Attributional, Perceptual, and Affective Responses to Depressed and Nondepressed Marital Partners

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Abstract

Husbands of wives with (n = 22) or without (n = 23) a history of a depressive disorder indicated their attributions about and affective reactions to real and hypothetical positive and negative events occurring to their wives, rated their wives on personality traits categorized as depression-related and depression-neutral, and reported their own marital satisfaction. Husbands of depressed, relative to nondepressed, wives made more dispositional attributions, reported more negative affect in reaction to negative events, and indicated less marital satisfaction. Depressed wives were rated more negatively on both depression-related and depression-neutral personality traits. Results are interpreted as suggesting that spouses of depressed wives have a generalized negative view of their wives, which may also be operating within distressed marriages.

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