Collaborative coping (i.e., spouses pooling resources and problem solving jointly) may be associated with better daily mood because of heightened perceptions of efficacy in coping with stressful events. The study examined the daily processes of collaborative coping (individuals' perceptions that the spouse collaborated), perceived coping effectiveness (ratings of how well they dealt with the event), and mood (i.e., Positive and Negative Affect Scale) across 14 days in 57 older couples coping with stressors involving the husband's prostate cancer and daily life in general. In hierarchical multivariate linear models, collaborative coping was associated with more positive same-day mood for both husbands and wives and less negative mood for wives only. These associations were partially mediated by heightened perceptions of coping effectiveness. Exploratory analyses revealed that collaborative coping was more frequent among wives who performed more poorly on cognitive tests and couples who reported greater marital satisfaction and more frequently using collaboration to make decisions. The results suggest that older couples may benefit from collaborative coping in dealing with problems surrounding illness.
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