Experimental tests of the association between relationship functioning and physical health are limited. Although associations are hypothesized to be partially mediated through improved psychological functioning, tests are mostly limited to lab-based studies. The present study evaluated relational and psychological mediators of change in perceived health in a sample of 742 low-income couples (1,484 individuals) who participated in a randomized controlled trial of two online relationship education programs and a waitlist control group. Results partially supported the Strengths and Strains Model of Relationships and Physical Health. Relationship functioning and some psychological functioning were mediators of change in perceived health. Future research is needed to understand how relationship functioning improved perceived health through mediators other than psychological functioning tested here.
- physical health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies