The authors thank Dr. S. T. F. M. Frequin, neurologist at the St. Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein, and Dr. P. J. Jongen, neurologist and director at the MS Centre Nijmegen, for their help with recruitment of the participants; Martine van Tent for her help with the data collection; and Jan Koopman for developing the software for the electronic diaries.
Receiving and providing support in couples dealing with multiple sclerosis: A diary study using an equity perspective
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2006
Volume 13, Issue 4, pages 485–501, December 2006
How to Cite
KLEIBOER, A. M., KUIJER, R. G., HOX, J. J., SCHREURS, K. M. G. and BENSING, J. M. (2006), Receiving and providing support in couples dealing with multiple sclerosis: A diary study using an equity perspective. Personal Relationships, 13: 485–501. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2006.00131.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2006
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2006
This study examined the effects of daily support exchanges in couples facing multiple sclerosis (MS). Two issues were examined: the imbalance between received and provided support, and the extent to which reciprocal exchanges of received and provided support are associated with end-of-day well-being (positive and negative mood and self-esteem). Guided by equity theory, we expected that one-sided support provision or receipt would be harmful for well-being for both patients and partners. We argued that these negative outcomes could be offset by reciprocating support, that is, when both partners receive and provide support. Sixty-one patients and their partners filled out questionnaires on demographics and disease-related characteristics and subsequently completed computerized daily diaries for 14 days. At the end of each day, both partners completed diaries on end-of-day mood, self-esteem, received and provided emotional and instrumental support, and several control variables (daily hassles and MS-related symptoms for patients). Reciprocity in instrumental support transactions was associated with higher levels of self-esteem among both patients and partners. However, the other results all showed independent effects of support received and provided. Patients’ well-being was related to providing emotional support and instrumental support, whereas partners’ well-being was related to receiving emotional support from patients.