Mental health and couple communication

Date
2009-12
Authors
Cluxton-Keller, Fallon P.
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Abstract

The current research study explored couple communication from a social-cognitive theoretical perspective in couples with one spouse/partner diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The study consisted of two groups that included couples with one spouse/partner diagnosed with MDD who were recruited from an inpatient psychiatric unit and a comparison group. This research was conducted to identify initiate/avoid communication styles in these two groups using the Initiator Style Questionnaire (ISQ; Denton & Burleson, 2007) and to determine whether these communication patterns affect the overall quality of their relationships. There were correlations between quality of relationship and initiator style in both the comparison group and the inpatient group, in which couples that were initiators were more satisfied in their relationships. The results also revealed gender differences in initiator tendency that are consistent with findings from other research studies. Several other findings also expand the current understanding of the interpersonal aspects of couples with one spouse/partner diagnosed with MDD.

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Keywords
Social sciences, Psychology, Communication, Couple therapy, Family therapy, Initiator style, Marriage quality
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