Dyadic Empathy, Dyadic Coping, and Relationship Satisfaction: A Dyadic Model

Christine Levesque, Marie-France Lafontaine, Angela Caron, Jamie Lyn Flesch, Sophie Bjornson


The purpose of the present study was to investigate a theoretical model specifying the direct and indirect associations between dyadic empathy, dyadic coping, and relationship satisfaction in a sample of 187 heterosexual couples. Dyadic and structural aspects of mediation were tested using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model. Results revealed that greater levels of an individual’s own propensity for dyadic empathy (i.e., one’s ability to experience empathic concern and perspective-taking) significantly predicted greater levels of an individual’s own dyadic coping strategies among both male and female participants. Moreover, increased levels of an individual’s own dyadic coping strategies significantly predicted a similar greater degree of an individual’s own relationship satisfaction. Furthermore, results also provide support for the possible mediating role that an individual’s own dyadic coping strategies may hold in explaining the links between an individual’s own empathic concern and an individual’s own relationship satisfaction among male participants. With regard to the dyadic components of the study’s model, findings indicated that perspective-taking among males significantly improve their female partners’ propensity to employ positive dyadic coping strategies. Moreover, empathic concern among female participants was found to improve their male partners’ dyadic coping strategies. Findings suggest the potential utility of examining dyadic coping as a means to expand clinical and empirical insights regarding the links between dyadic empathy and relationship satisfaction.


couple relationships; dyadic coping; dyadic empathy; relationship satisfaction

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