Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model

Benjamin R. Karney

In: Encyclopedia of Human Relationships

Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model

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  • The Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model (also called the Trait-Context-Process Model) is a framework for understanding how satisfaction in intimate relationships may change or remain stable over time. Building on cognitive-behavioral approaches, the model describes partners' evaluations of their relationships as a direct reaction to their interactions with each other. The model then expands this idea by suggesting that a couple's interactions are themselves determined by (a) the abilities, personalities, and personal histories of each partner; and (b) the demanding or supportive circumstances that confront the couple. This entry explains the elements of the model in greater detail, describes how the model assembles these elements to explain the course of relationship satisfaction over time, and reviews the implications of this model for research and practice.

    Elements of the Model: ...

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    • Cognitive Processes in Relationships
    • Communication Processes
    • Creating and Maintaining Closeness
    • The Dark Side of Relationships
    • Dating, Courtship, and Marriage
    • Emotion Processes in Relationships
    • Family
    • Friendship and Caregiving in Adulthood
    • Health and the Biology of Relationships
    • Methods for Studying Relationships
    • Personality and Individual Differences
    • Prevention and Repair of Relationship Problems
    • Psychological Processes
    • Sexuality
    • Social Context of Relationships
    • Social Relations in Childhood and Adolescence
    • Theoretical Approaches to Studying Relationships
    • Types of Relationships
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