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Differentiation of self: examination of the concept in the interplay of stress, life satisfaction, and marital satisfaction

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2019
Ulu Yalçınkaya, Ayşe
The purpose of the current study is to investigate the role of differentiation of self (I-position, emotional reactivity, fusion with others and emotional cut-off) as a mediator on the relationship between perceived stress, intradyadic stress, extradyadic stress and life satisfaction and dyadic satisfaction among Turkish married individuals. The sample was composed of 825 married individuals (420 women, 405 men) between 19-70 age ranges (M = 38.14, SD = 1.18). Demographic Information Form, Multidimensional Stress Questionnaire for Couples, Perceived Stress Scale, Differentiation of Self Inventory-Short Form, Dyadic Adjustment Scale and Satisfaction with Life Scale were used to gather data. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the hypothesized marital and life satisfaction model. Extradyadic stress was eliminated from the study because of the high multicollinearity values. Perceived stress, intradyadic stress, and differentiation of self were exogenous variables, while life satisfaction and marital satisfaction were endogenous variables. The results of the SEM indicated that individuals who have higher levels of perceived and intradyadic stress and higher emotional reactivity, they have lower levels of dyadic satisfaction and life satisfaction. Moreover, as the level of perceived or intradyadic stress increases and the level of I-position decreases, married individuals have lower level of life and dyadic satisfaction. The results of the study showed that the proposed model explained 37 % of the variance in the life satisfaction and 63 % of the variance in dyadic satisfaction of individuals. Consequently, the findings supported the significance of differentiation of self variables in married individuals’ life and dyadic satisfaction