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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2002 Feb;70(1):129-41.

Depressive symptoms and close relationships during the transition to adulthood: perspectives from dysphoric women, their best friends, and their romantic partners.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90089-1061, USA.


Late adolescent women's depressive symptoms and interpersonal functioning were assessed using reports from participants, their best friends, and their romantic partners. As predicted, the associations between relationship dysfunction and dysphoria were stronger in romantic relationships than in friendships. Unlike friends, romantic partners perceived dysphoric women as having poorer social skills. Romantic partners also reported providing less emotional support to dysphoric women, whereas friends reported providing more. Finally, romantic partners of dysphoric women had more Cluster A (odd-eccentric) personality disorder symptoms; these symptoms mediated the relation between women's depression and partners' nonsupportiveness. The findings suggest that dysphoric women may find themselves in emotionally nonsupportive romantic relationships because they have paired (through assortative pairing or mutual influence) with symptomatic partners.

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