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Perceived similarity and understanding in dyadic coping among young and mature couples

Authors

  • RAFFAELLA IAFRATE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Catholic University of Milan, Italy
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    • Raffaella Iafrate, Anna Bertoni, and Silvia Donato, Department of Psychology, Athenaeum Centre for Family Studies and Research, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy; Catrin Finkenauer, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • ANNA BERTONI,

    1. Catholic University of Milan, Italy
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    • Raffaella Iafrate, Anna Bertoni, and Silvia Donato, Department of Psychology, Athenaeum Centre for Family Studies and Research, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy; Catrin Finkenauer, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • SILVIA DONATO,

    1. Catholic University of Milan, Italy
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    • Raffaella Iafrate, Anna Bertoni, and Silvia Donato, Department of Psychology, Athenaeum Centre for Family Studies and Research, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy; Catrin Finkenauer, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • CATRIN FINKENAUER

    1. VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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    • Raffaella Iafrate, Anna Bertoni, and Silvia Donato, Department of Psychology, Athenaeum Centre for Family Studies and Research, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy; Catrin Finkenauer, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Raffaella Iafrate, Department of Psychology, Athenaeum Centre for Family Studies and Research, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy, e-mail: raffaella.iafrate@unicatt.it.

Abstract

The study examined perceived similarity and understanding in dyadic coping among 197 young and 192 mature couples. Perceived similarity and understanding were computed through a dyad-centered approach. To separate 2 equally important components of dyadic congruence (i.e., unique and stereotypical similarity) stereotype adjusted and unadjusted scores were computed. Results indicated that stereotype effects were higher among young couples than among mature couples; perceived stereotypical similarity was higher in young couples than in mature couples and stereotypical and partner-specific understanding were higher in mature couple relationships. Stereotypical understanding was positively associated with relationship quality but only among mature couples. Partner-specific understanding was not associated with relationship quality in mature couples, but it was negatively associated with relationship quality in young couples.

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