Marital and Family Processes in Depression: A Scientific Foundation for Clinical Practice
How should we modify, eliminate, or expand various aspects of marital and family therapy for depression? Can we help relieve or prevent episodes of depression by helping clients develop stronger relationships? Research over the past two decades has revealed a robust reciprocal relationship between depression and marital dissatisfaction, but only recently have researchers been able to tease out the most clinically useful and coherent patterns in the data depicting this relationship.
In this volume, leading scholars cross traditional disciplinary boundaries to synthesize the data and present original research drawing theoretical guidance from developmental psychopathology, social psychology, personality psychology, and descriptive psychopathology as well as from clinical research and practice. Among the themes explored are the recurrent nature of depression, bi-directional effects between family processes and depressive symptoms, and the effect of violent partners. Also explored are individual, couple, and cultural differences among depressed patients and the need to tailor couples therapy to better fit these differences. The conclusions imply fundamental shifts in the way we frame questions about families and pathology, conduct research, and attempt to intervene therapeutically in the lives of depressed patients.
Introduction: Overview and Synthesis
—Steven R. H. Beach and Frank D. Fincham
I. Marital Dissatisfaction and Depression: Understanding the Link
- The Association Between Depression and Marital Dissatisfaction
—Mark A. Whisman
- Not Agent Blue: Effects of Marital Functioning on Depression and Implications for Treatment
—James C. Coyne and Nili R. Benazon
- Depressive Symptoms and Marital Satisfaction in the Early Years of Marriage: Narrowing the Gap Between Theory and Research
—Benjamin R. Karney
II. Expanding Models for Research and Treatment: Theoretical Consideration
- Paths to Unhappiness: The Overlapping Courses of Depression and Romantic Dysfunction
- Parental Depression and Family Functioning: Toward a Process-Oriented Model of Children's Adjustment
—E. Mark Cummings, Gina DeArth-Pendley, Tina Du Rocher Schudlich, and David A. Smith
- Self Verification Theory: Expanding Current Conceptualizations of the Link Between Marital Distress and Depression
- Nodes of Consilience Between Interpersonal–Psychological Theories of Depression
—Thomas E. Joiner, Jr.
III. Exploring Context, Correlates, and Causes
- Perceptions of Family Functioning of Suicidal and Nonsuicidal African American Women
—Nadine J. Kaslow, Heather Twomey, Amy Brooks, Martie Thompson, and Bettie Reynolds
- Marital Discord and Partner Abuse: Correlates and Causes of Depression
—K. Daniel O'Leary and Annmarie Cano
IV. Application: Marriage as a Point of Intervention in the Treatment of Depression
- Couples Therapy for Depression: Using Healthy Relationships to Treat Depression
—James V. Cordova and Christina B. Gee
- Marital Therapy for Co-Occurring Marital Discord and Depression
—Steven R. H. Beach
Commentary: Understanding and Alleviating Depression in Couples and Families: Can We Get There From Here?
—Thomas N. Bradbury
About the Editor