Couple Communication Patterns as Predictors of Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms: An Exploratory Study

Fallon Cluxton-Keller, Jacob B. Priest, Wayne H. Denton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Communication patterns were explored as predictors of Major Depressive Disorder symptoms in 54 couples with a diagnosed partner. The Initiator Style Questionnaire (ISQ; Denton & Burleson, 2007) was used to assess each partner's tendency to initiate and avoid relationship problem discussions, and to categorize couples. Couples were grouped into three initiator style categories: Initiate-Initiate, Avoid-Avoid, and Initiate-Avoid. Patients of Initiate-Avoid couples experienced less severe depressive symptoms. Initiator style category predicted severity of depressed mood, poor concentration/decision-making, and low energy/fatigue. Interactions of initiator style category and relationship satisfaction predicted symptoms that varied in severity. Implications for couple therapists are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-412
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Family Therapy
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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