Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Committee Chair(s)

David Schramm


David Schramm


Kay Bradford


Adam Galovan


Because stress is a common struggle in romantic relationships and because stress can spill over into couples’ interactions and affect their level of relationship connection, it is important to understand what can help couples adapt to stress and maintain meaningful relationships. Quality time together has been found to have positive effects on relationship outcomes overall. Additionally, family stress theory has posited that having sufficient resources can help couples adapt to stress and avoid a crisis situation. As such, time together was examined as a potential resource for couples to draw upon to adapt to the potential negative effects of perceived stress on relationship connectivity.

This study utilized information from 615 individuals living in the United States and Canada to understand if time together acted as a resource that could buffer the negative effects of perceived stress. Findings showed that for those in the study, time together could act as a potential buffering resource to perceived stress. Those who spent more time together were also more resilient to perceived stress. The results suggest that professionals working with couples could help them discover ways they can invest meaningful, quality time together on a regular basis.