Prospective associations between depressive symptoms and marital satisfaction in Black couples

August I.C. Jenkins, Steffany J. Fredman, Yunying Le, Xiaoran Sun, Timothy R. Brick, Olivenne D. Skinner, Susan M. McHale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Associations between depressive symptoms and relationship distress are well-established, but little is known about these linkages among Black couples, or about the role of sociocultural factors in these processes. In this study, we applied a dyadic analytic approach, Actor-Partner Interdependence Modeling (APIM), to address 2 goals: to assess the prospective, bidirectional associations between depressive symptoms and marital satisfaction over a 1-year period in a racially homogenous sample of 168 heterosexual Black couples, and to explore whether these associations were moderated by husbands' and wives' experiences of racial discrimination and/or the centrality of race in their personal identities. Findings revealed that depressive symptoms predicted relative declines in marital satisfaction reported by both self and partner for both husbands and wives. Moderation analyses indicated that, when wives reported greater racial centrality, their depressive symptoms predicted relative declines in husbands' marital satisfaction. In contrast, when wives reported lower racial centrality, their depressive symptoms were not associated with husbands' satisfaction. Together, the findings highlight the interdependence between spouses' mental health and relationship satisfaction and the role of sociocultural factors in these linkages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-23
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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