Aunified and multifaceted approach to examining support transactions in marriage

Rebecca L. Brock*, Erika Lawrence

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


A new era of marital research has emerged over the last two decades demonstrating that partner support significantly contributes to marital satisfaction. However, much of this research has been narrow in scope, yielding inconsistent findings and limiting our understanding of how partner support contributes to the developmental course of marriage. The purpose of this chapter is to explain the distinctions among the different aspects of support, and to clarify which components have the greatest implications for understanding marital development. In the first section, we provide a brief overview of the three main facets of social support, and argue that support transactions are the most important facet to examine in marriage. In the second section, we review the different components of support transactions studied to date, and propose that the field move from studying isolated components to embracing a unified conceptualization of support transactions. In the third section, we discuss how each of these components operates within a support transaction, and discuss the influences of each component on the link between support transactions and marital satisfaction. We also introduce a new component that has been ignored in the literature to date: recipient responsiveness. In the fourth section, we present a novel, integrated model in which support transactions are conceptualized as multifaceted, dyadic, and dynamic phenomena. We focus specifically on the interactions among support components, and the many possible behavioral sequences that can develop as a result of these interactions. We also present several examples of comprehensive support transactions based on this model, and discuss their implications for marriage. Finally, in the fifth section, we offer specific recommendations for future research on support transactions in marriage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMarriage
Subtitle of host publicationRoles, Stability and Conflict
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781616684075
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Aunified and multifaceted approach to examining support transactions in marriage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this