Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin


  • Katie M. Heiden-RootesEmail author
  • Dixie Meyer
  • Kristin McDaniel
  • Lauren Wilson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_583

Name of Family Form



Marriage; Partnered; Romantic relationship


Couples are defined as two or more individuals engaged in a romantic and/or sexual relationship. Couples may live together, live apart, marry, divorce, and raise children together. Generally, couples share life’s many transitions and developmental stages together. Some couples stay together for many years and others stay together for only a brief period of their lives. Couple relationships shift with cultural norms as the acceptance of divorce, gay and lesbian adoption of children, premarital cohabitation and sexual relations, nonmarital childbearing, and same-sex sexual relationships increases over the past 15 years (Daugherty and Copen 2016). The following description and related research will detail coupling and couple relationship as seen in the USA including US-born and immigrant couples, interracial couples, same-sex couples, and significant issues facing couples.


Coupling in...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie M. Heiden-Rootes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dixie Meyer
    • 1
  • Kristin McDaniel
    • 1
  • Lauren Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rachel M. Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Saint JosephWest HartfordUSA