We observed associations between anxiety and relationship quality (RQ) among couples in which one partner (the wife) was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. We used a daily process design to improve on prior studies that relied on cross-sectional, between-person analyses. Specifically, we hypothesized that:

  1. Wives’ daily anxiety would be associated with daily perceptions of RQ for both partners.
  2. The associations between wives’ anxiety and perceptions of RQ would be moderated by wives’ anxiety-specific, but not global, relationship adjustment. We hypothesized that associations would be stronger for couples with lower anxiety-specific relationship adjustment.
  3. On days in which wives reported elevations in anxious mood, husbands would be perceived as having at least some involvement in their wives’ anxiety. Exploratory analyses examined how often husbands were perceived as contributing to the (a) reason for anxiety, (b) worsening of anxiety, or (c) alleviation of anxiety.
  4. Wives’ daily anxiety would be associated with husbands’ level of distress (i.e., anxiety, anger, depression) on the same day.
  5. The association between wives’ anxiety and husbands’ levels of distress would be moderated by (a) husband-reported hostility toward the wife and (b) husband’s accommodation of wives’ anxiety symptoms. We hypothesized that wives’ anxiety would be more strongly associated with husbands’ distress for husbands who report greater hostility and greater accommodation of wives’ symptoms.

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