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Interpersonal Relationships and HealthSocial and Clinical Psychological Mechanisms$
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Christopher R. Agnew and Susan C. South

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199936632

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199936632.001.0001

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It Sometimes Takes Two

It Sometimes Takes Two

Marriage as a Mechanism for Managing Chronic Illness

(p.109) Chapter 5 It Sometimes Takes Two
Interpersonal Relationships and Health

Mary Ann Parris Stephens

Rachel C. Hemphill

Karen S. Rook

Melissa M. Franks

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on ways in which spouses of chronically ill patients attempt to regulate (through influence and support) their partners’ adherence to recommended health behaviors, as well as the effects of these efforts on patients’ behavior change. A guiding assumption is that chronic illness represents a family problem—more specifically, a couple (or dyadic) problem—rather than solely a problem of the individual with the disease diagnosis. Theoretical and empirical literature bearing on direct and indirect social mechanisms by which the marital relationship may serve as a means of managing the demands of chronic illness is discussed. The chapter draws heavily on the programmatic research that was conducted on spouses’ involvement in the dietary behavior of their partners with type 2 diabetes.

Keywords:   social control, social support, dietary adherence, marriage, social regulation, chronic illness, type 2 diabetes

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