Our sample consisted of 33 married and/or cohabiting (≥6 months) heterosexual couples in which the female partner met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM–IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) criteria for a principal anxiety disorder. Exclusion criteria included evidence of psychosis, risk of self-harm, partner abuse, alcohol or substance abuse in the last 6 months, an organic mental disorder, or a history of bipolar disorder. Couples were excluded if the diagnosed partner met criteria for a current major depressive episode to minimize the potentially confounding effects of comorbid depression.
Participants were recruited from four sites in the Philadelphia area: (a) the Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple University (n = 16 couples; 47.1%), (b) the Psychological Services Center of Temple University (n = 7; 20.6%), (c) the Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center (n = 4; 11.8%), and (d) the Temple University student body (n = 7; 20.6%) during 2004–2005.
The majority of couples (n = 21; 62%) were married (M = 7.6 years, SD = 8.7) or cohabiting for a mean duration of 3.04 years (SD = 2.0). The average age was 33.8 years (SD = 10.3). Participants were predominantly Caucasian (61.8%), with 17.6% identified as African American, 2.9% Hispanic, 8.8% Asian/Asian American, and 8.8% Other. Analysis of variance for age and chi-square analyses for categorical variables revealed site differences in the age of the diagnosed partner, Welch F(3, 10) = 7.30, p < .05, and the frequency of married versus cohabitating and unmarried couples, χ2(3, N = 66) = 19.89, p < .05. None of these variables were significantly related to mean aggregated scores on daily measures of mood or relationship quality or baseline measures of relationship adjustment.