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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1998 Sep;186(9):566-73.

The influence of marital quality and attachment styles on traumatic grief and depressive symptoms.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8034, USA.

Abstract

Few studies have examined the relationship between marital quality and adjustment to the impending loss of a terminally ill spouse. Most studies of marital quality and grief have been based on retrospective reports of the marriage rather than pre-loss assessments. Here, we tested the pre-loss cross-sectional effects of having a security-enhancing marriage on traumatic grief and depressive symptoms among 59 caregivers aged 50 and over of terminally ill spouses. We also examined whether insecure attachment styles were associated with traumatic grief and depressive symptoms. Findings suggest that security-increasing marriages and insecure attachment styles put spouses at risk for elevated traumatic grief symptoms. Results also indicate that marital quality and attachment style did not interact and that neither was significantly associated with depressive symptoms. The differences in the relationship of marital quality and attachment styles to the two outcomes suggest that the etiology of traumatic grief and depressive symptoms may be distinct.

PMID:
9741563
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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