Social Support Mediates the Relations Between Role Strains and Marital Satisfaction in Husbands of Patients With Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Jennifer L. Steiner, Silvia M. Bigatti, Ann Marie Hernandez, Jennifer R. Lydon-Lam, Erica L. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Husbands of patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (HFMS) report poorer physical and mental health than husbands of women without illness, as well as role strains because of their wives' condition. There are no published reports regarding the impact of fibromyalgia on their marital relationship. In the present study, we used Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) model of stress and coping as a framework to examine marital satisfaction among HFMS. We hypothesized that role strains would be related to marital satisfaction, mediated or moderated by social support and problem and emotion focused coping. HFMS (n = 135) and husbands of healthy women (n = 153) completed the Locke Wallace Marital Adjustment Test, the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List, and the Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Only HFMS completed the Psychological Adjustment to Illness Scale-Spouse Version. HFMS reported lower marital satisfaction than comparison husbands. Among HFMS, sexual and domestic roles strains and social support were related to marital satisfaction. Social support alone mediated the relationship between role strain and marital satisfaction, and no variable moderated the relationship. These findings support prior research that shows that these husbands are significantly impacted by their wives' condition, and suggest the need to focus more attention on this population, possibly targeting social support for interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-223
Number of pages15
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010



  • Coping fibromyalgia
  • Marital satisfaction
  • Role strains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology

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