A Repeated-Measures Study of Relational Turbulence and Transition Processing Communication During the Summer of COVID-19 (Summer 2020)

Kellie St Cyr Brisini, Denise Haunani Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Drawing upon relational turbulence theory and the experiencing life transitions model, this study examined communication and relationship qualities as married couples experienced work-family changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixty-four American married, different-sex partners affected by job-related changes due to COVID-19 reported their relationship qualities and their own and their spouse’s engagement in transition processing communication weekly for 10 weeks. Hypotheses addressed associations between relationship qualities and communication experiences both averaged across the 10 weeks and indexed by within-week deviations from those averages, controlling for the previous week’s reports. Husbands’ and wives’ own attempts—and also their perceptions of their spouse’s attempts—to increase interaction, promote connection, promote feeling situated, and increase confidence were associated with decreased relationship uncertainty and improved interdependence. Husbands’ self-reported relationship qualities demonstrated the strongest associations with averaged reports of relationship-focused communication, whereas wives’ relational qualities were more strongly associated with week-to-week fluctuations in relationship-focused communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-992
Number of pages28
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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