Intimacy in the couple and depressive symptoms, how are they related? – Health & Wellness

When we think about emotional well-being, both the quality of the human relationships we maintain and our mental health are important and interconnected. But, how are they related? To answer this question, researchers analyzed data collected between 1994 and 2006 from 654 couples who participated in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study on Early Childhood Care and Youth Development. Participants reported their depressive symptomatology and level of intimacy in their relationship across six time points.
The study author pointed out that her findings show that “for women, the higher quality of the couple’s relationship is associated with future decreases in depressive symptoms and better mental health conditions. For men, it is the other way around: depressive symptoms predict future declines in the quality of the relationship ”(Yan et al., 2020).
In other words, women who agreed with statements such as “my spouse / partner listens to me when I need someone to talk to” reported lower levels of depressive symptoms at the next time point. Men with higher levels of depressive symptoms at one point in time, on the other hand, were more likely to agree with statements such as “I feel neglected by my spouse / partner sometimes,” at the next time point.
“We also found that couples’ perceptions of intimacy in the relationship were interrelated, such that greater intimacy in the relationship as perceived by a partner predicted higher subsequent ratings of the relationship,” the researchers said.
The study controlled for demographic characteristics such as age and socioeconomic status. Among its limitations, the authors point out that, in order to understand the long-term two-way relationships between relationship quality and mental health, this research only studied couples who stayed together for a longer time, in the period in which they were together. conducted the study. Therefore, it is not possible to know if the findings represent couples going through breakups or divorces.
Referencia bibliográfica: Yan, J. J., Schoppe?Sullivan, S. J., & Feng, X. (2020). Transactional Associations Between Couple Relationship Intimacy and Depressive Symptoms Across 10 Years. En Journal of Marriage and Family. Source: Psypost

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