The contribution of vacationing together to couple functioning.

Moji Shahvali, D. Kerstetter, JN Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Informed by the Core and Balance Model of Family Leisure Functioning, we investigated the contribution of one type of family leisure—couple vacations—in enhancing couples’ cohesion and flexibility (i.e., functioning). Studying dyadic data from 112 couples (224 individuals) from across the United States of America, results of multilevel models showed that the variable “shared experiences during vacations” was positively associated with couples’ day-to-day functioning at home. Couples who engaged in higher levels of shared experiences during their vacations, such as effective communication, showing affection, or experiencing new things together, reported higher levels of couple flexibility and cohesion following their vacations, regardless of the number of vacations. We discuss the implications of these results for couples who spend quality time together away from home, as well as future use of our study model when examining benefits of vacationing for families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • benefits of tourism
  • core and balance model of family leisure functioning
  • couples
  • dyadic study
  • family vacations


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