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.