Examining the Link Between Exercise and Marital Arguments in Clinical Couples

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Abstract

Couples experiencing clinical levels of distress likely experience marital arguments. Exercise may attenuate such conflict. The current study examined daily links between exercise and the number and intensity of marital arguments, relationship satisfaction, stress levels, and argument topics. Participants included 36 heterosexual couples in a treatment-as-usual setting who completed the Daily Diary of Events in Couple Therapy. Results indicated a positive relationship between female hours of exercise and argument intensity for both partners. The number of hours males exercise was not significantly related to any variables; however, male daily stress was significantly related to female report of argument intensity. This suggests that although exercise has empirically supported benefits for individuals, clinical couples may also experience increased argument intensity in connection with exercise.

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