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Psychological Assessment 2015 American Psychological Association

2016, Vol. 28, No. 10, 12431254 1040-3590/16/$12.00 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pas0000256

Couple Resilience Inventory: Two Dimensions of Naturally Occurring


Relationship Behavior During Stressful Life Events
Keith Sanford, Lindsey M. Backer-Fulghum, and Chelsea Carson
Baylor University

A series of 3 studies using samples of married or cohabiting people were conducted to develop a new
scale for measuring resilience in couples. Resilience involves the extent to which couples engage in
behaviors that help each partner cope during stressful life events. In the first study, 525 people responded
to open-ended questions, and a qualitative analysis identified 49 different potential types of resilience
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

behavior that people naturally experience and notice in their relationships. In the second study, 320
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

people completed a questionnaire assessing the 49 resilience behaviors. Several items were correlated
with measures of well-being and quality of life, and results suggested that the domain of resilience items
could be reduced to 2 factors: 1 pertaining to positive behavior and the other to negative. In the third
study, 18 items were selected to create a new measure of couple resilience, and the measure was tested
with a sample of 568 people. The new measure fit an expected 2-dimensional factor structure. Scales
measuring positive and negative behavior were nearly orthogonal, but both correlated with measures of
quality of life and well-being, and most effects remained significant after controlling for relationship
satisfaction. The resilience scales had moderate cross-partner correlations when 2 partners reported on the
same stressful event. These results provide preliminary validity evidence for use of the new measure of
couple resilience.

Keywords: couples, interpersonal relationships, resilience, coping

Research regarding resilience has found that being in a support- couple resilience could be used to identify targets for intervention
ive relationship with a partner can be an important protective and evaluate progress over time.
factor for people facing stressful life situations (Diener, Gohm, Toward this end, a first step is to develop a measure of couple
Suh, & Oishi, 2000; Post, de Witte, van Asbeck, van Dijk, & resilience, and an ideal measure would demonstrate several types
Schrijvers, 1998; Waite, 1995). However, the extent of protective of validity. First, it would have content validity by including items
benefit gained from being in a relationship likely depends on the sampled from across the entire domain of resilience characteristics
types of interactions occurring within the relationship itself. Cou- that people naturally experience and notice in their relationships.
ple resilience is defined as a process in which a couple engages in Second, items would be organized into a sufficient, but not exces-
relationship behaviors that help each member adapt and maintain sive, number of distinct scales that adequately capture the overall
high well-being during stressful life situations. This definition is factor structure of couple resilience characteristics. Third, it would
consistent with an interactionist framework in which resilience is demonstrate convergent validity by having at least small correla-
conceptualized as a context-specific process that has the potential tions with measures of overall life well-being during stressful life
for both stability and change over time (Pangallo, Zibarras, Lewis, experiences. Fourth, it would demonstrate a degree of discriminant
& Flaxman, 2015). There are many situations where it would be validity by having a lack of redundancy with measures of relation-
valuable for researchers and clinicians to assess couple resilience. ship satisfaction.
This could include, for example, research identifying types of Current theoretical models suggest a number of possible com-
contexts where couple resilience is most important, or variables ponents of resilience, and several of these models come from
that mediate the effects of resilience, or investigating ways that literature on dyadic coping. For example, Bodenmann (1997,
couple resilience might add to or interact with other types of 2005) proposed a model describing how partners respond to each
resilience to predict well-being. In clinical work, a measure of other when they experience feelings of stress and when they
perceive stress in each other, and this model includes four types of
dyadic coping: common coping (behaviors that two partners do
together), supportive coping (behaviors one partner does to com-
This article was published Online First November 23, 2015. fort, encourage, or advise the other), delegated coping (tasks that
Keith Sanford, Lindsey M. Backer-Fulghum, and Chelsea Carson, De- one partner completes at the request of the other), and negative
partment of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University.
coping (behaviors that are hostile, ambivalent, or superficial).
This research was supported in part by a grant from the Baylor Univer-
sity Research Committee.
Coyne and Smith (1991, 1994; Coyne, Ellard, & Smith, 1990)
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Keith propose a model that distinguishes between active engagement and
Sanford, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University, a type of protective buffering where one partner attempts to
One Bear Place #97334, Waco, TX 76798-7334. E-mail: Keith_ shield the other from negative information. Other models of dyadic
Sanford@baylor.edu coping emphasize the importance of empathic responding

1243
1244 SANFORD, BACKER-FULGHUM, AND CARSON

(OBrien, DeLongis, Pomaki, Puterman, & Zwicker, 2009), per- and negative relationship appraisals are best conceptualized as two
ceived adequacy of support from a partner (Dehle, Larsen, & distinct dimensions (Fincham & Linfield, 1997; Mattson, Rogge,
Landers, 2001), congruence between partners in their coping styles Johnson, Davidson, & Fincham, 2013). The same may be true for
(Revenson, 1994; Revenson, Abrado-Lanza, Majerovitz, & Jor- dimensions of couple resilience. When a couple is facing a stress-
dan, 2005), sexual functioning (Baucom et al., 2009), communi- ful life event, the process of initiating positive behavior might be
cation (Heinrichs et al., 2012; Manne, Badr, Zaider, Nelson, & distinct from the processes of inhibiting negative behavior, and just
Kissane, 2010), and relationship maintenance behavior (Badr & because a couple is successful in one area might not mean they are
Taylor, 2008). In addition, possible components of couple resil- successful in the other. As it stands, however, theoretical argu-
ience can be drawn from literature regarding resilience in families. ments could be made to support several other possible factor
For instance, Walsh (2007) identifies nine different factors of structures, and a factor analysis of a large pool of resilience items
family resilience, which she broadly categorizes into family belief would be useful for clarifying these issues.
systems, family organizational patterns, and family communica- If couple resilience is defined as the extent to which a couple
tion. Benzies and Mychasiuk (2009) also identified nine familial engages in behaviors that help each member adapt, then a key
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

protective factors that include family structure, cohesion, support, criterion to use in selecting items for a couple resilience question-
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

and stability. In sum, there are a large number of possible com- naire is the extent to which items correlate with outcomes such as
ponents of couple resilience. well-being and quality of life during times of stress. In this regard,
In considering the different possible components of couple the approach for validating a measure of couple resilience might be
resilience, it may be helpful to raise a basic question. Are there slightly different from the approach for validating a measure of
components of resilience that people naturally experience and dyadic coping. The concept of dyadic coping pertains to all the
notice in their relationships? Given the extent to which relation- ways that couples respond to each other when stress is perceived
ships are important for human adaptation, it seems possible that (Bodenmann, 2005), and presumably, a measure of dyadic coping
components of couple resilience include types of relationship could be valid regardless of whether scales correlate with aspects
characteristics that are highly salient to people and that are, there- of well-being or quality of life. Along this line, research regarding
fore, likely to be noticed when they are present. By identifying the dyadic coping has focused primarily on the extent to which this
components of resilience that people naturally notice in their variable predicts relationship satisfaction (e.g., Bodenmann, 1997;
relationships, it may be possible to define the domain of resilience Bodenmann, Pihet, & Kayser, 2006; Brock & Lawrence, 2008;
characteristics in a manner that best matches how it is actually Revenson, Kayser, & Bodenmann, 2005), and only a handful of
experienced in real life. Moreover, people may be able to provide studies have investigated correlations between dyadic coping and
the most valid responses to items on a couple-resilience question- measures of life well-being (Badr, Carmack, Kashy, Cristofanilli,
naire if those items ask about characteristics that people naturally & Revenson, 2010; Bodenmann, Meuwly, & Kayser, 2011; Coyne
notice in their relationships. Thus, one promising approach for & Smith, 1991; Dehle et al., 2001). In contrast, if the goal is to
developing a measure of couple resilience is first to conduct a develop a measure of resilience, then correlations with well-being
qualitative study identifying the domain of all the potential resil- and quality of life during times of stress would need to take
ience components that people naturally notice in their relation- precedence, and could not be regarded merely as ancillary find-
ships, and then to select a set of items from across this domain. By ings.
selecting a small number of items from across the entire domain, Although only a few studies have investigated associations
it may be possible to maximize content validity, while at the same between dyadic coping and well-being, results from these studies
time avoiding redundancy and minimizing questionnaire length. are informative. Specifically, these studies indicate that this type of
It would also be valuable to clarify the number of different effect is likely to be small and difficult to detect. In a study of
factors, or dimensions, that are needed to capture the full domain community couples (Bodenmann et al., 2011), and also in a study
of couples resilience items. As described above, current theoret- of couples with a wife facing metastatic breast cancer (Badr et al.,
ical models propose a wide variety of different dimensions of 2010), researchers investigated associations between several di-
couple resilience and couple coping, yet it is not clear how many mensions of dyadic coping and a set of well-being outcomes
of these dimensions, if any, could be identified as distinct factors ranging from depression and social dysfunction, to cancer-related
from a large pool of items reflecting naturally occurring compo- distress. In both studies, the average standardized effect was .08
nents of couple resilience. Information regarding factor structure and only half the coefficients tested were significant. Slightly
would be useful for designing a model that is parsimonious, and larger effects are found in studies showing that well-being is
that includes a sufficient but not excessive number of factors. One positively associated with perceiving adequate support from a
possibility is that resilience can be represented by two broad partner (Dehle et al., 2001), and negatively associated with pro-
dimensions, with one including characteristics associated with tective buffering (Coyne & Smith, 1991). The fact that many
positive affect and increased resilience (such as partners encour- effects are small in size should not be surprising or discouraging,
aging each other to be optimistic and providing comfort to each and the fact that some studies find significant results should be
other), and another including characteristics associated with neg- regarded as promising. There are likely a large number of variables
ative affect and decreased resilience (such as partners being short that determine well-being, and many predictors of well-being are
tempered and quick to criticize each other). Research regarding likely to be moderated by contextual factors. It would be unreal-
two-dimensional theories of affect finds that positive and negative istic for any single type of variable to produce large effects in
affect represent two distinct dimensions that are largely orthogonal predicting an outcome as complex and multidetermined as well-
(Tuccitto, Giacobbi, & Leite, 2010). Similarly, several studies with being. Thus, measures that show even small correlations with
couples have found evidence that positive relationship appraisals well-being have the potential to be important variables. In sum, it
COUPLE RESILIENCY INVENTORY 1245

may be particularly challenging to identify relationship behaviors participated without their partners. Given the qualitative nature of
that correlate with well-being during times of stress because these analyses in Study 1, no steps were taken to address independence
effects are likely to be small, yet this step is crucial for the between cases.
development of a valid measure of couple resilience.
Another important step in developing a measure of resilience is
to demonstrate that the measure is distinct from relationship sat- Procedure
isfaction. There is already a body of research indicating that Participants visited an interactive website that allowed them to
relationship satisfaction correlates with a range of outcomes such complete an anonymous relationship questionnaire that included
as posttraumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders (Allen, the target questions for this study. It also included scales unrelated
Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2010; Overbeek et al., 2006; to the present study regarding relationship functioning and conflict
Whisman, 2007), depression (Beach, Katz, Kim, & Brody, 2003), resolution, and participants automatically received their scores on
bipolar disorder (Whisman, 2007), substance dependence (Over- these scales at the end. Approximately 60% of the participants
beek et al., 2006; Whisman, 2007; Whisman, Uebelacker, & were recruited by psychology students, who invited their married
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

Bruce, 2006), tolerance for pain (Johansen & Cano, 2007; Kiecolt- relatives and acquaintances to participate. The remaining partici-
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

Glaser & Newton, 2001), and physical health (Kiecolt-Glaser & pants discovered the online assessment while searching the Inter-
Newton, 2001). If couple resilience is merely redundant with net and were presumably incentivized by the opportunity to re-
relationship satisfaction, then it is unlikely to contribute something ceive scores at the end of the assessment. To be included in the
new to this body of research, and there is no need for a separate
dataset, participants needed to complete the entire questionnaire,
scale measuring resilience. This issue is important because people
respond affirmatively to a question about providing valid answers,
often respond to relationship questionnaires on the basis of senti-
and provide intelligible responses to written prompts. Before com-
ment override (Weiss, 1980), where all responses reflect general
pleting the target questions for this study, participants were given
levels of relationship satisfaction rather than specific item content.
a list of examples of possible stressful life situations (e.g., hospi-
However, couple resilience presumably involves more than mere
talization, natural disaster, loss of employment). They were then
relationship satisfaction. For example, couple resilience may in-
asked to identify their own most stressful life situation that they
clude interactions where partners encourage each other to be
experienced during the time they have been together with their
optimistic, or where they help each other by employing special
current partners and to write a description in a text box. Partici-
skills they possess; and these types of interactions may be separate
pants then gave written answers to a series of five open-ended
from a couples level of relationship satisfaction. Thus, while a
questions asking about: (a) how things would have been different
measure of resilience may correlate with relationship satisfaction,
if they were unable to have contact with their partners at the time
this correlation should not be large. Moreover, a measure of
of the event, (b) how their relationship interactions either made
resilience should explain unique variance in measures of well-
things better or worse, (c) how long-term relationship character-
being after controlling for relationship satisfaction.
istics either helped or hindered their ability to cope, (d) how
specific relationship activities made things better or worse, and (e)
Study 1 ways that the partners either provided support or failed to provide
support.
Study 1 was the first in a series of three studies designed to
develop a new measure of couple resilience. All three studies used
a similar procedure in that married or cohabiting participants were Qualitative Analyses Results
asked to recall the most stressful life event they experienced in the
course of their relationship and to provide retrospective self- Qualitative analyses of the written responses were conducted by
reports regarding their experiences. Study 1 was a qualitative study a seven-member research team. Members of the research team first
designed to identify all the ways people naturally perceive and read the written responses and then met as a group to develop a
experience resilience in their relationships during stressful life preliminary set of codes to capture all the types of behaviors that
events. The goal of this study was to generate a large pool of items couples described. Next, each team member individually coded a
that covers the entire domain of resilience as it is naturally expe- set of cases from the dataset using the preliminary codes. The
rienced. procedure involved first reading all the written responses for a
given case and then identifying one or more codes that fit the case.
After this preliminary coding, the research team met and revised
Participants
the list of codes by adding new codes, deleting unnecessary codes,
Participants included 525 people in heterosexual marriages or and editing code descriptions. This process was repeated in a series
cohabitation relationships. A total of 488 were married, and the of iterations until the team converged on a final list of codes
remaining 37 were cohabiting. Ages of participants ranged from 18 judged to be adequate and parsimonious in capturing all the types
to 87 years (M 40.45, SD 13.32). The sample was 65% of behaviors. This list included 49 codes, which were organized
female, and it included 9% Asian, 7% Black or African American, under six broad category headings, and is printed in the first
11% Hispanic, 71% White (non-Hispanic), and 2% other races. column of Table 1. For the sake of parsimony, the table does not
Annual family income ranged from less than US$10,000 to more include separate codes to classify both the presence and absence of
than US$500,000 (median US$93,000, M US$117,000, SD the listed positive behaviors; however, it is worth noting that
US$104,000). The sample included 244 people who were mem- participants occasionally gave written responses describing the
bers of couples with two participating partners and 281 people who absence of positive behaviors.
1246 SANFORD, BACKER-FULGHUM, AND CARSON

Table 1
Pool of Resilience Items, Factor Loadings, and Shared Variance (R2) With Well-Being and Quality of Life Controlling for
Event Stressfulness

Resilience items Factor 1 Factor 2 R2

Emotional support
[A partnera] helped the other view the situation from a good perspective. .66 .03 .12
[A partnera] was attentive to the others needs. .72 .17 .08
[A partnera] said or did things that provided motivation, reassurance, or encouragement. .68 .14 .07
[A partnera] was patient with the other. .77 .10 .06
[A partnera] demonstrated a determination to be honest. .65 .02 .05
[A partnera] showed respect for the other. .74 .07 .04
[A partnera] was available and present in a way that made the other feel supported. .72 .11 .04
[A partnera] made the other feel appreciated. .77 .09 .04
[A partnera] took time to listen and understand and was empathic. .73 .12 .03
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[A partnera] demonstrated commitment, faithfulness, or loyalty. .69 .07 .03


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[A partnera] demonstrated kindness or compassion. .73 .03 .02


[A partnera] provided comfort to the other. .73 .10 .02
[A partnera] demonstrated forgiveness. .48 .33 .01
[A partnera] gave a gift to the other. .41 .34 .01
Active coping
[A partner helpedb] by maintaining a positive attitude and being optimistic. .68 .01 .21
[A partner helpedb] by remaining calm, stable, and strong in the face of a difficult situation. .62 .00 .08
[A partner helpedb] by using special skills or abilities for addressing the situation. .53 .02 .08
[A partner helpedb] by having experience, knowledge, or education that was useful. .46 .05 .07
[A partnera] provided advice, shared wisdom, or suggested good solutions. .75 .01 .04
[A partnera] completed helpful chores or tasks. .64 .04 .03
[A partnera] provided protection and safety. .59 .14 .03
[A partnera] demonstrated perseverance and determination. .71 .19 .03
[A partnera] made the situation better by taking a leadership role in the relationship. .58 .06 .03
[A partnera] was flexible or made a compromise. .60 .21 .02
[A partnera] made a personal sacrifice to make the situation better. .50 .32 .01
Communication
[Partnersc] were clear and accurate in [theire] communication. .67 .27 .09
[Partnersc] worked together like a team. .73 .19 .08
[Partnersc] had good quality conversations and spent time talking to each other. .75 .19 .06
[Partnersc] shared a common interest or goal. .73 .04 .06
[Partnersc] resolved conflicts, effectively negotiated, and reached agreement on issues. .69 .14 .05
[Partnersc] viewed the situation as something [theyf] were experiencing together. .69 .16 .03
[Partnersc] worked together to make plans for solving problems, achieving goals, and identifying priorities. .65 .14 .02
[Partnersc] had conversations in which [theyf] directly discussed the topic of the stressor itself. .62 .06 .01
[Partnersc] had conversations in which [theirf] emotions about a stressor were openly expressed or discussed. .63 .04 .00
Intimacy
[Partnersc] laughed together or enjoyed humor together. .71 .12 .10
[Partnersc] spent time together doing things as a couple. .59 .10 .08
[Partnersc] experienced friendship, intimacy, or closeness with each other. .72 .07 .07
[Partnersc] felt comforted by having confidence in the stability of [theire] relationship. .71 .25 .07
[Partnersc] felt comforted by the knowledge that [theyf] love each other. .72 .12 .05
[Partnersc] trusted each other. .71 .20 .05
[Partnersc] hugged, or touched, or shared physical affection together. .57 .01 .02
[Partnersc] told each other how much [theyf] loved each other. .66 .01 .02
Religion
[Partnersc] did religious activities together (praying, attending religious services). .37 .16 .02
[Partnersc] relied upon religious faith. .41 .10 .02
Negative behaviors
[A partnerd] withdrew from communication. .03 .73 .11
[A partnerd] was abusive. .23 .52 .08
[A partnerd] denied, ignored, or downplayed the seriousness of a problem. .08 .70 .06
[A partnerd] was critical, or hostile, or blamed the other. .06 .71 .06
[A partnerd] decided that it was best to avoid discussing a topic. .04 .66 .05
Note. To transform codes into questionnaire items, each behavioral description was preceded by the phrase At the time of your stressful event, and the
text in brackets was reworded as follows: a either you or your partner, b one partner helped the other (or both partners helped each other), c
you and your partner, d either you or your partner, e your, f you. Items in bold were included on the final version of the Couple Resilience
Inventory.

p .05. p .01. p .001 (and Bonferroni corrected p .05).
COUPLE RESILIENCY INVENTORY 1247

Evaluating Code Distinctiveness Measures


To be of maximum value, each of the codes listed in Table 1 Resilience questions. Each of the 49 codes identified in Study
should be reasonably distinct. That is, a code should not be so 1 represent different types of behaviors that respondents may (or
general that it could reasonably describe a substantial portion of may not) notice in their relationships, and these were turned into
cases, and it should be sufficiently clear so that coders can make questionnaire items by asking respondents to rate the extent to
reliable judgments about which cases exemplify the code. To test which they noticed each behavior occurring in their relationships
the distinctiveness of the codes, each case in the sample was coded at the time of a stressful event. Notably, the questionnaire included
by five research assistants. For each of the 49 codes, a score of 1 only a single item for each behavior in a relationship, and not
was assigned when the code fit a given case, and otherwise, a score separate items for self behavior and partner behavior. It was
of 0 was assigned. On average, each code was assigned to only 6% constructed this way because: (a) separate items would have dou-
of the cases (averaged across 5 coders and 49 codes), indicating bled questionnaire length, (b) it was assumed that couple resilience
that the codes were not overly general in scope. Reliability was would be indicated by the presence of behaviors in a relationship
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

estimated by treating each coder as a separate indicator and cal- regardless of which partner engaged in the behavior, and (c) the
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

culating Cronbachs alphas. Across all 49 categories, the average division of roles might be dictated more by the nature of the
alpha was .84 (SD of alphas .16), suggesting that codes were stressors than by levels of resilience. Items from Table 1 were
sufficiently clear to be reliably identified. presented to each participant in a random order. Participants rated
each item using a single response scale assessing the extent to
which they noticed each behavior occurring in their relationships.
Study 2 Specifically, the scale assessed two components of behavior no-
In Study 2, the 49 codes identified in Study 1 were turned into ticeability: (a) a persons level of certainty about whether the
a pool 49 questionnaire items. A new sample of married and behavior occurred, and (b) the number of specific memories of the
cohabiting people were asked to identify a stressful life event and behavior that a person could recall. The rating scale had six levels:
then complete a questionnaire including the entire pool of items. 1 definitely did NOT happen, 2 probably did NOT happen,
Study 2 was designed to provide information that would guide the 3 might have happened, 4 certainly happened but I cannot
development of a new measure of couple resilience. This included recall specific examples, 5 certainly happened and I can think
identifying a set of factor dimensions that adequately captured the of one example, and 6 certainly happened and I can think of two
domain of resilience items, identifying items that functioned as or more examples.
good indicators of those dimensions, and identifying the extent to Well-being. Participants completed the WHO-5 Well-being
Index (Bech, 2004), modified so that items pertained to the time of
which potential items were associated with important criterion
the stressful life event and not the present time. This instrument
variables involving well-being and quality of life.
includes five items, each rated on a 6-point scale. Items measure
overall perceptions of well-being and thereby an absence of de-
Participants pression or anxiety. A sample modified item used in the present
study is, At that point in my life, I felt cheerful and in good
Participants for Study 2 included 320 people in either hetero- spirits. Total scores were calculated by averaging across items
sexual marriages (98%) or cohabitation relationships (2%). Age of (M 3.32, SD 1.23) and Cronbachs alpha was .92.
participants ranged from 18 to over 80 years (M 42.84, SD Quality of life. Participants completed the 16-item Quality-
14.82). The sample was 61% female, and it included 12% Asian, of-Life Inventory (Frisch, 1994), modified so that it pertained to
2% Black or African American, 15% Hispanic, 67% White (non- the time of the stressful life event. This questionnaire lists and
Hispanic), and 3% other races. Annual family income ranged from defines 16 different domains where people potentially experience
less than US$10,000 to more than US$500,000 (median satisfaction in life (such as work, health, play, money, and neigh-
US$95,000, M US$115,000, SD US$98,000). Participants in borhood), and in the present study, participants used a 6-point
Study 2 were drawn from a larger data pool of 402 people that scale to rate feelings of satisfaction in each domain at the time of
included 82 couples with two participating partners. Because this the stressful life event. Total scores were calculated by averaging
study involved analytic techniques that were not easily adapted for across items (M 4.44, SD .88) and Cronbachs alpha was .87.
modeling dependence between cases, one member from each cou- Stressfulness rating. Participants provided written descrip-
ple was randomly dropped, producing a dataset of 320 independent tions of their stressful events, and each description was coded by
cases. eight research assistants. Each coder assigned a single rating to
each written description using a rating scale that included seven
levels of event stressfulness. The lowest level was defined as a
Procedure
level of stress that most people might experience several times in
The participants in Study 2 were all recruited by psychology a single year, and the highest level was defined as a level of stress
students who invited their married relatives and acquaintances to so horrendous that most people might never experience it in their
complete an anonymous, online questionnaire. Participants were lifetimes. For each participant, the scores for all eight coders were
asked to identify a target stressful life situation using the same averaged together to produce a total stressfulness score (M 3.54,
instructions as in Study 1 and then complete questions about their SD 1.25). Using the eight coders as eight indicators, Cronbachs
experiences at the time of the situation. alpha was .95.
1248 SANFORD, BACKER-FULGHUM, AND CARSON

Results in Study 1, (c) maximize criterion validity by selecting items


sharing the most variance with the criterion measures in Study 2,
To identify a factor model that adequately captured the entire (d) create response options that would reduce potential ceiling
pool of items, a principal axis exploratory factor analysis was effects for the positive items, and (e) select enough items per scale
conducted. This analysis produced six factors with eigenvalues to ensure reliability while limiting each scale to approximately 10
greater than one; however, only two eigenvalues exceeded a value items or fewer to ensure practicality.
falling at the 95th percentile of eigenvalues generated by a parallel The validity of the new instrument was tested in several ways.
analysis. In addition, a scree plot strongly suggested that two First, the expected two-dimensional factor structure was tested in
factors would be adequate, with the first factor explaining 40%, of a confirmatory factor analysis, and the correlation between the two
the variance, the second explaining 7%, and all the remaining factors was expected to be low. Second, the new scales were
factors explaining 3% or less. Accordingly, two factors were expected to produce at least small correlations with measures of
extracted with oblique rotation, and loadings for the resulting well-being and quality of life at the time of a stressful event. Third,
pattern matrix are printed in Table 1. The loadings were theoret- although the resilience scales and satisfaction were likely to be
ically sensible with one factor defined primarily by positive items
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

moderately correlated, the resilience scales were expected to be


and one defined primarily by negative items. The correlation
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

distinct from satisfaction and to explain variance in outcome


between the two factors was .04. For the sake of comparison, variables that could not be explained merely by satisfaction alone.
another analysis was conducted, this time extracting three factors. In addition, Study 3 included a small subsample of couples with
However, this solution produced one factor that was largely un- two participating partners. In some of these couples, both partners
defined with no loadings exceeding .5 in absolute value, and identified the same stressful event, and in other couples, each
hence, it failed to make a theoretically meaningful improvement to partner identified a different event. The cross-partner correlations
the original two factor solution. in this subsample were informative for two reasons. First, although
To provide information on the potential utility of each item, an ratings of any given relationship behavior will necessarily reflect
analysis was conducted to estimate the extent to which each item the unique perspective of the person making the ratings, they
shared variance with criterion variables regarding well-being and should also include a shared component that is common to all
quality of life. To conserve space and to simplify item comparison, observers or participants who are rating the same event (Backer-
a single R2 value was calculated for each item. In the first step of Fulghum & Sanford, 2015). This means that there should be at
a regression analysis, each item was regressed on the stressfulness least a moderate level of correspondence between two partners
rating, and then in a second step, well-being and quality-of-life rating couple resilience behaviors in their relationship during the
were added as predictors. The R2 value at the second step same stressful event. Second, the new measure used a protocol in
indicated the percent of variance an item shared with the two which respondents were asked to provide retrospective reports of
criterion variables after controlling for variance explained by event previous stressful life experiences, and the cross-partner correla-
stressfulness. Results of this analysis are listed in Table 1. Most tions might provide clues regarding the extent to which respon-
effects were significant, and it was notable that five of the six dents were able to comply with these instructions. If people were
broad category headings identified in Study 1 each included at rating their experiences during specific events, and not merely
least two indicators that shared at least 8% of its variance with the responding to questions on the basis of their general relationship
criterion measures. The one exception pertained to a category schemas, then cross-partner correlations for couples reporting on
called Religion, which included two items that appeared to func- the same event should be stronger than the correlations for couples
tion differently from all the others, with neither item producing reporting on two different events. Moreover, this should be more
strong loadings on a factor and neither sharing substantial variance than a mere difference between like-minded partners and different-
with the criterion measures. minded partners, and the difference should disappear if couples are
To provide information on the ways people were interpreting the asked to rate a current characteristic of their relationships, such as
response option anchors, mean scores were calculated for each their current relationship satisfaction.
item. The results revealed a difference between positive items and
negative items. There were 38 items with loadings greater than .5
on the positive behaviors factor, and the mean of the means for Participants
these 38 items was 4.71 (SD of the Ms .28). Given that the scale Participants for Study 3 included 568 people who were either
ranged from one to six, this indicates that people were primarily married (86%) or cohabiting with a partner (14%), with 97%
using the upper end of the scale, and variance on these items may describing their relationships as heterosexual, and 3% reporting
have been limited by ceiling effects. In contrast, there were five same sex partners. Age of participants ranged from 19 to 77 years
items with loadings greater than .5 on the negative behaviors (M 42.32, SD 12.94). The sample was 63% female, and it
factor, and the mean of the means for these five items was 2.29 included 5% Asian, 10% Black or African American, 10% His-
(SD of the Ms .46). panic, 72% White (non-Hispanic), and 3% other races. Participants
were recruited via two sources, with 60% being a new sample
Study 3
recruited via the same interactive website that was used in Study 1,
In Study 3, a new measure of couple resilience was created and and 40% recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk. The median
tested. In creating the new measure, the goals were to: (a) select household income for the interactive website sample was
items that were good indicators of the two dimensions of resilience US$112,000 (M US$142,000, SD US$101,000), whereas the
identified in Study 2, (b) maximize content validity by including median income for the Mechanical Turk sample was US$55,000
items from across several of the broad category headings identified (M US$61,000, SD US$36,000). The interactive website
COUPLE RESILIENCY INVENTORY 1249

sample included 105 couples with two participating partners, and partner made it difficult for the other by having a negative attitude
135 people participating without their partners, and all the people and being pessimistic, Either you or your partner failed to notice
in the Mechanical Turk sample were independent cases, partici- the others needs, Either you or your partner communicated
pating without their partners. about the stressful event in a way that was confusing or mislead-
ing, and Either you or your partner made it difficult for the other
by being overly emotional, unstable, or weak. As described
Procedure
below, the final version of the measure was presented to respon-
Participants in the interactive website sample were recruited dents on three separate pages.
using procedures identical to Study 1. Participants in the Mechan- The first page contained memory prompts for each of the nine
ical Turk sample were drawn from a larger pool of 697 people who positive behaviors, and these were intended to address a potential
submitted responses to a screening survey. After submitting the problem observed in Study 2 where the rating scale for the positive
screening survey, people were automatically invited to participate items appeared to have ceiling effects. Participants written stress-
in the study if they: (a) reported either being married or cohabiting ful event descriptions were piped in to appear at the top of the
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

with a partner, and (b) reported experiencing some form of stress- page, and they were given a list of the nine positive behaviors.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

ful life event within the last 5 years. To reduce the risk of including They were asked to recall, if possible, specific memories of ex-
people who dishonestly affirmed questions in hopes of qualifying amples for each behavior occurring at the time of the identified
for the study, participants were excluded if they endorsed a validity stressful event, and to write a few words describing each recalled
check item asking about an uncommon event. Of the people memory. It was assumed that respondents would be less likely to
completing the screening questionnaire, 49% were excluded be- inflate the number of positive memories they report if they were
cause they were not married or cohabiting, 19% denied having a prompted to recall memories before providing ratings.
stressful life event, and 5% failed the validity test. Participants The second page listed each of the nine positive behaviors, and
using the interactive website were not paid, whereas people from the text that respondents wrote on the previous page (regarding
the Mechanical Turk sample were paid one dollar if they both their memories of each behavior) was piped in so that it appeared
qualified for and completed the survey. below each behavior. For each behavior, respondents were asked,
Regardless of recruitment source, all participants completed the Were you able to think of a specific example of this behavior
same questionnaire. At the beginning of the questionnaire, partic- occurring in your relationship? and given a 6-point rating scale:
ipants were asked to identify the most stressful life event they 1 No, this behavior did NOT happen, 2 No, although this
experienced while living with their partners, place the event into behavior might have happened, I could not think of an example,
one of nine categories (hospitalization or medical problem, dis- 3 No, although this behavior certainly happened, I could not
ability, financial or employment problem, death, problem involv- think of an example, 4 Yes, I was able to think of a specific
ing children, problem involving parents, legal problems, life example, 5 Yes, I was able to think of a specific example, and
changes, or other), and write a description of the event in a text I can easily think of one or two more, and 6 Yes, I was able to
box. Then, they completed the new couple resilience scale along think of a specific example, and I can easily think of several more.
with measures of well-being and quality of life at the time of the The third page of the measure included items for the nine
stressful event. They also completed a measure of current relation- negative behaviors. This followed the same format as the positive
ship satisfaction. items except for the fact that memory prompts were not used, and
for each item, participants were simply asked: Are you able to
think of a specific example of this behavior occurring in your
Measures
relationship? Cronbachs alphas were .89 and .93 for the positive
Couple Resilience Inventory. Results from Study 2 were and negative resilience scales respectively.
used to guide the process of constructing a new measure. To create Well-being, quality of life, and stressfulness ratings. As in
a positive resilience scale, items were selected that loaded at least Study 2, participants completed the WHO-5 Well-being Index
.5 on the positive factor and that shared at least 8% of variance (Bech, 2004) and the Quality-of-Life Inventory (Frisch, 1994).
with well-being and quality of life after controlling for stressful- However, in Study 3, the Quality-of-Life Inventory was shortened
ness. These cut points were selected because: (a) it resulted in a by using only seven items identified by McAlinden and Oei (2006)
scale of nine items, which was judged to be a reasonable scale as loading highly on a dimension labeled self-oriented QOL,
length, and (b) it maximized content validity by including at least thereby omitting items loading on a dimension pertaining to dif-
two items from each of four broad category headings identified ferent types of interpersonal and community relationships (and
from Study 1. providing a more stringent test of validity). Cronbachs alphas
Although the previous studies identified only a small pool of were .94 for the WHO-5 and .88 for the 7-item version of the
negative resilience items, it seemed advantageous to create and test QOLI. In addition, a team of seven coders rated the stressfulness
a negative resilience scale composed of the same number of items of each written stressful event description using procedures iden-
as the positive resilience scale. Toward this end, all five items that tical to Study 2, and in Study 3, the reliability was .92.
loaded strongly on the negative factor were selected. In addition, Relationship satisfaction. Relationship satisfaction was mea-
four exploratory items were added. Based on the observation in sured using the 16-item version of the Couples Satisfaction Index
Study 1 that people sometimes described the absence of positive (Funk & Rogge, 2007). This measure was developed using item
behaviors listed in Table 1, four items were created by rewording response theory analysis to select highly discriminating items from
items from the positive scale to reflect the absence of a positive a pool of items drawn from several existing measures. In the
behavior. Specifically, these items included: Either you or your present study, alpha was .97.
1250 SANFORD, BACKER-FULGHUM, AND CARSON

Approach to Analysis With Nonindependent Cases single factor and no error variances were allowed to correlate. The
model produced a poor fit (chi-square (df 135) 4,967.04, p
To make full use of all the participants in the study, and to
.01; CFI .67; SRMR .33). The standardized factor loadings
handle appropriately the nonindependence produced by 105 cou-
ranged from .48 to .83. Taken together, the results provide strong
ples included in the dataset, several analyses in Study 3 were set up
support for the hypothesized two-dimensional factor structure and
as multilevel equations and estimated using MPlus (Muthn &
no support for an alternate one-dimensional model.
Muthn, 2012). These equations were two-level equations, with
Correlations were computed to test associations between the
people nested in couples (albeit, with most couples consisting of
only one case). In each equation, all variables were entered at new resilience scales and criterion variables. Each correlation was
Level 1 (at the level of the person) and no variables were entered estimated using a two-level equation (described above), and cor-
at Level 2 (at the level of the couple). This made it possible to relations between all variables are listed in Table 2. Although
obtain parameter estimates (including factor loadings, correlations, positive and negative resilience scales were nearly orthogonal,
and regression weights) from equations that directly modeled the they both had significant correlations in opposite directions with
nonindependence in the dataset and thereby produced appropriate each criterion variable. They had moderate correlations with rela-
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

fit indices and standard errors. tionship satisfaction and small correlations with both quality of life
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

and well-being.
Results Table 2 also reports correlations involving potential control
variables. Although coders were able to rate event stressfulness
Means and standard deviations were calculated for each vari- with a high degree of reliability, it is notable that the correlation
able, and are reported in Table 2. It is notable that the mean for the with well-being was small and the correlation with quality of life
positive behavior scale is a little closer to the scale midpoint than was not significant. It is also interesting that stressfulness was
was the mean for the positive items in Study 2 (although this inversely correlated with negative resilience behavior, suggesting
difference should be interpreted cautiously given that the samples that highly stressful events are associated with low levels of
are not directly comparable across the two studies). memories about negative behaviors. In addition, compared to men,
The factor structure of the new instrument was tested using women reported slightly more well-being and were given slightly
confirmatory factor analysis. Specifically, a two-dimensional
lower event stressfulness ratings. Compared to the website sample,
model was tested, with the nine positive behavior items serving as
the Mechanical Turk sample reported lower levels of well-being,
indicators of a positive factor, and the nine negative behaviors
quality of life, and negative resilience, and they were given higher
serving as indicators of a negative factor. The two factors were
event stressfulness ratings, although there was no difference be-
allowed to correlate with each other, and all correlations between
tween samples in levels of positive resilience.
error variances were fixed at zero. The model was set up as a
two-level equation to account for nonindependence in the data (as An important question in Study 3 was whether the resilience
described above), and it was estimated using robust weighted least scales explained variance in well-being and quality of life after
squares. Fit was evaluated using a two-index strategy (Hu & controlling for satisfaction. Accordingly, two regression equations
Bentler, 1999) with a cut-off of .95 for the Comparative Fit were estimated, one using well-being as the outcome and another
Index (CFI) and a cut-off of .09 for the Standardized Root Mean using quality of life as the outcome. In each equation, the outcome
Square Residual (SRMR). The model produced a good fit variables were predicted using both positive and negative resil-
(chi-square (df 134) 334.20, p .01; CFI .99; SRMR ience, and also relationship satisfaction and control variables per-
.05). The standardized factor loadings ranged from .63 to .81 for taining to event stressfulness, sample, and gender. Each equation
the positive behavior factor, and ranged from .80 to .91 for the was set up as a two-level model (described above) to account for
negative behavior factor. The correlation between the two fac- nonindependence in the dataset. To aid in the interpretation of
tors was .04 and not significant. results, both of the resilience variables, along with satisfaction,
For the sake of comparison, an alternate one-dimensional model quality of life, and well-being were all turned to z-scores prior to
was also tested. For this model, all 18 items were indicators of a analysis. In addition, the Mechanical Turk variable was scored

Table 2
Study 3: Correlations and Means

Positive resilience Negative resilience Satisfaction Quality of life Well-being Event stressfulness

Negative Resilience .02


Satisfaction .35 .42
Quality of life .20 .17 .25
Well-being .13 .10 .21 .57
Event stressfulness .00 .17 .00 .03 .19
Mechanical Turka .08 .17 .04 .18 .26 .28
Femaleb .06 .03 .06 .03 .16 .14
Mean 3.97 2.14 59.65 4.09 3.27 3.80
SD 1.16 1.19 16.59 1.18 1.33 1.17
a
variable scored such that Mechanical Turk sample 1 and website sample 0. b
variable scored such that female 1 and male 0.

p .01.
COUPLE RESILIENCY INVENTORY 1251

as 0 for the website sample and 1 for the Mechanical Turk sample. exploratory analysis, and then cross validated with a confirmatory
Gender was scored as 0 for male and 1 for female. factor analysis with a new sample. Although scales were uncorre-
The results from these analyses are listed in Table 3. In predict- lated with each other, they both correlated with measures of
ing quality of life, both positive resilience and negative resilience well-being and quality of life, and most effects remained signifi-
remained significant after controlling for satisfaction and the other cant after controlling for relationship satisfaction. Ratings from
control variables. In predicting well-being, the effect for negative two partners were moderately correlated when they both pertained
resilience remained significant, but the effect for positive resil- to the same event, but not correlated if their ratings pertained to
ience became nonsignificant after controlling for other variables in different events. Taken together, these results provide preliminary
the equation. support for the Couple Resilience Inventory.
Correlations were computed to test the hypothesis that there One of the most interesting features of the new measure is that
would be correspondence between the resilience scores from two
the correlation between the two scales was close to zero. In this
members of the same couple when they report on the same stress-
way, the measure is similar to measures of affect that have two
ful event. Cross-partner correlations were computed for a group of
largely uncorrelated scales measuring positive and negative di-
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

40 couples with two participating partners both apparently identi-


mensions (Tuccitto et al., 2010). In a similar vein, researchers have
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

fying the same stressful event, and separate cross-partner correla-


suggested that couples relationships often have a mixture of
tions were computed for a group of 57 couples with two partici-
pating partners each identifying different events (and these positive and negative components, and studies have found evi-
analyses excluded 7 couples with two participating partners who dence that relationship appraisals are best conceptualized as hav-
provided event descriptions that could not be classified with cer- ing separate positive and negative dimensions (Fincham & Lin-
tainty into either group). All cross-partner correlations are listed in field, 1997; Mattson et al., 2013). One striking difference between
Table 4. When both partners reported on the same event, there previous research and the present study, however, is that previous
were moderate cross-partner correlations for both resilience scales. studies have found positive and negative dimensions of relation-
In addition, the correlations mostly conformed to a pattern that ship appraisal to be highly inversely correlated, whereas the pres-
would be expected if participants were attending to instructions. ent study found positive and negative resilience to be nearly
When people were asked to make ratings regarding a stressful orthogonal. This outcome does not appear to be an artifact of
event, cross-spouse correlations were stronger when both partners scales lacking validity or reliability, because both scales produce
identified the same event and weaker when they did not (specifi- expected correlations with other variables. Moreover, results of the
cally, the difference in correlation magnitude was significant for confirmatory factor analysis revealed a stark contrast in which
three of four correlation pairs tested). When people were asked to there was a clear distinction (low correlation) between the two
rate their relationship satisfaction at the current point in time (and scales, but strong relationships between items within each scale.
not at the time of the stressful event), the magnitude of cross- One possible reason for the high distinction between scales may
partner correlation was not significantly related to whether part- pertain to the fact that they both assess the extent to which
ners identified the same event or different events. respondents recall specific resilience behaviors occurring in their
relationships, and it makes theoretical sense that a mixture of
Discussion positive and negative behavior will occur in most relationships.
A series of three studies were conducted to develop a new While coping with a stressful event, a person might sometimes use
measure of couple resilience, and the resulting measure is distinct clear communication and attend to a partners needs and the same
in several ways. To maximize content validity, items were drawn person might also sometimes make critical comments and fail to
from across a pool of behaviors that were identified in an initial notice a partners needs. The level of one behavior does not
qualitative study investigating ways that people naturally notice necessarily exclude the other. Possibly, resilience can be mapped
and experience resilience in their relationships. The measure as- in two-dimensional space, with some couples using primarily
sesses two nearly orthogonal dimensions of resilience, one con- positive behavior, some using primarily negative behavior, some
sisting of positive behaviors, and another consisting of negative using a mixture of both positive and negative, and some disen-
behaviors. These two dimensions were initially identified in an gaged couples using neither positive nor negative behavior.

Table 3
Study 3: Beta Weights When Criterion Variables Are Regressed on Resilience and
Control Variables

Criterion Positive Negative Event Mechanical


variable resilience resilience Satisfaction stressfulness Turka Femaleb

Quality of life .13 .13 .17 .01 .42 .00


Well-being .06 .10 .15 .12 .48 .23
Note. All variables (except for the two dichotomous control variables) were converted to z-scores prior to
analysis. All six predictors were entered simultaneously.
a
Variable scored such that Mechanical Turk sample 1 and website sample 0. b Variable scored such that
female 1 and male 0.

p .05. p .01.
1252 SANFORD, BACKER-FULGHUM, AND CARSON

Table 4
Study 3: Cross-Partner Correlations

Ratings pertaining to time of an identified event


Positive Negative Quality of Current relationship
Type of calculation resilience resilience life Well-being satisfaction

Correlation between partners identifying same event (n 40) .47 .40 .49 .48 .76
Correlation between partners identifying different events (n 57) .07 .16 .10 .09 .65
z-test for difference between correlations 2.09 1.22 2.96 2.86 1.09

p .05. p .01.

A key reason why the concept of couple resilience is important A unique feature of the new resilience measure is that it assesses
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

is that it should be related to outcomes regarding well-being and a context-specific process by asking participants to report behav-
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

quality of life during stressful life events. Results of the present iors occurring at the time of specific stressful situations. As de-
study add to a growing body of research showing that dimensions scribed by Pangallo et al. (2015), there are several crucial research
of couple resilience and couple coping are related to these types of questions that can be addressed when resilience is defined as a
outcomes (Badr et al., 2010; Bodenmann, Meuwly, & Kayser, context-specific process. For example, it is possible to investigate
2011; Coyne & Smith, 1991; Dehle et al., 2001). The results of the the extent of stability or change within people across different
present study are also similar to previous studies in that these contexts and to explore ways in which resilience behavior interacts
effects are generally small in magnitude. For example, two previ- with situational variables. Along this line, results from Study 3
ous studies regarding relationships between dyadic coping and indicated that correlations between partners were significant when
measures of well-being (Badr et al., 2010; Bodenmann et al., 2011) partners reported on the same event, but not when they reported on
reported average standardized effects of .08, and in the present different events. This makes sense if scores are context-specific,
study, the average absolute value of the correlations was .15. It is and it raises a possibility that couple resilience behaviors might
also notable that in Study 3 a panel of coders was able to achieve change across situations. If so, a persons score on the new
a high degree of reliability in rating the stressfulness of the events measure should not be regarded as a trait, but placed in the context
described by each participant, but in spite of this high reliability, of a specific stressful event.
the event stressfulness rating was only weakly correlated with Another key question is whether the new resilience measure is
well-being and not significantly correlated with quality of life. able to produce effects that are large in magnitude. As a prelimi-
Taken together, all these results serve to illustrate the extent to nary step in testing the new measure of resilience, it was especially
which outcomes regarding well-being and quality of life are dif- important to investigate convergent correlations with measures of
ficult to predict. Given the complexity of these outcomes, it may well-being and quality of life, but as expected, these correlations
be unlikely that any single variable, in and of itself, will explain a were all small in magnitude. The new resilience scale would be
substantial portion of variance. expected to produce larger correlations with criterion measures
The new resilience measure appears to be distinct from relation- involving other types of resilience and coping, such as measures of
ship satisfaction. Some of the distinction pertains to the content of dyadic coping, optimism, or individual resilience. In considering
the scale itself. For example, items regarding the use of skills, effect sizes for resilience, it is also important to note that resilience
humor, and optimism are conceptually distinct from satisfaction. behaviors might have different effects in response to different
In addition, the rating scale for the resilience measure asks about stressors, or when observed in different types of populations, or
the extent to which people have memories of specific behaviors when combined with other types of resilient behavior, or when
occurring and not about their appraisals of their relationships as a predicting different types of outcomes. Because the new resilience
whole. In addition, the near zero correlation between the positive measure is context-specific, it is well suited for exploring these
and negative scales makes these scales distinct from measures of types of interactions, which in turn can identify situations and
satisfaction, because attempts to tease apart positive and negative outcomes where couple resilience produces the largest effects.
dimensions of satisfaction have produced scales with high inverse One of the limitations of this research is that several of the
correlations (Tuccitto et al., 2010). Also, in three of the four effects samples were relatively affluent. This was partially addressed in
tested, resilience explained a portion of variance in well-being and Study 3 by recruiting samples from two sources, producing a
quality of life that could not be explained by satisfaction alone. sample with a broad range of income levels. Another limitation is
Previous research investigating how relationships influence out- that this study relied on retrospective self-reports of life experi-
comes regarding well-being has often focused on relationship ences. There is a risk that such reports might be confounded with
satisfaction as a key predictor variable (Allen et al., 2010; Beach memory ability, or with event recentness, or that people might
et al., 2003; Johansen & Cano, 2007; Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, have difficulty giving accurate reports of their past affective states.
2001; Overbeek et al., 2006; Whisman, 2007). Results of the Along this line, it is possible that people might respond to ques-
present study confirm that satisfaction is relevant, but show that tionnaire items on the basis of general feelings of relationship
dimensions of couple resilience are uniquely important. A study sentiment rather than recalling specific memories from specific
that only measures satisfaction, to the neglect of couple resilience, stressful situations. Concerns regarding this risk might be partially
will produce an incomplete picture of ways that relationships are mitigated by the results showing significant cross-partner correla-
important in predicting well-being and quality of life. tions between context-specific variables when both partners re-
COUPLE RESILIENCY INVENTORY 1253

ported on the same event but not when they identified two different Backer-Fulghum, L. M., & Sanford, K. (2015). The validity of retrospec-
events. This pattern is suggestive of a possibility that respondents tively reported conflict interactions in couples. Journal of Family Psy-
were attentive to the instructions and responded on the basis of chology, 29, 253262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fam0000057
specific life experiences. If they were merely responding on the Badr, H., Carmack, C. L., Kashy, D. A., Cristofanilli, M., & Revenson,
T. A. (2010). Dyadic coping in metastatic breast cancer. Health Psy-
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similar to results for relationship satisfaction, where the magnitude
Badr, H., & Taylor, C. L. C. (2008). Effects of relationship maintenance on
of cross-spouse correlation did not depend on whether partners psychological distress and dyadic adjustment among couples coping
selected the same event. Nevertheless, this pattern of results is not with lung cancer. Health Psychology, 27, 616 627. http://dx.doi.org/10
conclusive, and it remains important to test the new measure using .1037/0278-6133.27.5.616
samples of people who are experiencing current life stressors. Baucom, D. H., Porter, L. S., Kirby, J. S., Gremore, T. M., Wiesenthal, N.,
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limited to investigating criterion variables regarding well-being, Beach, S. R., Katz, J., Kim, S., & Brody, G. H. (2003). Prospective effects
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