Coping with global uncertainty: Perceptions of COVID-19 psychological distress, relationship quality, and dyadic coping for romantic partners across 27 countries
Following the global outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, individuals report psychological distress associated with the “new normal”—social distancing, financial hardships, and increased responsibilities while working from home. Given the interpersonal nature of stress and coping responses between romantic partners, based on the systemic transactional model this study posits that perceived partner dyadic coping may be an important moderator between experiences of COVID-19 psychological distress and relationship quality. To examine these associations, self-report data from 14,020 people across 27 countries were collected during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic (March–July, 2020). It was hypothesized that higher symptoms of psychological distress would be reported post-COVID-19 compared to pre-COVID-19 restrictions (Hypothesis 1), reports of post-COVID-19 psychological distress would be negatively associated with relationship quality (Hypothesis 2), and perceived partner DC would moderate these associations (Hypothesis 3). While hypotheses were generally supported, results also showed interesting between-country variability. Limitations and future directions are presented.