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Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model

Undoubtedly, Karney and Bradbury’s vulnerability – stress – adaptation model is the most important and interesting, since it amplifies how enduring vulnerabilities (e. g., problematic individual traits, childhood experience), stressful events (e. g., major turning points in life, stressful transitions, and circumstances), and problematic adaptive processes (e. g., explaining spouse’s behavior, defensive and hostile problem-solving skills) considerably adverse marital issues (Karney & Bradbury, 1995).

Furthermore, this model explains that couples with a high degree of enduring vulnerabilities are more likely to suffer from dissolution and distress. Moreover, Karney and Bradbury advanced a concept of three classes (enduring vulnerabilities, stressful events, and problematic adaptive processes) of variables that demonstrate dissatisfaction and instability of marriages that can occur over long marital time. According to this model, there are two fundamental reasons why couples can feel dissatisfaction of marriage. Firstly, it is related to natural traits that make one spouse better than another. For instance, one spouse can easily compromise in case of disagreement, while other can continue to express personal dissatisfaction and endure quarreling. Consequently, it is evident that natural traits help to solve marital issues positively, at the same time influencing the duration of marriage. Secondly, it is an ability to control the level of stress and emotions. This can be amplified by the fact that the low level of stress can be easily generated, thus spouses can explain each other their bad behavior in order to prevent considerable impact on their global feelings about their marriage. Indisputably, high stress will lead to serious disagreements or divorce, since spouses constantly blame each other for inability to control their own emotions. For example, spouses who previously reached an agreement can have serious issues due to the repetition of the subject of the disagreement over marital period (Karney, 2010).

All in all, Karney and Bradbury’s vulnerability – stress – adaptation model consolidates individuals, family, and life variables into one incorporated framework that helps to examine and to solve marital problems in a proper manner. Consequently, the effectiveness of this model is quite obvious, since with the help of it, spouses can learn how to avoid marital dissatisfaction and stress.

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