This study recruited participants whose partners were deployed for active-duty military service to examine whether anticipatory relational savoring moderated the association of psychological distress with relationship satisfaction. Two weeks prior to their partner's deployment (T1), participants (N = 73) completed a self-report measure of relationship satisfaction. Then, 2 weeks into their partner's deployment (T2), participants completed self-report measures of stress, loneliness, and depression (combined into a composite index of psychological distress), and relationship satisfaction. Participants also completed a stream-of-consciousness task at T2 in which they imagined and discussed their partner's return from deployment. We coded the stream-of-consciousness task for anticipatory relational savoring regarding their upcoming reunion with their deployed partner. We found that anticipatory relational savoring moderated the association of psychological distress with during-deployment relationship satisfaction after adjusting for demographics, interpersonal variables, and deployment-specific variables; the association did not hold after adjusting for pre-deployment relationship satisfaction, and thus was robust when considering the distress-satisfaction association during the deployment but was not when considering changes in relationship satisfaction from pre- to during-deployment. We discuss the potential importance of anticipatory relational savoring for this unique population.
- marital satisfaction
- mental health
- relational savoring
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies