A Qualitative Study of Marital Process and Depressionin Older Couples*
depression, marriage, older adults
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.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Sandberg, Jonathan G.; Miller, Richard B.; and Harper, James M., "A Qualitative Study of Marital Process and Depressionin Older Couples*" (2004). Faculty Publications. 2436.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences