Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

First Committee Member

Katherine Hertlein

Second Committee Member

Brandon Eddy

Third Committee Member

Sara Jordan

Fourth Committee Member

Ann Vuong

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to provide an exploration of impacts to romantic relationship dynamics attributed the COVID-19 pandemic. Though many attributes of COVID-19 classify it as a distinct, unique event in its own right, a literature review of past global health events and economic crises provided a foundational reference point from which to compare it to. Twelve participants who were in relationships with another person for at least four years at the time were interviewed, six of which who were parented individuals and six of which who had no children, to discover how COVID-19-related changes developed over the course of the pandemic and impacted relationship dynamics in unique ways amongst both populations. Four significant themes resulted from participant interviews: initiative for self-focus, negotiation to navigate between worlds, pressurized communication, and flexibility in functioning. These themes played out differently across relationship dynamics and impacted satisfaction, functioning and normal life cycle development depending on a convergence of various factors in the couple/family systems. The ABC-X model and conservation of resource theory (COR) offer two frameworks for conceptualization and guidance in determining appropriate treatment for these populations.


Couple and Family Therapy; COVID-19; Marriage and Family Therapy; Relationship Dynamics; Relationships


Social and Behavioral Sciences

File Format


File Size

3400 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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