This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Association Between Marital Conflict and BMI Among African American Married Couples




Tindall-Sickles, Marta Ann

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


Research has repeatedly noted the link between marriage and weight gain, but to date, there has been no satisfactory explanation for those findings. This dyadic study of African American married couples examines one specific process, marital conflict, and its association with subsequent increases in Body Mass Index (BMI). No direct effects were found, but results showed one significant transactional effect – an association between husbands’ reports of marital conflict at the first wave of the study and the wives’ increase in BMI by Wave 2. The finding of a transactional effect suggests the importance of using a dyadic study design in future research of marital processes and BMI.