Negative reactions to received spousal care: Predictors and consequences of miscarried support

Lynn M. Martire, Mary Ann Parris Stephens, Jennifer A. Druley, William C. Wojno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


This study focused on the negative reactions of older women with osteoarthritis to the receipt of instrumental support (i.e., physical assistance) from their husbands and the effects of such negative reactions on the women's psychological well-being and self-care. Applying a person-environment fit model, the authors predicted that women's negative reactions to spousal support would be determined by the fit between this support and the personal centrality (importance) of being functionally independent. Consistent with this prediction, women who received high levels of support from the husband and for whom being functionally independent was not highly central reacted less negatively to this support. More negative reactions to spousal support were related to greater concurrent depressive symptomatology and fewer self-care behaviors. In addition, negative reactions were predictive of the women's increased depressive symptomatology and decreased life satisfaction. Findings illustrate a useful theoretical approach to the examination of support from family caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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