LONELINESS AND RELATIONSHIP SATISFACTION AMONG MARRIED COUPLES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC: RELATIONSHIP EFFICACY AS A MODERATOR
Background: The significant changes in daily routines of the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted relationship satisfaction among marital couples worldwide. Married couples who experienced loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to low relationship satisfaction. However, relationship efficacy could buffer the direct association of loneliness with relationship satisfaction. Objectives: This study aimed to examine the relationship between loneliness and relationship satisfaction among married couples during the COVID-19 pandemic by using relationship efficacy as a moderator. Methodology: 150 married couples participated in the cross-sectional quantitative online survey. The self-administered questionnaires consisted of UCLA 3-item Loneliness Scale, Relationship Assessment Scale and Relationship Efficacy Measure. The present study employed Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software to analyse the data. Results: First, the findings revealed a negative association between loneliness and relationship satisfaction. Second, the moderation effect of relationship efficacy was significant in the association between loneliness andrelationship satisfaction. Conclusion: The results supported the crucial role of relationship efficacy in a marital relationship. Ultimately, relationship efficacy can minimise the negative impact of loneliness on relationship satisfaction. In short, couples believing they can resolve conflict with their partners will likely promote better relationship satisfaction. This study alsopresents several practical and theoretical implications.