Depression is a major societal health problem with individual, familial, social, and economic costs. Cross sectional research has linked depression and marital discord, with women frequently having a higher association between variables. Several longitudinal research studies have linked marital satisfaction to subsequent depression. The Marital Discord Model of Depression states that marital discord is an important antecedent in the development of depression. While some empirical evidence exists supporting this premise, no research has been done with Latinos. The purpose of this study was to test the longitudinal relationship between marital satisfaction and depression among Latina women.

The data was conducted in two waves, 2 years apart, from a Brazilian sample of 99 females. The data were analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) procedures. The results indicated that there was a strong association between marital satisfaction and depression. Marital satisfaction at time-1 was a significant predictor of, not only time-1 depression, but also time-2 depression. Marital satisfaction and depression at time-1 predicted 59% of the time-2 depression scores. These results provide evidence that the Marital Discord Model of Depression is an appropriate theoretical model for the conceptualization of marital discord and depression with Latina women.

With previous research already having established the effectiveness of Behavioral Marital Therapy of Depression (BMT-D) for treating depression among Caucasian couples, these results suggest that BMT-D might also an appropriate treatment for depression among Latinos. Further BMT-D effectiveness research needs to be done to test the utility of interventions with the Latino population. Further research also needs to be done to test the longitudinal association of marital distress and depression among Latinos living in the United States.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy



Date Submitted


Document Type





Marriage, Marital Satisfaction, Depression, Behavioral Marital Therapy for Depression, Marital Discord Model of Depression