Objective: To explore dyadic associations between mindfulness and marital quality and gender differences in these associations—that is, the relation of each dyad member's mindfulness with his or her own marital quality and with his or her partner's marital quality. Background: Recent studies have demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness for marital quality. However, associations of mindfulness and marital quality within and between partners are still unclear. In addition, despite marital challenges associated with deployment to war, the benefits of mindfulness for marital quality in military couples is unknown. Method: A sample of 228 military couples after deployment of the male partner to recent conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan completed an online survey measuring mindfulness and marital quality. Results: Actor–partner interdependence analysis showed that for both men and women, greater mindfulness was associated with one's own and one's partner's higher marital quality. There were no gender differences in this pattern. Conclusion: Mindfulness engenders intra- and interpersonal benefits for the marital system in men and in women after deployment to war. Implications: The results emphasize the importance of a dyadic approach when examining the role of mindfulness in marital or family relations, and suggest that interventions designed to facilitate change in marital relationships in the context of deployment may benefit from integrating mindfulness-based training.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded in part by a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse's prevention branch to the second author (grant R01DA 030114).
© 2017 National Council on Family Relations.
- actor–partner interdependence model (APIM), marital quality