Marriage and the Psychological Consequences of Heart Attack: A Longitudinal Study of Adaptation to Chronic Illness After 3 Years

  • M. Waltz
  • B. Badura
  • H. Pfaff
  • T. Schott
Part of the Gesundheitssystemforschung book series (GESUNDHEITSSYST)


An impressive body of theoretical and empirical literature has been evolving in social epidemiology and other fïelds of behavioural research on the pivotal role of social factors in human well-being. The social environments of people are con-sidered a salient factor not only as a precursor of disease (Joseph and Syme 1982; Syme and Seeman 1983; Groen 1987) but also as a determinant of subsequent coping behaviour and adjustment to physical illness (Di Matteo and Hays 1981; Cohen and McKay 1983; Finlayson 1976; Young 1983; Pearlin et al. 1981; Cohen and Lazarus 1980; Lazarus and Folkman 1983). Like the Roman god Janus, social factors can have two faces, a health-promoting one and a disease-enhancing one. This is particularly true of the marital environment and its impact during the life-span on subjective well-being, as well as on mental and physical health (Finlayson 1976; Thoits 1983; Diener 1984; Headey et al. 1984; Brown and Harris 1978; O’Connor and Brown 1984; Brown 1985; Lowenthal and Haven 1968; Miller and Lefcourt 1983; Maxwell 1985; Norton 1983). One reason for this is differences in the availability and provision of social support in marital contexts with particular characteristics (Brown and Harris 1978; Pearlin and Johnson 1977; Groen 1987). In an early theoretical paper, Kaplan et al. (1977) delineated support mechanisms, such as tangible help, approval, intimacy opportunities, affiliation, and cognitive guidance or the chance to evaluate ‘what’s going on’. These Supports will be provided more so in some marital environments and less so or not at all in others.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Waltz
  • B. Badura
  • H. Pfaff
  • T. Schott

There are no affiliations available

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