Marital instability after brain injury: An exploratory analysis

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Spousal caregivers have an important role in recovery after brain injury, and there is evidence that injury has an adverse impact on uninjured partners as well as survivors. Unfortunately, the impact of brain injury on coupled relationships has received limited attention from clinical researchers. OBJECTIVE: To characterize marital stability after traumatic brain injury considering the perspectives of the patient and the uninjured partner. To identify predictors of marital stability. METHODS: Forty-Two couples with mild to severe injury completed the Marital Status Inventory, a measure of relationship stability, and the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale (RDAS), a measure of relationship quality. RESULTS: Twenty-four percent (24%) of patients viewed their marriage as unstable as did 29% of partners. Most individuals (72%) agreed with their partner regarding the stability of their relationship. About half of patients (52%) and partners (50%) reported clinically significant levels of marital dissatisfaction. Multivariate logistic regression indicated that the RDAS was a salient predictor of marital stability. Findings indicate relatively high levels of marital stability despite high levels of marital distress. CONCLUSIONS: Marital stability can be classified beyond labeling couples as married, separated, or divorced. Researchers have suggested that postinjury marital relationships are prone to instability and divorce in comparison to the general population. The present findings suggest otherwise.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kreutzer JS; Sima AP; Marwitz JH; Lukow HR
  • Start Page

  • 271
  • End Page

  • 279
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 3