Protective Buffering

Protective buffering is a form of coping with stress in the context of a relationship, most commonly studied in couples coping with a chronic illness. James C. Coyne and colleagues coined this term in the early 1990s to describe a strategy of coping that includes hiding or denying emotions or worries so as to avoid disagreements with one’s partner. This early work examined protective buffering in married couples in which the husband had suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack), although subsequent work by a number of researchers has examined protective buffering in both married and unmarried couples where one partner has cancer, asthma, or diabetes, as well as in healthy couples. The research on couples coping with chronic illnesses has also extended to other ...

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