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Keywords:

  • anxiety disorders;
  • relationship quality;
  • divorce;
  • marriage;
  • cohabitation

Objectives

Though research suggests support for the association between marital quality and anxiety disorders, less is known about relationship quality with relatives and friends and anxiety disorders.

Method

Using data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (n = 9912; mean age 44.8; 52.2% female), the association between relationship quality with relatives, friends, and romantic partners and anxiety disorders is examined for those who are divorced, single, or married.

Results

For those who are single or divorced, relationship quality with relatives and friends was associated with many anxiety disorders including agoraphobia, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder. For those who are married, relationship quality with relatives and partners was associated with generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Conclusion

Given that those with anxiety disorders have higher rates of divorce and are more likely to be single, examining the relationship quality with relatives and friends, in addition to romantic partners, may be important for understanding the onset and course of anxiety disorders.