Individual adjustment, readiness for relationship change, and dyadic adjustment

Kay Bradford, Jacob A. Lacoursiere, Ann Vail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The association between individual adjustment and relationship adjustment is well documented, but it is not apparent whether levels of adjustment have impact on readiness to change. This study applied the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) to examine associations between distress and individual readiness for change in the couple relationship. Using data collected from 389 married and cohabitating individuals, this study examined individual adjustment, readiness to change, and relationship adjustment. Women were more ready to change than were men. Men's individual wellbeing (not women's) predicted readiness for couple change for both men and women; women's readiness for couple change (not men's) predicted relationship adjustment. Women's readiness for change partially mediated the pathway between men's well-being and men's relationship adjustment. These findings point toward different process-related implications for heterosexual couples. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-311
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Portions of this article were presented at the 2007 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference, Long Beach, California. This study was supported by a grant to Ann Vail and Kay Bradford through the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services through a Section 1115 waiver awarded to the commonwealth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Region IV. The authors thank the community partners and participants for their involvement, and all BHMI research assistants for their work. Special thanks to Leigh Ann Simmons, PhD, for her consultation in the preparation of this article, and appreciation to Thorana Nelson, PhD, for her helpful comments on an earlier draft.


  • Individual adjustment
  • Readiness for change
  • Relationship adjustment
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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