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J Abnorm Psychol. 2000 Nov;109(4):803-8.

Psychiatric disorders and dissatisfaction with social relationships: does type of relationship matter?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Campus Box 345 UCB, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0345, USA. whisman@psych.colorado.edu


The specificity of the association between 9 Axis I psychiatric disorders and quality of the relationship with spouse, relatives, and friends was evaluated for married participants who completed the Ontario Health Survey Mental Health Supplement (N = 4,933). When the authors controlled for the quality of other social relationships, not getting along with one's spouse was related to 6 disorders, with the strongest associations found for generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, panic, and alcohol problems; 4 associations remained significant when they controlled for comorbid disorders. Not getting along with relatives and friends was generally unrelated to psychiatric disorders when they controlled for the other social relationships. Results indicate that the association between marital quality and psychiatric disorders is not an artifact of general social dissatisfaction and that this association is significant for several disorders.

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