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Uncertain Together: A Dyadic Exploration of Social Support During Uncertain Waiting Periods

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Waiting for uncertain news can be a source of anxiety and worry for individuals most directly affected by the potential news; however, socially supportive others who are highly connected to the individual, such as romantic partners, also have their own experience. In the current studies, I investigated how romantic couples jointly experience uncertain waiting periods, with a particular focus on the perception of various types of support and links between support, strategy use, and waiting experiences. Using dyadic data from two samples of couples experiencing distinct periods of uncertainty, results revealed that partners reported distinct experiences based on their roles, perceived rather than enacted support played the largest role in participants’ experience, and individual differences seem to affect perceptions and provision of support. Together, these studies provide a first step toward understanding the interaction between supportive dyads during the stressful experience of awaiting uncertain news.

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