Global measure of relationship satisfaction and depression

global measure of relationship satisfaction and depression

are aware has examined the association between depression and global romantic influence links between relationship satisfaction and depression; all have . provides more precision and power than traditional measures of relationship. Infertility is a global public health concern and affects marital satisfaction. Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (KMSS), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale Relationship satisfaction was defined by Hendrick as “the measurement of a. Marital distress and depression frequently co-occur, and partnership . depression items was treated as a global measure of mental health.

A satisfying romantic relationship i. In other words, people who receive threatening information about a task but are in satisfying relationships or have helpful conversations with their romantic partners may report less pain. However, this hypothesis has not yet been tested in the literature.

Furthermore, a recent systematic review of the literature has concluded that there is a dearth of experimental research exploring the social modulation of pain [ 15 ].

To these ends, an aim of the current study is to determine the extent to which models of fear and pain should accommodate the influence of relationship satisfaction on the effect of pain threat during an experimental task. The central hypothesis is that both global and situational relationship satisfaction will independently relate to pain as well as mitigate the effect of threatening information about a painful task i.

The vast majority of studies associating relationship satisfaction with health and pain have focused on general or global relationship satisfaction i. Global relationship satisfaction represents how generally satisfied an individual is in the relationship, and is the result of cumulative relationship experiences, contextual factors e.

While studying global relationship satisfaction can be informative, close relationship researchers have argued that specific interactions must also be studied as distinct phenomena to inform theory and clinical practice [ 17—19 ]. Situational satisfaction is likely the product of a number of aspects of the interaction including the degree of agreement between partners, expressed affection, and fulfillment of expectations about the interaction. Although global and situational satisfaction may seem similar, the two are thought to function independently; for example, a dissatisfying discussion with a partner can occur in a generally satisfying relationship and vice versa, a satisfying interaction with a partner can occur in a globally dissatisfying relationship.

When both global and situational satisfaction are assessed, as in the current study, the possibility that they function independently can be tested. Both global and situational relationship satisfaction have not, to our knowledge, been examined as they relate to pain fear and threat. Studies on relationship satisfaction and pain severity may offer clues as to how satisfaction may be related to pain threat. For example, global relationship satisfaction is associated with less need for analgesics following myocardial infarction [ 20 ].

In this study, being in a relationship that one considers satisfying is expected to buffer the effect of threatening information about pain so that one is able to experience less pain and greater pain tolerance. With respect to situational relationship satisfaction, it is hypothesized that a satisfying interaction about a painful task would provide an indicator to individuals that their partner cares for them and will be concerned about their well-being during the task.

Although no studies have examined how situational relationship satisfaction affects pain threat, there is evidence that positive social support during painful tasks reduces perceived pain [ 1521 ]. In the present study, both global and situational i. Both are expected to be related to less pain over the course of the cold pressor task and greater pain tolerance.

In addition, both are expected to reduce the impact of threatening information on pain and pain tolerance. This study appears to be the first to examine the association between relationship satisfaction and experimentally manipulated pain threat. The study also contributes to the literature by addressing the fact that researchers rarely investigate both global and situational satisfaction despite the fact that both types of relationship satisfaction provide information that can provide insights into clinical intervention design.

For instance, results showing that global satisfaction buffers the effect of threat would suggest that future research should test interventions that incorporate activities to bolster general feelings of satisfaction. Marital difficulties are both precursors and sequels to depression [ 24 ]. Some studies have shown that marital dissatisfaction predicts subsequent depressive symptoms [ 25 ] while the opposite has been found in other studies [ 26 ].

In the face of conflicting results, one review of the literature concluded that the associations between depression, relationship satisfaction, and third variables are most likely bidirectional [ 23 ].

To date, most research on relationship dissatisfaction and psychological distress has been based on small samples that are not necessarily representative of the population of married or cohabiting individuals [ 27 ].

Clearly, results from larger population-based samples are needed. Other risk factors associated with symptoms of depression Depression symptom levels are associated with psychosocial factors like job loss, money problems, and social isolation [ 28 ], unfavorable socioeconomic circumstances [ 29 ], and poor physical health and low social support [ 30 ].

Low self-esteem is another well-known risk factor associated with depression, especially for men [ 31 ]. Among women expecting a child, studies show that first-time motherhood may be associated with increased risk for depression, see e. Life transitions may represent vulnerable periods for mental health problems [ 34 ]. Pregnancy is one common life transition. With the exception of factors associated specifically with pregnancy, like first-time motherhood, the risk factors for depression in pregnant women see e.

Less is known about prevalence and risk factors for depressive symptoms in men when a new child is expected. One study investigated risk factors for psychological distress in couples from mid-pregnancy to four months after childbirth. Among variables strongly related to male distress were low emotional support from the partner and low dyadic adjustment.

For women, low emotional support from friends and low dyadic adjustment were strong predictors.

global measure of relationship satisfaction and depression

However, this investigation gives no clear evidence of gender differences [ 36 ]. Another study based on a sample of women and their partners found that most predictive factors of depression during pregnancy were similar for both genders, but the impact of social support and partner depression appeared to be more important for men than for women [ 37 ].

Severe anxiety and depression during pregnancy have been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm delivery, low infant birth weight, and small-for gestational-age infants [ 38 ].

The buffering effect of relationship satisfaction on emotional distress in couples

A recent longitudinal study showed that antenatal depression related more strongly to negative child outcomes measured in the early school years than did maternal depression at any time postpartum [ 39 ].

Emotional distress, particularly depression, is also associated with reduced quality of parenting [ 4041 ]. In conclusion, a number of risk factors have been identified. However, most of the research, particularly when it comes to pregnant couples, is based on small samples with limited power to obtain precise estimates and to investigate interaction effects.

Cross-spousal effects Researchers have examined the extent to which the levels of well-being and health of respondents can predict the mental health of their spouses, so-called "cross-spousal effects. Other studies have found that one spouse's physical health problems were associated with the other's depressive symptoms [ 4243 ].

To our knowledge, no previous large-scale study has investigated the direct effect of one spouse's relationship satisfaction on the other's emotional distress. Our data set permit the observation of such cross-spousal effects.

Buffering effects of relationship factors In addition to the strong main effects of relationship satisfaction on mental health that has previously been demonstrated [ 17 - 21 ], a good relationship may also have an additional protective effect under otherwise stressful conditions. In accordance with the buffering hypothesis [ 4445 ], some factors may protect against severe effects of certain strains.

Social support has been shown to be an important protective factor regarding an individual's ability to handle and recover from stressful events [ 4647 ]. Satisfaction with the partner relationship may also be a protective factor against strain.

One study examined the relationship between marital quality, onset of depression, and gender following a severely threatening life event and found that a satisfying marriage was related to lower rates of depression for both men and women, although the overall rate for women was higher [ 48 ]. A study of the present sample has already demonstrated a strong negative relationship between self-reported relationship satisfaction and emotional distress in women [ 49 ].

The results also showed a buffering effect of relationship satisfaction on the effects of some risk factors. Thus, some types of stress will probably be more tolerable for persons who feel content with their partner relationship.

Aims of the present study The first aim was to identify own and spousal risk factors for emotional distress in male and female partners. We estimated the contribution of 12 well-known risk factors, observed for both spouses, including the following variables: Consistent with previous research, our main hypothesis was that relationship satisfaction would be of particular importance --and to a similar extent for men and women--for symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Our expectations were strengthened by the fact that the couples were expecting a child. The data structure permitted estimation of cross-spousal effects in addition to the effects of self-reported variables for each individual. We extended this aim by asking to what extent the partner's relationship satisfaction is associated with emotional distress beyond the association between own relationship satisfaction and emotional distress.

We also examined the possible cross-spousal effects of factors such as the partner's socio-demographic variables, somatic diseases, and self-esteem. The second, and most important, aim was to explore to what extent high levels of partner relationship satisfaction, both self-perceived and as reported by the partner, buffer against adverse psychological effects of certain strains.

We hypothesized that relationship satisfaction could be a protective factor for both genders. This hypothesis was tested by examining possible interaction effects between relationship satisfaction and certain risk factors on emotional distress in men and women.

global measure of relationship satisfaction and depression

In brief, MoBa is a cohort of more thanpregnancies recruited from to and presents a broad basis to study health development. There were no exclusion criteria, and all maternity units except two in Norway with more than births annually were included during certain periods. Mothers undergoing their first routine ultrasound examination, performed at gestation weekwere invited to participate together with their male partners.

The women received a postal invitation to participate in the MoBa together with their appointment cards for the ultrasound scan http: A total of 90, women There were valid data for both spouses in 66, couples. Missing data were imputed see belowbut for some cases too much of the information was missing, preventing reliable imputation, leaving us with 62, couples with valid data.

Of the couples responding to the questionnaire, The women, but not the men, were also followed up at later times [ 50 ], so far with seven data collections during a time-span of nine years. Further follow-ups are planned. The current study is based on Version 4 of the quality-assured data files released for research in Informed consent was obtained from each participant, both men and women. When couples completed the first questionnaire, the mean age was There are some differences in descriptive statistics between the MoBa participants and the total population of Norwegian mothers.

Despite this, no statistically relevant differences in association parameters between participants and the total population were found regarding a number of exposure-outcome associations [ 51 ]. The sample has been described in more detail elsewhere [ 5051 ]. Measures The women and men completed different questionnaires, but most of the items on mental health were common to the two questionnaires.

Emotional distress Male and female emotional distress was measured using a short version of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist SCL [ 52 ].

The SCL is a self-administered instrument designed to measure symptoms of anxiety and depression [ 53 ].

global measure of relationship satisfaction and depression

The five-item version SCL-5 correlates 0. The sum of the five anxiety and depression items was treated as a global measure of mental health, hereafter termed emotional distress. The SCL-5 [ 54 ] consists of the following items: Have you been bothered by any of the following during the last two weeks: The Cronbach alpha reliability for the SCL-5 was 0. The distribution of the SCL-5 scores was highly skewed with a tail to the right.

Therefore, the SCL-5 scores were logarithm-transformed to approximate a normal distribution. Skewness was reduced to 1. The dependent variable was standardized before inclusion in the analyses. Relationship satisfaction The item Relationship Satisfaction RS10 scale [ 55 ] constructed for MoBa and based on typical items used in previously developed scales [ 5657 ] was used to measure perceived partner relationship satisfaction.

A total of 29, men completed a questionnaire version with a short version of the RS scale, which consisted of five out of ten items RS5.

The buffering effect of relationship satisfaction on emotional distress in couples

The five-item version has previously been shown to correlate at 0. We generated imputed values for men with values on five or more items, regardless of how many RS items they had been asked to complete.

An indicator of overall relationship satisfaction based on 10 items was computed as an average score across items. The Cronbach alpha reliability was 0. A sum of the four items correlates at 0.