The Moderating role of sensory-processing sensitivity in the relationship between spousal caregiving, perceived social support and marital quality

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2014
Şengül İnal, Gülbin
This thesis aims to examine the moderating role of sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS) in the relationship between caregiving, perceived social support and marital quality. Specifically, in two studies the role of SPS was tested by comparing the three trait-environment interaction approaches, namely (1) diathesis-stress model, (2) differential susceptibility hypothesis, and (3) vantage sensitivity model, using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM). It was expected that if SPS has a moderating effect in the relationship between the proposed study variables, this effect would support for either diathesis-stress model, differential susceptibility hypothesis or vantage sensitivity. In the first study, the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS; Aron & Aron, 1997), originally developed as an unidimensional measure of SPS, was adapted into Turkish and its psychometric properties of the HSPS were investigated on 341 Turkish university students by utilizing exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and comparing the alternative models that were suggested in the previous studies. The results suggested that the HSPS is psychometrically valid and reliable measure with its four-factor structure, which showed a better fit to the data than the alternative factor solutions. In the second study, the moderating effect of SPS was tested using APIM analysis on 133 Turkish married couples. The results suggested that both wives’ and husbands’ low sensitivity significantly moderated the relationship between their partners’ low level of social support and wives’ use of negative communication patterns. The findings were unsupportive for differential susceptibility hypothesis and vantage sensitivity. However diathesis-stress model was partially supported. The implications of moderating effects of low sensitivity and operation of trait-environment interactions in marital dynamics were discussed considering relevant theories, past research, and cultural aspects.

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Citation Formats
G. Şengül İnal, “The Moderating role of sensory-processing sensitivity in the relationship between spousal caregiving, perceived social support and marital quality,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.