, that is, one partner attempts to engage in discussion, while the other attempts to avoid discussion (6 items). The likelihood of these behaviors being exhibited was rated on a 9-point scale (1 = very unlikely, 9 = very likely). The internal consistencies (Cronbachs ) for the German, Italian, and French groups were .82, .84, and .79 for mutual constructive pattern, .69, .72, and .64 for the mutual avoidance pattern, and .73, .72, and .76 for the demand-withdraw pattern.

Samples
Participants in this study were 792 individuals (not couples) belonging to three language groups. The Swiss German group consisted of 216 participants (50.9% women), the Italian group of 378 (50.3% women), and the French group of 198 (48.5% women). The mean ages were 28.7 (SD = 11.6) years for the German group, 36.8 (SD = 13.3) for the Italian group, and 33.7 (SD = 14.4) for the French group. Individuals reported a mean relationship duration of 6.32 (SD = 8.4) years, 14.6 (SD = 12.3), and 11.8 (SD = 11.9). On average, they had 2.73 (SD = 1.36), 1.01 (SD = 1.22), and 0.93 (SD = 1.22) children. 19% of the German group, 61% of the Italian group, and 43% of the French group were married. The majority were living with their partners: 88%, 97%, and 89%, respectively. With regard to their level of education, 68% of the German group, 28% of the Italian group, and 73% of the French group had earned a university degree.

Results
Factor Structure
The theoretical structure proposed by Bodenmann was tested by means of factor analyses with varimax rotation. Factors were extracted using principal components analysis (PCA) and the Kaiser-Guttman rule. Separate analyses were conducted for the items measuring ones own coping behavior, the partners coping behavior, and joint coping. The reason for conducting separate analyses is the perspective of the rater, which is different for ones own, the partners, and the joint dyadic coping. Table 1 presents the item loadings for the postulated factors of ones own and the partners dyadic coping. As can be seen, the German groups data provide evidence for the postulated structure with the factors stress communication, supportive dyadic coping, negative dyadic coping, and delegated dyadic coping for both ones own and the partners dyadic coping. For the Italian and the French group, the proposed factors for ones own and the partners coping were able to be replicated only after items 2 and 17 of the stress communication scales were excluded. The items are: I ask my partner to do things for me when I have too much to do and My partner asks me to do things for him/her when he has too much to do, respectively. This indicates that these two items do not represent a distinct indicator of ones own and the partners stress communication in the Italian or French
Swiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

Procedure
Participants were recruited both by newspaper advertisements and by posters at universities in Switzerland and Italy. Individuals interested in the study were mailed a packet of questionnaires together with instructions to complete the forms and return the packet to the institute within 2 weeks. In addition to providing demographic information, such as age, gender, education, marital status, relationship duration, and number of children, participants completed the measures described in the following.

Measures
Partnership Questionnaire (Partnerschaftsfragebogen; Hahlweg, 1996)
This is a 30-item questionnaire consisting of the three subscales Quarreling (e.g., My partner criticizes me in a sar-

204

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

Table 1 Item loadings for subscales of the German, Italian, and French versions of the DCI
Stress communication Item 1 2 3 4 20 21 23 24 29 22 25 26 27 28 30 16 17 18 19 5 6 8 9 13 7 10 11 15 12 German .76 .76 .81 .82 .29 .34 .04 .24 .16 .07 .03 .01 .08 .04 .08 .77 .71 .83 .84 .23 .35 .05 .23 .15 .01 .01 .03 .15 .02 Italian .76 .81 .86 .27 .25 .01 .16 .25 .03 .06 .04 .20 .03 .10 .74 .80 .80 .24 .34 .07 .15 .11 .09 .10 .09 .11 .04 French .54 .69 .79 .41 .47 .14 .10 .30 .30 .19 .06 .29 .14 .07 .73 .84 .86 .30 .40 .03 .29 .12 .01 .04 .04 .03 .05 Ones own dyadic coping .24 .06 .04 .15 .54 .56 .76 .65 .72 .06 .02 .16 .18 .15 .25 .27 .07 .02 .19 .53 .54 .87 .67 .79 .01 .25 .34 .20 .22 .22 .12 .18 .75 .71 .78 .79 .75 .06 .13 .31 .12 .12 .34 .24 .10 .23 .77 .72 .83 .84 .79 .00 .06 .26 .36 .13 .34 .14 .11 .72 .67 .77 .79 .69 .13 .02 .13 .07 .12 .01 .18 .08 .15 .54 .52 .86 .71 .81 .00 .01 .33 .10 .06 .14 .03 .00 .11 .46 .36 .16 .26 .07 .54 .74 .65 .74 .04 .08 .15 .08 .02 .18 .47 .37 .15 .37 .14 .71 .77 .63 .67 .18 .10 .01 .00 .21 .21 .13 .21 .01 .62 .67 .64 .74 .03 .07 .27 .06 .05 .23 .15 .02 .19 .01 .69 .76 .63 .68 .04 .17 .12 .13 .13 .15 .04 .11 .05 .35 .70 .73 .70 .08 .07 .02 .04 .03 .47 .32 .02 .26 .05 .64 .67 .58 .51 .03 .08 .04 .01 .06 .23 .19 .02 .26 .19 .02 .09 .00 .09 .90 .86 .14 .00 .00 .10 .38 .30 .11 .29 .20 .06 .12 .15 .17 .87 .04 .02 .01 .15 .13 .02 .16 .23 .00 .13 .04 .07 .90 .79 .14 .07 .03 .15 .09 .13 .09 .23 .01 .13 .03 .10 .90 .10 .13 .03 .00 .04 .00 .02 .27 .25 .05 .10 .04 .92 .94 .17 .06 .05 .22 .19 .06 .18 .20 .06 .05 .08 .04 .91 Supportive DC German Italian French Negative DC German Italian French Delegated DC German Italian French

Partners dyadic coping

14 .11 .00 .00 .26 .37 .23 .21 .12 .02 .84 .80 .88 Note. DC = dyadic coping. Items 2 and 17 were excluded from the Italian and French versions of the DCI. The shaded areas denote the expected factor structure.

group. In all three language groups, the loadings of the items on the designated factors were all above .50 with the exception of item 22 (i.e., I blame my partner for not coping well enough with stress), whose loading was .35 in the French group. The cross-loadings were all below .40. The explained variances for the German, Italian, and French groups were 62.1%, 64.3%, and 61.8% for ones own coping and 65.1%, 67.4%, and 62.1% for the partners coping, respectively. The eigenvalues were 1.23, 1.08, and 1.13 for ones own coping and 1.14, 1.12, and 1.09 for the partners coping. The results of the principal components analyses also provided evidence for the factor joint dyadic coping. The loadings of the items measuring this type of coping
Swiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

(items 31 to 35) were .87, .87, .84, .49, and .35 for the German, .85, .87, 85, .38, and .41 for the Italian, and .79, .83, .80, .66, and .57 for the French group. The explained variances were 51.5%, 50.2%, and 54.2%, respectively. The eigenvalues for the joint dyadic coping factor were 2.57, 2.51, and 2.71. These findings provide evidence for configural (form) invariance (Horn, McArdle, & Mason, 1983; see also Vandenberg & Lance, 2000) of the dyadic coping scales across all three language groups. The stress communication scales exhibit configural invariance only across the Italian and the French groups, however. On the basis of the PCA result, we conducted confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) using structural equation mod-

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

205

Table 2 Model fit and range of standardized factor loadings of the DCI subscales and the evaluation scales
Version Subscales scales Stress communication by oneself G I F Stress communication by the partner G I F Supportive DC by oneself G I F Supportive DC by the partner G I F Negative DC by oneself G I F Negative DC by the partner G I F Delegated DC by oneself G I F Delegated DC by the partner G I F Joint DC G I F Evaluation of DC G I 15.50 27.35 42.40 12.87 19.02 33.94 91.20 50.08 0.20 0.01 4.92 1.13 9.48 0.06 34.78 83.13 56.57 2 0 0 2 0 0 5 5 5 5 5 5 2 2 2 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 5 0 0 < .001 < .001 < .001 < .001 < .001 .025 .002 < .001 < .001 < .001 .905 .997 .085 .569 .009 .970 .002 .156 .243 .187 .065 .119 .164 .214 .214 < .001 < .001 .086 < .001 .100 < .001 .166 .204 .229 .960 .929 .864 .990 .960 .923 .992 .889 1.00 1.00 .946 1.00 .965 1.00 .924 .877 .847 .56.76 .65.90 .51.76 .52.90 .59.79 .61.91 .49.80 .58.82 .47.84 .60.82 .74.86 .58.83 .28.71 .45.69 .25.57 .45.75 .51.70 .31.43 .84.89 .72.80 .92.87 .80.85 .77.79 .82.84 .16.91 .17.89 .35.86 .85.84 .89.92 .90.95 df p RMSEA CFI Range of stand. loadings

F 0 Note. df = degrees of freedom; stand = standardized. Factor loadings of models with a bad model fit are likely to be biased.

eling (SEM) techniques. In models with three or more indicator variables, the loading of one indicator was set to one, in models with two indicator variables, the loading of both indicators were constrained to one. Models with three or fewer indicators are saturated (i.e., just identified) and, consequently, have zero degrees of freedom (df). The model fit and the range of the standardized factor loadings of the dyadic coping subscales and the scales measuring evaluation of dyadic coping are presented in Table 2. In terms of model fit and the convention that the indicators should have standardized loadings of .70 or higher (e.g., Schumacker & Lomax, 2004), delegated dyadic coping by oneself and the partner and evaluation of dyadic coping were reasonable and reliable. All other scales were either inconsistent with the data or showed low loadings or both.

Reliabilities and Item Correlations


The reliabilities measured by Cronbachs and the corrected item-total correlations of the subscales, the composite scales, and the evaluation of dyadic coping are shown in Table 3. The reliabilities of the subscales ranged for the German, Italian, and the French groups from .61 to .86, from .62 to .89, and from .50 to .89, respectively. Using the conventional standard of .70 as the minimal acceptable level of reliability, we found reasonable reliabilities in the German and Italian groups for all subscales with two exceptions: The negative dyadic coping scales in both language groups and joint dyadic coping in the Italian group showed borderline reliabilities ranging from .61 to .67. In the French group, all subscales were reliable with the excepSwiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

206

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

Table 3 Reliabilities (Cronbachs ) and range of corrected item-total correlations for the German, Italian, and French groups
German N = 216 Variable Subscales Stress communication by oneself Stress communication by the partner Supportive DC by oneself Supportive DC by the partner Negative DC by oneself Negative DC by the partner Delegated DC by oneself Delegated DC by the partner Joint DC Composite scales DC total by oneself DC total by the partner DC total .77 .83 .91 .09.60 .31.75 .08.69 .78 .83 .90 .14.69 .25.75 .08.72 .69 .78 .90 .92 .03.62 .19.68 .07.70 .86 .80 .82 .76 .82 .61 .66 .86 .81 .70 .50.68 .51.73 .46.64 .55.71 .23.51 .38.55 .75 .68 .27.63 .78 .75 .86 .89 .62 .67 .73 .76 .68 .57.70 .51.62 .55.74 .70.79 .35.49 .42.53 .57 .61 31.61 .64 .78 .82 .84 .53 .50 .89 .81 .76 .40.51 .55.71 .4671 .55.74 .20.46 .23.39 .80 .69 .46.60 Rel. Item corr. Italian N = 378 Rel. Item corr. French N = 198 Rel. Item corr.

Evaluation of DC .84 .72 .90 .82 Note. DC = dyadic coping; Rel. = reliability (Cronbachs ); Item corr. = corrected item-total correlation.

Table 4 Means and standard deviations and results of the analysis of variance for the German, Italian, and French groups
German Variable Subscales Stress communication by oneself Stress communication by the partner Supportive DC by oneself Supportive DC by the partner Negative DC by oneself Negative DC by the partner Delegated DC by oneself Delegated DC by the partner Joint DC Composite scales DC total by oneself DC total by the partner DC total 4.06 4.01 133.50 0.43 0.51 15.14 4.04 3.97 125.57 3.82 0.44 0.53 14.29 0.83 4.03 3.96 126.00 3.87 0.37 0.48 13.66 0.84 0.42 1.21 12.92*** .001 .002 .030 3.43 3.44 3.98 3.88 1.49 1.42 3.35 3.20 3.46 0.77 0.79 0.54 0.67 0.50 0.50 0.87 0.89 0.64 3.44 3.59 3.90 3.76 1.35 1.30 3.16 3.03 3.28 0.84 0.77 0.60 0.76 0.48 0.49 0.80 0.93 0.63 3.48 3.27 3.91 3.81 1.36 1.42 3.10 3.08 3.58 0.73 0.86 0.57 0.68 0.42 0.45 0.89 0.91 0.70 * 1.44 1.12 8.19** 0.00 9.09** 1.80 3.17 .003 .005 .018 .015 .013 .006 .035 M SD Italian M SD French M SD F 2

Evaluation of DC 4.15 0.70 Note. DC = dyadic coping. *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001.

tion of stress communication by oneself, which yielded a borderline reliability of .64, and negative dyadic coping, whose reliability was very low. The reliabilities for the three composite scales were reasonable with the exception of the borderline reliability for dyadic coping by oneself total in the French group. There were reasonable reliabilities for evaluation of dyadic coping across all three language groups that ranged from .84 to .92.
Swiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

Means and Standard Deviations and Intercorrelations Among Subscales


Table 4 presents the means and standard deviations for all three language groups. Substantial group differences were revealed for negative dyadic coping by oneself, delegated dyadic coping by oneself, and evaluation of dyadic coping.

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

207

Swiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

208

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

In all three cases, the means were somewhat higher in the Swiss German group. Furthermore, the means of the subscales measuring negative dyadic coping were somewhat lower than for the other subscales (Table 4). Intercorrelations among the scales and subscales are given in Table 5. The direction and magnitude of the correlations were largely as expected. Strong effects ( .50) across all three language groups were found for the correlations between dyadic coping by oneself and by the partner, between dyadic coping by the partner and joint dyadic coping, between dyadic coping by the partner and evaluation, between supportive dyadic coping by oneself and the partner, between negative dyadic coping by oneself and the partner, between joint dyadic coping and supportive dyadic coping by oneself and the partner, between evaluation and supportive dyadic coping by the partner, and between evaluation and joint dyadic coping. To examine differences in the correlations between groups, we consider a difference of .20 (i.e., between a small and a medium effect) or higher as substantial. Using this criterion, which allows a sample size independent comparison, three substantial differences were revealed. First, the correlation between delegated dyadic coping by oneself and supportive dyadic coping by oneself was substantially lower for the Italian group relative to the other two groups. Second, the association between delegated dyadic coping by the partner and supportive dyadic coping by oneself was much stronger for the German group than for both the Italian and the French groups. Finally, the correlation between delegated dyadic coping by the partner and supportive dyadic coping by the partner was substantially stronger for the German group than for the other two groups. All other group differences were smaller than .20.

Correlations with Other Constructs


In order to test aspects of construct validity, the dyadic coping scales were correlated with marital quality, measured by the relationship questionnaire, and communication behaviors, assessed by the Communication Patterns Questionnaire (CPQ). The intercorrelations are depicted in Table 6. As can be seen, stress communication by oneself and by the partner were most strongly related to marital quality and most weakly with CPQ demand-withdraw across all three language samples. In the German and French group, ones own stress communication was a better predictor for marital quality than the partners stress communication. Among the dyadic coping subscales, the strongest correlations with marital quality and CPQ avoidance and CPQ constructive communication were found for both forms of supportive and negative dyadic coping and joint dyadic coping. Among them, supportive dyadic coping by oneself was less correlated with CPQ demand-withdraw than the other subscales. Delegated dyadic coping was generally less associated with marital communication and CPQ communication than stress communication and the other dyadic
Swiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

209

Table 6 Correlations of the dyadic coping scales with marital quality and marital communication patterns (CPQ)
Variable Subscales Stress communication by oneself G I F Stress communication by the partner G I F Supportive DC by oneself G I F Supportive DC by the partner G I F Negative DC by oneself G I F Negative DC by the partner G I F Delegated DC by oneself G I F Delegated DC by the partner G I F Joint DC G I F Composite scales DC total by oneself G I F DC total by the partner G I F DC total G I F Evaluation of DC G I F 0.57*** 0.48*** 0.51*** 0.74*** 0.68*** 0.64*** 0.71*** 0.68*** 0.70*** 0.63*** 0.63*** 0.64*** 0.42*** 0.41*** 0.41*** 0.51*** 0.51*** 0.53*** 0.55*** 0.55*** 0.55*** 0.49*** 0.51*** 0.60*** 0.48*** 0.29*** 0.36*** 0.58*** 0.42*** 0.46*** 0.60*** 0.43*** 0.50*** 0.61*** 0.42*** 0.55*** 0.26*** 0.30*** 0.22** 0.37*** 0.32*** 0.40*** 0.32*** 0.33*** 0.35*** 0.41*** 0.32*** 0.44*** 0.41*** 0.36*** 0.50*** 0.31*** 0.37*** 0.26*** 0.45*** 0.46*** 0.47*** 0.68*** 0.64*** 0.62*** 0.51*** 0.38*** 0.36*** 0.60*** 0.48*** 0.35*** 0.27*** 0.13* 0.08 0.36*** 0.31*** 0.33*** 0.54*** 0.51*** 0.67*** 0.26*** 0.31*** 0.33*** 0.31*** 0.35*** 0.15* 0.33*** 0.38*** 0.35*** 0.46*** 0.48*** 0.50*** 0.35*** 0.34*** 0.31*** 0.48*** 0.40*** 0.35*** 0.23*** 0.12* 0.08 0.19** 0.19*** 0.26*** 0.52*** 0.39*** 0.56*** 0.31*** 0.21*** 0.23** 0.27*** 0.23*** 0.25*** 0.35*** 0.27*** 0.26*** 0.55*** 0.40*** 0.40*** 0.47*** 0.26*** 0.22** 0.47*** 0.32*** 0.30*** 0.21** 0.06 0.21** 0.24*** 0.15** 0.29*** 0.56*** 0.43*** 0.52*** 0.03 0.17** 0.07 0.15* 0.14** 0.07 0.15* 0.24*** 0.11 0.29*** 0.30*** 0.34*** 0.30*** 0.27*** 0.30*** 0.38*** 0.26*** 0.32*** 0.13 0.11* 0.05 0.19** 0.12* 0.19** 0.34*** 0.21*** 0.41*** Version Marital quality CPQ avoidance CPQ constructive CPQ demand-withdraw

Note. DC = dyadic coping; G = German, I = Italian, F = French. *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001.
Swiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

210

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

coping measures. The three composite scales and evaluation of dyadic coping were similarly correlated with martial quality and the three CPQ scales.

Discussion
Along with introducing the Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI) and its theoretical background, the goals of this article were (1) to investigate the reliability and aspects of the validity of the Italian and French versions of the DCI and (2) to replicate previous results on the factor structure and internal consistency of the German DCI using a new Swiss sample. The results of the principal component analyses based on 216 German-, 378 Italian-, and 198 Frenchspeaking participants support the proposed factor structure of the inventory after excluding two items from the stress communication scales in the Italian and French versions. Confirmatory factor analyses showed that delegated dyadic coping by oneself and the partner and evaluation of dyadic coping were reasonable and reliable in terms of model fit and factor loadings. With the exception of the subscales measuring negative dyadic coping, the internal consistencies of all scales and subscales were good and comparable with previously reported results (Bodenmann, 2008; Gmelch et al., 2008). The low reliabilities of the negative dyadic coping scales may be due mainly to the fact that, in all three samples, the means for negative dyadic coping were low and that high scores (i.e., four or five) were rarely reported by the participants. This is in accordance with observations made by Bodenmann (2000), who found that a high score on negative dyadic coping is a good indicator of low relationship quality. Moreover, in couples in stable relationships, it is unlikely to observe a high mean on negative dyadic coping. In more diverse samples, both higher means and internal consistencies have been found (Bodenmann, 2008). Intercorrelations among the DCI scales and subscales were similar across all three languages groups with three exceptions. The first exception was the correlation between delegated dyadic coping by oneself and supportive dyadic coping by oneself. The second exception was the association between delegated dyadic coping by the partner and supportive dyadic coping by oneself. The third exception was the correlation between delegated dyadic coping by the partner and supportive dyadic coping by the partner. With regard to the association between the dyadic coping scales and marital functioning in the form of marital quality and dyadic communication, the results were in line with previous findings (e.g., Bodenmann, 2005, 2008) and support the predictive validity of the DCI. Among the DCI scales, associations between delegated dyadic coping and marital communication were generally somewhat lower. In sum, the findings provide evidence for the reliability and aspects of validity of the DCI as well as for the consistent factor structure of the DCI across the three language verSwiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

sions. Exceptions are French negative dyadic coping, whose reliability was low, and stress communication, whose factor structure is not configural invariant across the three groups. In contrast to instruments measuring social support (e.g., Winkeler & Klauer, 2003), the DCI focuses explicitly on the support provided by the partner when a person feels stressed. The instrument, which allows an assessment of ones own as well as the partners rating, can be employed in psychological research, especially in the field of couples and family research but also in social, personality, and clinical psychology. Moreover, it can be used to assess the quality of dyadic coping in a person or a couple by computing an idiographic profile for each person (see Bodenmann, 2008). When collecting data from dyads, there are three generic data-analytic models that take into account the nonindependence of such data (see, e.g., Kenny, 1996). The models are called the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM), the common fate model (CFM), and the mutual influence model (MIM). All dyadic coping scales are suitable for use in an APIM or a MIM. For example, a researcher may employ the APIM to test the influence of a wifes stress communication on her own positive dyadic coping (actor effect) and on her partners positive dyadic coping (partner effect). Using the MIM, the wifes and husbands stress communication could be implemented as independent variables, with delegated coping as a dependent variable to assess the reciprocal effects between wifes and husbands delegated coping. The CFM (e.g., Griffin & Gonzalez, 1995; Kenny, 1996) is theoretically limited to variables representing dyadic constructs whose focus is on the dyad rather than the individual (see Ledermann & Macho, 2009). Among the dyadic coping scales, the variable joint dyadic coping is particularly suitable for being modeled as a common fate factor with wifes and husbands self-rated joint dyadic coping as indicator variables (considering that joint dyadic coping as a persons individual attitude toward the dyadic construct joint dyadic coping can also be used in an APIM). The selection of the scales and the data-analytic model along with the setup of the model should be guided by the hypotheses to be tested. The generalizability of the presented results, however, must be qualified by several limitations. A first limitation is that the samples were not representative, so that the reported means should not have been used as norm values to compare the means of other studies with the sample means of this study. A second limitation is that only individual data were gathered, which do not allow us to analyze correlations between partners. A third limitation concerns the use of self-report data in testing aspects of validity. It is possible, however, that data may be biased by self-evaluation of dyadic coping and marital quality or communication. Thus, observational data would be needed to control for this effect. Finally, we are also aware that further research is needed in Italian and French samples to yield information about different types of validity (convergent, divergent, criterion, and prognostic validity). These types of

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

211

validity were deemed adequate for the German version of the DCI (Bodenmann, 2008). As mentioned above, in order to reduce complexity, we did not conduct separate factor analyses separately for men and women in this paper as three language groups were examined. However, it is evident that such analyses should be done before the DCI is published in the form of a test manual in French or Italian. Such data are available for the German version of the DCI (Bodenmann, 2008). Despite these limitations, we believe that the Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI) could be a valuable instrument for couples research and clinical practice. Along with the Relationship-Focused Coping Scale (RFCS) by Coyne and Smith (1991), the DCI is one of the only scales that measures dyadic coping in couples. The DCI might be especially useful for gaining a better understanding of couples coping behaviors in relationship research.

Authors Note
The items along with the instructions for the Dyadic Coping Inventory in English, Italian, and French can be ordered from Guy Bodenmann (guy.bodenmann@psychologie.uzh.ch). The German version is available from Verlag Hans Huber.

References
Barbee, A. P. (1990). Interactive coping: The cheering-up process in close relationships. In S. Duck (Ed.), Personal relationships and social support (pp. 4665). London, UK: Sage. Berg, C. A., Meegan, S. P., & Deviney, F. P. (1998). A social contextual model of coping with everyday problems across the life span. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 22, 239261. Bodenmann, G. (1995). A systemic-transactional view of stress and coping in couples. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 54, 3449. Bodenmann, G. (1997). Dyadic coping a systemic-transactional view of stress and coping among couples: Theory and empirical findings. European Review of Applied Psychology, 47, 137140. Bodenmann, G. (2000). Stress und Coping bei Paaren [Stress and coping in couples]. Gttingen: Hogrefe. Bodenmann, G. (2005). Dyadic coping and its significance for marital functioning. In T. Revenson, K. Kayser, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: Emerging perspectives on dyadic coping (pp. 3350). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Bodenmann, G. (2008). Dyadisches Coping Inventar: Testmanual [Dyadic Coping Inventory: Test manual]. Bern, Switzerland: Huber. Bodenmann, G., & Cina, A. (2006). Stress and coping among stable-satisfied, stable-distressed and separated/divorced Swiss couples: A 5-year prospective longitudinal study. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 44, 7189. Bodenmann, G., & Perrez, M. (1991). Dyadisches Coping: Eine systemische Betrachtungsweise der Belastungsbewltigung in

Partnerschaften [Dyadic coping: A systemic perspective on coping in couples]. Zeitschrift fr Familienforschung, 3, 425. Bodenmann, G., Ledermann, T., & Bradbury, T. N. (2007). Stress, sex, and satisfaction in marriage. Personal Relationships, 14, 551569. Bodenmann, G., Pihet, S., & Kayser, K. (2006). The relationship between dyadic coping, marital quality, and well-being: A two year longitudinal study. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 485493. Buchwald, P., Schwarzer, C., & Hobfoll, S. E. (Eds.). (2004). Stress gemeinsam bewltigen: Ressourcenmanagement und multiaxiales Coping [Coping with stress together: Resource management and multiaxial coping]. Gttingen: Hogrefe. Christensen, A. (1988). Dysfunctional interaction patterns in couples. In P. Noller & M. A. Fitzpatrick (Eds.), Perspectives on marital interaction (pp. 3152). Philadelphia, PA: Multilingual Matters. Christensen, A., & Sullaway, M. (1984). Communication patterns questionnaire. Unpublished manuscript. Los Angeles, CA: University of California. Coyne, J. C., & Smith, D. A. F. (1991). Couples coping with a myocardial infarction: A contextual perspective on wives distress. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 404412. Coyne, J. C., & Smith, D. A. F. (1994). Couples coping with myocardial infarction: Contextual perspective on patient self-efficacy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 113. Coyne, J. C., Ellard, J. H., & Smith, D. A. (1990). Unsupportive relationships, interdependence, and unhelpful exchanges. In I. G. Sarason, B. R. Sarason, & G. Pierce (Eds.), Social support: An interactional view (pp. 129149). New York: Wiley. Cutrona, C. (1996). Social support in couples: Marriage as a resource in times of stress. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. DeLongis, A., & OBrien, T. (1990). An interpersonal framework for stress and coping: An application to the families of Alzheimers patients. In M. A. P. Stephens, J. H. Crowther, S. E. Hobfoll, & D. L. Tennenbaum (Eds.), Stress and coping in later-life families (pp. 221240). New York: Hemisphere. Gmelch, S., Bodenmann, G., Meuwly, N., Ledermann, T., Steffen-Sozinova, O., & Striegl, K. (2008). Dyadisches Coping Inventar (DCI): Ein Fragebogen zur Erfassung des partnerschaftlichen Umgangs mit Stress [Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI): A questionnaire assessing dyadic coping in couples]. Zeitschrift fr Familienforschung, 20, 185203. Griffin, D. W., & Gonzalez, R. (1995). Correlational analysis of dyad-level data in the exchangeable case. Psychological Bulletin, 118, 430445. Hahlweg, K. (1996). Fragebogen zur Partnerschaftsdiagnostik (FPD) [Partnership questionnaire]. Gttingen: Hogrefe. Hobfoll, S. E. (1998). Stress, culture, and community. New York: Plenum. Horn, J. L., McArdle, J. J., & Mason, R. (1983). When is invariance not invariant: A practical scientists look at the ethereal concept of factor invariance. Southern Psychologist, 4, 179188. Kayser, K., Sormanti, M., & Strainchamps, E. (1999). Women coping with cancer: The influence of relationship factors on psychosocial adjustment. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23, 725739. Kenny, D. A. (1996). Models of nonindependence in dyadic research. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 13, 279294.
Swiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern

212

T. Ledermann et al.: Dyadic Coping Inventory

Lazarus, R. S. (1966). Psychological stress and the coping process. New York: McGraw-Hill. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer. Ledermann, T., & Macho, S. (2009). Mediation in dyadic data at the level of the dyads: A structural equation modeling approach. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 661670. Ledermann, T., Bodenmann, G., & Cina, A. (2007). The efficacy of the Couples Coping Enhancement Training (CCET) in improving relationship quality. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 940959. Lyons, R. F., Mickelson, K. D., Sullivan, M. J. L., & Coyne, J. C. (1998). Coping as a communal process. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 579605. Pearlin, L. I., & Schooler, C. (1978). The structure of coping. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 19, 221. Randall, A. K., & Bodenmann, G. (2009). The role of stress on close relationships and marital satisfaction. Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 105115. Schumacker, R. E., & Lomax, R. G. (2004). A beginners guide to structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Vandenberg, R. J., & Lance, C. E. (2000). A review and synthesis of the measurement invariance literature: Suggestions, practic-

es, and recommendations for organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 3, 470. Widmer, K., & Bodenmann, G. (2000). Alltagsstress, Coping und Befindlichkeit: Paare im Geschlechtervergleich [Everyday stress, coping and well-being in couples: An analysis of gender differences]. Zeitschrift fr Medizinische Psychologie, 9, 1726. Williamson, G. M., & Clark, M. S. (1992). Impact of desired relationship type on affective reactions to choosing and being required to help. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 1018. Winkeler, M., & Klauer, T. (2003). Inventar zur sozialen Untersttzung in Dyaden (ISU-DYA): Konstruktionshintergrund und erste Ergebnisse zur Reliabilitt und Validitt [Inventory of social support in dyads: Construction and initial results on reliability and validity]. Diagnostica, 49, 1223.

Thomas Ledermann Department of Psychology University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 06269-1020 USA thomas.ledermann@uconn.edu

Appendix A
Table 1A The DCI scales and subscales and their construction
Scale Stress communication by oneselfa Stress communication by the partnera Supportive DC by oneself Supportive DC by the partner Delegated DC by oneself Delegated DC by the partner Negative DC by oneself Negative DC by the partner Joint DC Evaluation of the quality of DC DC total by oneself DC total by the partnera DC total No. of items 4/3 4/3 4 4 2 2 4 4 5 2 11 11 35/33 Items 1, (2), 3, 4 16, (17), 18, 19 20, 21, 23, 24, 29 5, 6, 8, 9, 13 28, 30 12, 14 22, 25 to 27 7, 10, 11, 15 31 to 35 36, 37 20, 21, 23, 24, 29, 22r, 25r, 26r, 27r, 28, 30 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 7r, 10r, 11r, 15r, 12, 14

1, (2), 3, 4, 16, (17), 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 29, 22r, 25r, 26r, 27r, 28, 30, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 7r, 10r, 11r, 15r, 12, 14, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 Note. DC = dyadic coping. aItalian and French versions without Item 2 and 17. r = reverse-scored (i.e., 1 = 5; 2 = 4; 4 = 2; 5 = 1).

Swiss J. Psychol. 69 (4) 2010 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern