Title

A Qualitative Study of Marital Process and Depressionin Older Couples*

Keywords

depression, marriage, older adults

Abstract

Although research has established that depression in later life can negatively impact the quality of an individual's life, few studies have addressed the relationship between depression and marital process in aging couples. To understand how older couples' experience and describe depression and its impact on their marriage, 26 older couples were interviewed. Results from 10 couples where one partner was experiencing depression and 16 nondepressed couples revealed that the depressed couples reported greater difficulty communicating and problem solving during “down” times. The nondepressed spouse in these couples reported feelings of confusion and frustration, whereas the depressed partner felt isolated and misunderstood. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Sandberg, J. G., Miller, R. M., & Harper, J. M. (2002). A qualitative study of marital process and depression in older couples. Family Relations, 51, 256-264.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2004-02-18

Publisher

Family Relations

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

Share

COinS