Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Marriage and Family Therapy

Committee Chair(s)

Dave Robinson


Dave Robinson


Julie Gast


Ryan Seedall


This study was completed to better understand and treat couples wherein one partner suffers from chronic migraines. I interviewed eight couples about their experiences in dealing with migraines as a patient, as a partner, and together. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed by a team of seven researchers. We developed a theory that can be used to understand how patients and their partners adapt to chronic migraines. The theory was grounded in the experiences of the patients and partners who were interviewed. We found that patients and partners alike dealt with burdens and costs associated with chronic migraines. Coping, healthcare, couple experience, and identity were found to be the means through which patients and partners adapted to their burdens. These concepts are broken down and discussed in greater detail. A model is provided that can be used to create a visual representation of how well a couple deals with migraines. Suggestions for couples who are dealing with chronic migraines, and for medical providers and therapists who work with couples affected by chronic migraines, are provided.