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The Blame Game: Why Financial Stress Hurts Some Couples but Not Others

Money troubles constitute one of the most common relationship stressors. Interestingly, some relationships are especially prone to problems during tough economic times. Why? It depends on what people believe to be the cause of their financial difficulties. When couples attribute their financial troubles to their partners, satisfaction is worse. But blaming oneself or the economy minimizes the negative effect financial troubles have on satisfaction. Thus, finding a scapegoat for money-trouble may protect couples’ relationships.

Diamond, L. M., & Hicks, A. M. (2011). “It’s the economy, honey!” Couples’ blame attributions during the 2007-2009 economic crisis. Personal Relationships. Article first published online: 16 AUG 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2011.01380.x

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