Hausit

Study

Having an Unsupportive Spouse Increases the Likelihood of Depression

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

Highlighting the importance of having a positive relationship, an extensive new study finds having an unsupportive or critical spouse brings an increased likelihood of depression.

Led by Dr. Alan Teo, a psychiatrist with the University of Michigan, the study determined people with unsupportive or critical spouses were “significantly more likely” to be depressed, even compared with people not in an ongoing relationship.

Researchers surveyed 4,642 U.S. adults between the ages of 25 and 75 and revisited those respondents a decade later with the same survey.

Participants were asked to gauge how supportive their relationship is through questions like “How often does (your partner) criticize you?” and “How much can you open up to him or her if you need to talk about your worries?”

 

“People with unsupportive spouses

were more likely to be depressed.”

Questions measured the reliability of partners in times of need, including serious personal problems. The study also looked at how often spouses openly criticize their partner as opposed to being supportive.

“Our study shows that the quality of social relationships is a significant risk factor for major depression,” Teo said. “This is the first time that a study has identified this link in the general population.”

Teo said this research emphasizes how the quality of a spousal relationship can be a strong predictor of the likelihood of major depression disorder later on.

The study is one of the first to explore depression in relationships applied across a broad population over such an extended period of time.

While the study also examined other relationship patterns with friends and family members, it found those to be considerably less predictive of depression than a spousal relation.

Teo said the results suggest “the broader use of couples therapy might be considered, both as a treatment for depression and as a preventative measure.”

Source: The University of Michigan. Photo source: lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.