Using a national probability sample, we investigate the impact of traumatic events on marital well-being. We argue that traumatic life events such as the death of a child, a life-threatening illness, and physical attack have a negative impact on marital well-being and that this impact is moderated by spousal support. Partially confirming our first hypothesis, we found that physical attack is a significant predictor of marital wellbeing. Respondents who had been physically attacked in the past reported lower levels of marital satisfaction. As predicted, spousal support critically affected the relationship between traumatic events and marital well-being.
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