Communication and Intimacy in the Marriages of Depressed Patients

Monica Ramirez Basco, Karen J. Prager, John M. Pita, Lois M. Tamir, Jacqualene J. Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Marital discord is common among depressed patients. To explain the concurrence of depression and marital discord, it was hypothesized that depressed patients and their spouses have weak relationship-coping abilities, specifically communication, problem solving, and capacity for intimacy. Seventeen depressed patients and their spouses were compared with 17 control couples on a communication task, an intimacy interview, and self-reports of marital satisfaction. Results indicated that, compared with control subjects, the depressed patients and their spouses (a) reported greater marital dissatisfaction, (b) demonstrated poorer communication and problem-solving ability, and (c) were more likely to have an impaired capacity for establishing and maintaining intimacy. The implications for understanding the development of depression and marital discord are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-194
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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