Marital Processes, Neuroticism, and Stress as Risk Factors for Internalizing Symptoms
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Marital Processes, Neuroticism, and Stress as Risk Factors for Internalizing Symptoms
  • Published Date:

    Mar 2014

  • Source:
    Couple Family Psychol. 3(1):30-47.
Filetype[PDF-908.00 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Couple Family Psychol
  • Description:
    Objective Marital discord has a robust association with depression, yet it is rarely considered within broader etiological frameworks of psychopathology. Further, little is known about the particular aspects of relationships that have the greatest impact on psychopathology. The purpose of the present study was to test a novel conceptual framework including neuroticism, specific relationship processes (conflict management, partner support, emotional intimacy, and distribution of power and control), and stress as predictors of internalizing symptoms (depression and anxiety). Method Questionnaire and interview data were collected from 103 husbands and wives 5 times over the first 7 years of marriage. Results Results suggest that neuroticism (an expression of the underlying vulnerability for internalizing disorders) contributes to symptoms primarily through high levels of non-marital stress, an imbalance of power/control in one’s marriage, and poor partner support for husbands, and through greater emotional disengagement for wives. Conclusions Marital processes, neuroticism, and stress work together to significantly predict internalizing symptoms, demonstrating the need to routinely consider dyadic processes in etiological models of individual psychopathology. Specific recommendations for adapting and implementing couple interventions to prevent and treat individual psychopathology are discussed.
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