Relational uncertainty, interdependence and psychological distress during COVID-19: A longitudinal study

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Drawing on the relational turbulence theory, this study explored the associations of self, partner and relationship uncertainty, and partner interference and facilitation with psychological distress symptoms during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. A longitudinal study of 313 individuals was conducted in Israel at three time points, spanning from the first lockdown (April 2020) and through the alleviation of the severe restrictions (June 2020). Multilevel modelling indicated divergent associations between the different sources of relational uncertainty and interdependence and somatization, depression and anxiety. Further analyses pointed to divergent findings regarding how change in self, partner and relationship uncertainty predicted change in somatization, depression and anxiety over the course of the study, depending on whether the three sources of relational uncertainty were analysed separately or simultaneously in the same model. Change in interference from a partner did not predict changes in psychological distress. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1044
Number of pages16
JournalStress and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Stress and Health published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • COVID-19
  • interdependence
  • psychological distress
  • relational uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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