Trauma and couples: Mechanisms in dyadic functioning

Stacey Blalock Henry, Douglas B. Smith, Kristy L. Archuleta, Erin Sanders-Hahs, Briana S.Nelson Goff, Allison M.J. Reisbig, Kami L. Schwerdtfeger, Amy Bole, Everett Hayes, Carol B. Hoheisel, Ben Nye, Jamie Osby-Williams, Tamera Scheer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Research traditionally has focused on the development of symptoms in those who experienced trauma directly but overlooked the impact of trauma on the families of victims. In recent years, researchers and clinicians have begun to examine how individual exposure to traumatic events affects the spouses/partners, children, and professional helpers of trauma survivors. The current study reports data from a larger mixed-methodology study that includes qualitative interview data from 17 individuals, coded to identify the mechanisms that may affect the couple's interpersonal functioning when there is a history of trauma exposure in one or both partners. The following primary themes were identified: role in the relationship, boundary issues, intimacy problems, triggers, and coping mechanisms. Areas for future research and clinical implications also are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-332
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


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