The current study extends prior research on perceptual congruence within couples by examining some variables of perceptual congruence in the context of dyadic coping. We examined each partner’s perceived similarity in dyadic coping, actual similarity in providing and receiving support in times of stress, and what we call the couple bond, that is, the recognition of each partner’s coping efforts as measured at a couple level. In a sample of 281 married and unmarried couples, we tested the predictive power of perceptual congruence variables on relationship satisfaction. Congruence variables were computed through an idiographic or dyad-centered approach. In order to measure congruence pertaining to each dyad and separate two equally important components of dyadic congruence (i.e., unique similarity and stereotypical similarity), stereotype adjusted and not-adjusted scores were computed. The results indicated that, with adjusted scores, the effect of the perceptual congruence of dyadic coping was weakened but, for women at least, the effect of perceived similarity remained significant and the variable of couple bond was marginally significant. The results provide preliminary clues to the role of dyadic coping within an interpersonal- and social-based perspective.
- couple relationship satisfaction
- dyadic coping
- gender differences
- perceptual congruence
- stereotype effect