ERIC Number: ED341879
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
The Relationship between Depression and Marital Interaction Patterns.
Seely, Brian John
This literature review examined the relationship between depression and marital interaction patterns in marriages where one spouse is depressed. The social exchange process between the depressed individual and the spouse is dysfunctional in comparison to the processes in non-depressed couples and may be responsible for the maintenance of depressive symptoms. There appear to be deficits in assertive behavior, in defending personal rights, and in making clear and specific requests of the non-depressed partner. An examination of the problem of depression from the perspective of the non-depressed spouse can serve as a needed supplement to the usual patient-centered approach to research and treatment. Future work in research, assessment, and intervention should ultimately adopt a more integrated, interactional approach, both methodologically and conceptually. Depression has been conceptualized as a self-perpetuating interpersonal system. Depressive symptomatology appears to be congruent with the ongoing interpersonal and marital situation of the depressed person. Essentially, the depressed spouse and the marital partner collude to create a system in which feedback is difficult to receive and various efforts to change become system-maintaining in the long run. The results of this study indicated that since there is a strong relationship between depression and marital distress, if a couple presents with marital discord, clinicians should be aware of potential depression in one spouse. Marital and family therapy need to be more widely considered as either primary or adjunctive treatments for depression. (LLL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Doctoral Research Paper, Biola University.