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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Counseling and Human Development

First Advisor

Stephen Saiz


Graduate school is a stressful time for all students, but may present unique challenges for students in committed relationships. Stress spillover leads to increased relationship strife during times of stress in one partner’s life. The present study examines whether relationship stress is different amongst counseling students and STEM students. The study also examines other areas which can impact relationship satisfaction, including time spent together in a given week, length of the relationship, whether one or both partners are in school, and if the relationship began prior to or during graduate school. No difference in relationship satisfaction was found between counseling students and STEM students. Increased relationship satisfaction was associated with more time spent together in a typical week and the relationship beginning during, not before, graduate school. Length of relationship and whether both partners were in school were not related to relationship satisfaction in the current study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Graduate students
Relationship quality
Interpersonal relations
Counseling -- Study and teaching (Graduate)
Science -- Study and teaching (Graduate)
Engineering -- Study and teaching (Graduate)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 30-35)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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