Running addiction and dyadic adjustment


  • Dr. Ellen B. Rudy,

    Corresponding author
    • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106
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    • Ellen B. Rudy, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Edward J. and Louise Mellen Professor of Nursing in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University. Patricia J. Estok, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a professor in the School of Nursing, Kent State University.

  • Patricia J. Estok


Running motivated by an addictive mechanism may overpower the sensible, beneficial approach to exercise. Neglect of family responsibilities and relationships may occur as a result of this addiction. Thirty-five marathon runners and their spouses were studied; 22 of the runners were women and 13 were men. Each runner and spouse completed the dyadic adjustment (DAS) and running addiction (RAS) scales; the spouses were asked to rate their own dyadic adjustment and the runners' addiction. Findings indicated little relationship between the runners' RAS and DAS scores; however, there was a significant negative relationship between spouses' rating of the runners' RAS and their own DAS, (r=-.59, p < .001). The relationship between higher perceived levels of running addiction in the spouse and lower DAS scores was stronger in those spouses who did not run; (r=-.61, p < .01) and for male spouses of female runners; (r=-.67, p < .01).