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July 2022

Understanding the co-occurrence of marital distress and depression in women

Author(s): Byers, E. S.

Journal/Book: J Soc Person Relat. 1996; 13: 6 Bonhill Street, London, England EC2A 4PU. Sage Publications Ltd. 537-552.

Abstract: This study investigated factors related to the co-occurrence of marital distress and depression using a community-based sample of 128 women. Marital distress and depression were assessed at two levels of analysis: the global level and the level of daily marital satisfaction and dysphoric mood. Low rates of pleasing and high rates of displeasing marital exchanges were related to daily dysphoric mood and marital dissatisfaction as well as to global marital distress and depression. Marital exchanges were also related to both marital distress and depression at both levels of analysis when each disorder was considered separately. However, the association between depression and the quality of marital exchanges was accounted for by the degrees of marital distress. The quality of non-familial social interactions was not related to the co-occurrence of marital distress and depression. Overall, these findings suggest that, in women, the co-occurrence of marital distress and depression reflects the specific effects of marital exchanges. Dysfunctional beliefs were found to be common to both global marital distress and depression. Some evidence was found for some specificity in the maladaptive beliefs associated with marital distress and depressive symptomatology. Implications for further research are discussed.

Note: Article ES Byers, Univ New Brunswick, Dept Psychol, Fredericton, Nb E3B 6E4, Canada

Keyword(s): depression; marital distress; marital satisfaction; COGNITION; SATISFACTION; BEHAVIOR; COUPLES


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