Kimberly A. Van Orden, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center; Scott Braithwaite, PhD, Mike Anestis, PhD, Katherine M. Timmons, MS, Frank Fincham, PhD, and Thomas E. Joiner, PhD, Department of Psychology, Florida State University; Peter M. Lewinsohn, PhD, Oregon Research Institute.
An Exploratory Investigation of Marital Functioning and Order of Spousal Onset in Couples Concordant for Psychopathology
Version of Record online: 6 MAR 2012
© 2012 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 38, Issue Supplement s1, pages 308–319, June 2012
How to Cite
Van Orden, K. A., Braithwaite, S., Anestis, M., Timmons, K. A., Fincham, F., Joiner, T. E. and Lewinsohn, P. M. (2012), An Exploratory Investigation of Marital Functioning and Order of Spousal Onset in Couples Concordant for Psychopathology. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38: 308–319. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00277.x
This research was supported in part by NIMH awards MH40501, MH50522, MH52588, and NIDA Grant DA12961 awarded to Dr. Peter M. Lewinsohn.
- Issue online: 6 JUL 2012
- Version of Record online: 6 MAR 2012
Individuals with a psychiatric disorder are significantly more likely to have a spouse with a clinical diagnosis—marital concordance. We used a community sample of 304 couples concordant for either major depressive disorder (MDD) or substance use disorders (SUDs) to examine the relationship between marital functioning and gendered patterns of mental health diagnosis onset. For SUD concordance, couples in which wives onset before husbands—despite typical later onset for men—reported lower levels of marital satisfaction compared with couples in which the husband onset first. For MDD concordance, couples in which husbands onset with depression before wives—despite typical later onset for men—reported lower levels of marital satisfaction. These results suggest that for couples concordant for mental diagnoses, it is most problematic for marital functioning for one partner to have an atypically early onset. Implications for treatment targets in marital therapy are discussed.