Moderators of the Link between Marital Hostility and Change in Spouses’ Depressive Symptoms

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cheryl A. Buehler, Professor (Creator)
Heather M. Helms, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study examined the moderating roles of marital warmth and recent life events in the association between observed marital hostility and changes in spouses’ depressive symptoms over 3 years. Using the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM), structural equation models (N = 416 couples) suggested that husbands’ marital hostility was significantly related to increases in wives’ depressive symptoms. Moderator analyses showed that husbands’ warmth and wives’ warmth moderate the association between marital hostility and change in wives’ depressive symptoms. The association between husbands’ hostility and increases in wives’ depressive symptoms was stronger under conditions of lower levels of husbands’ warmth than under conditions of higher levels of husbands’ warmth. This same pattern was found for wives’ warmth. Regarding life events, the association between wives’ hostility and increases in husbands’ depressive symptoms was stronger for couples with more recent life events than for couples with fewer recent life events. Practical and empirical implications are discussed.

Additional Information

Journal of Family Psychology, 23(4), 540-550
Language: English
Date: 2009
depressive symptoms, life events, marital hostility, marital warmth, marriage

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