Marital Communication: Differences Among Maritally Distressed, Depressed, and Nondistressed-Nondepressed Couples

Tamara Goldman Sher*, Donald H. Baucom

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    This study explored differences in communication and perception of communication among 3 types of married couples: maritally distressed couples, in which the wife was depressed; maritally distressed-only couples; and nondistressed-nondepressed couples. Findings revealed differences both in the patterns of communication and in the meanings these patterns have for the relationship. The results suggested that depression within the context of a distressed marriage is related to (a) more negative communication both toward and from the depressed person and (b) spouses' lower comprehension of each other's messages. Among the nondistressed couples, the more negative their communication, the more maritally satisfied they were. The suggestion is made that "negative communication" might be used in a constructive way by nondistressed couples, whereas negative communication might be detrimental to distressed couples.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)148-153
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Family Psychology
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 1 1993

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychology(all)

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