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J Fam Psychol. 2014 Apr;28(2):225-35. doi: 10.1037/a0036087. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

Depression and anger across 25 years: changing vulnerabilities in the VSA model.

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Department of Human Ecology. University of Alberta.
Department of Psychology, University of Alberta.
Department of Sociology, University of Alberta.


Guided by the vulnerability-stress adaptation (VSA) model of marriage and a developmental systems perspective, the current study examined the association of mental health trajectories (depressive symptoms and expressed anger) across the transition to adulthood (ages 18 to 25) with perceived life stress in young adulthood (age 32) and adaptive interaction with a romantic partner and relationship risk at midlife (age 43), accounting for concurrent age 43 mental health. Data from a 25-year prospective, longitudinal study of 341 Canadians (178 women and 163 men) show age 18 levels of both mental health variables predicted perceived life stress and intimate relationship outcomes. The slopes for expressed anger and depressive symptoms were associated with perceived life stress, and relationship risk was also predicted by the slope of expressed anger. Higher perceived life stress at age 32 was associated with less adaptive interaction and increased relationship risk at age 43. Evidence for mediating effects was also found. Implications for theory development, future research, and clinical intervention are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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