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Toward a Better Understanding of Psychological Well-Being in Dementia Caregivers: The Link Between Marital Communication and Depression


Braun, M; Mura, K; Peter-Wight, M; Hornung, Rainer; Scholz, Urte (2010). Toward a Better Understanding of Psychological Well-Being in Dementia Caregivers: The Link Between Marital Communication and Depression. Family Process, 49(2):185-203.

Abstract

Dementia research has frequently documented high rates of caregiver depression and distress in spouses providing care for a partner suffering from dementia. However, the role of marital communication in understanding caregiver distress has not been examined sufficiently. Studies with healthy couples demonstrated an association between marital communication and the partners’ psychological well-being, depressiveness, respectively (e.g., Heene, Buysee, & Van Oost, 2005). The current study investigates
the relationship between caregiver depression and communication in 37 couples in which the wives care for their partners with dementia. Nonsequential and sequential analyses revealed significant correlations between caregiver depression and marital communication quality. Caregivers whose husbands used more positive communication reported less depression and distress. Additionally, caregiver depression was negatively correlated with rates of positive reciprocal communication indicating dependence between the couples’ interaction patterns. This study is one of the first to illustrate the relevance of spousal communication in understanding caregiver distress and depression.

Dementia research has frequently documented high rates of caregiver depression and distress in spouses providing care for a partner suffering from dementia. However, the role of marital communication in understanding caregiver distress has not been examined sufficiently. Studies with healthy couples demonstrated an association between marital communication and the partners’ psychological well-being, depressiveness, respectively (e.g., Heene, Buysee, & Van Oost, 2005). The current study investigates
the relationship between caregiver depression and communication in 37 couples in which the wives care for their partners with dementia. Nonsequential and sequential analyses revealed significant correlations between caregiver depression and marital communication quality. Caregivers whose husbands used more positive communication reported less depression and distress. Additionally, caregiver depression was negatively correlated with rates of positive reciprocal communication indicating dependence between the couples’ interaction patterns. This study is one of the first to illustrate the relevance of spousal communication in understanding caregiver distress and depression.

Citations

6 citations in Web of Science®
12 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:03 Nov 2010 10:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:24
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0014-7370
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2010.01317.x

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