Health Behavior Change From a Dyadic Perspective: Theory and Findings From Two Daily Dyadic Studies

[Speaker] Stadler, Gertraud Turu:1
[Co-author] Matthew, Riccio:1, Janina, Luescher:2, Sibylle, Ochsner:2, Nina, Knoll:3, Rainer, Hornung:2, Urte, Scholz:2
1:University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK; Columbia University, USA (United Kingdom), 2:University of Zurich (Switzerland), 3:Freie Universitaet Berlin (Germany)

Background: While individual behavior change has been the focus in health psychology, most behavior change occurs within the social network. We will present a theoretical framework for studying the influence of close others on behavior change and present evidence that positive interactions with close others facilitate behavior change over time. We provide evidence from two dyadic longitudinal studies for the important role of social support and companionship.
Methods: Both partners of committed couples (Study 1: N = 90, Study 2: N = 99) filled out daily online diaries for one month.
Findings: In both studies, companionate activities and support receipt occurred frequently. Daily fluctuations in companionship and support made independent contributions toward explaining emotional well-being and relationship satisfaction. In Study 2, companionship and support predicted health behavior change.
Discussion: The findings underscore the need for studying health behavior change from a dyadic process perspective with suitable theoretical and statistical frameworks
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