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 OJD  Vol.5 No.2 , May 2016
Gender Differences in Observed and Perceived Stress and Coping in Couples with a Depressed Partner
Abstract: Recent results show higher perceived stress and more dysfunctional coping in depressed individuals, and suggest that dyadic approaches focused on enhancing couples coping can be useful in treating depression. At the same time, a long tradition of research on couples with a depressed partner suggests potential differences between couples who are more or less maritally distressed, as well as due to the gender of depressed spouse. The present study investigates the association of gender and marital satisfaction with stress and coping patterns in couples with a depressed partner by comparing 4 groups (maritally distressed and non-distressed couples in which either the male or female partner was suffering from depression). Both questionnaires and observed marital interaction tasks were used to assess all constructs. Evidence was found for greater stress and stress generating coping practices for depressed individuals and more dysfunctional dyadic coping in maritally distressed couples. In addition, we identified gender-related patterns associated with depression and marital distress that may be important in working with couples. Coping oriented couples approaches may benefit from consideration of gender differences to maximize therapeutic effectiveness with a range of couples with a depressed partner.
Cite this paper: Gabriel, B. , Bodenmann, G. and Beach, S. (2016) Gender Differences in Observed and Perceived Stress and Coping in Couples with a Depressed Partner. Open Journal of Depression, 5, 7-20. doi: 10.4236/ojd.2016.52002.
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