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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the research on the reciprocal nature of illness and couple functioning. The chapter begins with a summary of the psychosocial literature, providing the context in which couples navigate illness, followed by a review of intermediate pathways through which relationship satisfaction and chronic illness interact. The chapter underscores the notion that chronic illness and couple functioning must be understood as a reciprocal, longitudinal feedback loop by highlighting the numerous couple and health processes that are interacting with each other over time to influence patient, partner, and health outcomes. Future directions and clinical implications are discussed.

Keywords: chronic illness, couple dysfunction, relationship satisfaction

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