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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to (a) describe the number and types of social relationships of 39 women hospitalized for unipolar depression and (b) examine differences in the provision of social support and level of conflict among these types of relationships. Paired t tests were used to compare support and conflict from six types of relationships. The number and range of relationships reported were comparable to those of nondepressed women. Unexpectedly, women reported low amounts of conflict. Spouse/partners, household, and close relationships were perceived as sources of the most support. However, spouse/partner and household members also provided the most conflict, while close relationships provided the least. These close relationships play a pivotal role in the provision of social support. Furthermore, close female relationships appear to provide the benefits of support without the cost of conflict. ©1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.