Stress spillover in marriage was examined within a stress-buffering conceptual framework in a multiwave, longitudinal sample of newlywed husbands and wives (N = 101 couples). Spousal support, chronic role strain, and marital satisfaction were assessed 4 times over 3 years and analyzed via actor-partner interdependence model and growth curve analytic techniques. Greater escalation in husbands' role strain over the first 3 years of marriage was associated with steeper declines in their marital satisfaction regardless of the adequacy of spousal support provided by their wives. In contrast, greater escalation in husbands' and wives' role strain was associated with significantly less marital decline for wives, and these links were bolstered when husbands provided wives with more adequate support. The present study is one of the first to explicate the underlying processes through which role strain and spousal support facilitate and mitigate the developmental course of marital satisfaction.
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