First Advisor

Cynthia Mohr

Date of Publication

Winter 4-2-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Intimacy (Psychology) -- Health aspects, Veterans, Military spouses, Sleep, Pain



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 163 pages)


The health-promoting influence of high-quality, supportive close relationships has been extensively documented, yet the mechanisms of this effect are less well-understood. Leading researchers have galvanized the field to test particular relationship processes and the mediating psychological processes they facilitate to pinpoint how close relationships exert their salutary effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of the intimacy process on health outcomes of sleep and pain and if this effect depends on the facilitation of psychological processes in a sample of veterans and spouses (collectively called military-connected couples; N=147). Sleep problems are highly prevalent among military-connected couples and pain is highly prevalent among veterans. Results of actor-partner interdependence models revealed that perceived partner responsiveness (PPR), a core component of the intimacy process, was found to predict sleep for military-connected couples and to predict pain for veterans. Indirect effects of PPR on sleep via the psychological process of downregulation of vigilance for military-connected couples emerged. The indirect effect of PPR on pain via the psychological process of emotion-regulation was found for veterans only. Partner effects were observed for veteran PPR on spouse positive affect. Overall, greater PPR was associated with positive health outcomes for military-connected couples. The implications of this study include further establishing the intimacy process as a particular mechanism by which close relationships promote health as well as providing insights for holistic interventions for sleep problems and pain in military-connected couples.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Psychology Commons