Children's diseases can negatively impact marital adjustment and contribute to poorer child health outcomes. To cope with increased marital stress and childhood diseases severity, many people turn to spirituality. While most studies show a positive relationship between spirituality and marital adjustment, spirituality has typically been measured only in terms of individual behaviors. Using the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) and Daily Phone Diary data from a sample of 126 parents of children with cystic fibrosis as a context for increased marital stress, spiritual behavior of mother-father dyads and of whole families were used as predictors of marital adjustment. Frequency and duration of individual, dyadic and familial spiritual activities correlated positively with dyadic adjustment. Significant differences in spiritual activities existed between couples with marital adjustment scores above and below the cutoff for distress. The only significant factors in regressions of spiritual activities on marital adjustment scores were number of pulmonary exacerbations and parent age. Higher odds of maintaining a marital adjustment score greater than 100 were significantly associated with spending approximately twelve minutes per day in individual, but not conjugal or familial, spiritual activities. The Daily Phone Diary is a feasible tool to study conjugal and familial activities and their relationships with beliefs and attitudes, including spirituality.

Cystic fibrosis, Marital adjustment, Parent, Spirituality
dx.doi.org/10.3390/rel5020385, hdl.handle.net/1765/83203
Religions
Department of Medical Informatics

Grossoehme, D.H, Szczesniak, R, Dodd, C.N, & Opipari-Arrigan, L. (2014). Dyadic adjustment and spiritual activities in parents of children with cystic fibrosis. Religions, 5(2), 385–401. doi:10.3390/rel5020385